At the same time, journalists of color shouldn’t be expected to cover only their own communities, or to speak on behalf of everyone of their race (and yes, both of these things happen too often). “Because you’re from a certain race, you’re expected to be an expert on that race,” Yang said wryly, to the agreement of the other panelists.

“I don’t think that we can survive as an industry if we try to say that the only way people can cover a story is if they have a certain background from which to speak,” Yang concluded. “That’s antithetical to what journalism is about. Journalism is about telling stories that matter to a broad array of people, not purely to one-to-one, customized perspectives.”

Brendan Fitzgerald is a reporter and writer based in Brooklyn, New York. His reporting has been cited by multiple news sources including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and highlighted by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. His stories and essays have been featured at The Morning News, PopMatters, and C-VILLE Weekly, where he spent six years as an editor.