(Photo: XiXi Yang photographed by Malik Daniels at her Los Angeles studio designed by LA Furniture Store.)
Diversity and representation go hand in hand, at least that’s how XiXi Yang, an entertainment journalist and the founder of next generation content powerhouse XYZ Media describes the relationship. As the first Asian-American female journalist to anchor Live From the Red Carpet
solo for the Oscars and the Grammys, XiXi Yang
broke barriers for minority women in media. As the first anchor to bring live coverage of some of the most prestigious events in Hollywood to millions of viewers around the world, XiXi Yang witnessed firsthand the tremendous impact of creating entertainment news for a global audience.
"Entertainment is the most powerful content in the world,” Yang says. “Having a global perspective in our coverage of entertainment news and pop culture stories is vital for us to understand our own identity, the identity of people we interact with, how our world works, and how we are all interconnected."
Before this media trailblazer could bridge the cultural gap in the world of entertainment news, she had to break barriers in her own profession. Yang's glamorous career was once just a pipe dream for an ambitious entrepreneur who came from humble beginnings.
“When I was little, I have often fantasized about being an entertainment journalist and a red carpet reporter. I was obsessed with all aspects of pop culture - movies, music, TV shows, and more! But I didn't see a face on TV that looked like mine. Instead of waiting for the right opportunity to come, I decided to create my own. At 19, I saved up just enough money for a handheld camcorder and a karaoke microphone. I went around town and interviewed everyone. I learned how to do everything myself: booking interviews, filming and editing videos, creating websites, pitching to studio executives, and securing sponsors.”
XiXi Yang’s hard work, persistence, and knack for storytelling paid off. In less than a decade, she gained national recognition in the U.S. as one of the top entertainment journalists and pop culture experts across CNN and HLN's flagship shows: Newsroom, Morning Express with Robin Meade, On the Story, etc. Since 2015, she has been anchoring live red carpets for the Associated Press and delivering live news coverage to all of AP’s syndication partners worldwide. Her celebrity interviews and exclusive stories have garnered international attention. With a reach of over 98 million households and 28 million monthly views digitally, XiXi Yang is one of the most influential millennial voices in media.
Now, Yang is bringing a more dynamic, diverse, and in-depth look at pop culture news to a worldwide audience through Pop News Edition - a global entertainment brand focusing on a 21-45 multicultural audience. Produced in partnership with XYZ Media, Pop News Edition will be available worldwide through linear and AVOD platforms on connected TVs, digital set-top boxes, media-streaming devices and web-based and online OTT services on August 4th.
Below, XiXi Yang shares more insight on Pop News Edition, her company XYZ Media and why paying it forward for other minorities in media is such a big part of her mission.
What inspired you to launch Pop News Edition?
I’m a storyteller at heart and I believe in the power of entertainment. Entertainment is the most powerful content in the world and yet it’s no secret that Hollywood, the leading producer of entertainment, lacks diversity. When my fiancé and business partner Dr. William Puetz and I launched XYZ Media, our mission was to create a next generation content powerhouse that celebrates diversity through engaging storytelling. I’ve come to realize that in order to highlight diversity in the world of pop culture, we must look beyond Hollywood, and that includes covering pop culture news with a much broader perspective. We’re launching Pop News Edition to challenge our editorial team and viewers to think differently about pop culture by examining the stories from a global perspective. Our team aims to ignite conversations and influence culture. We want to tell stories that affect the daily lives of our audience and entertain as much as we inform. We want to bring the world together through the power of pop culture.
How will Pop News Edition bring entertainment news and pop culture stories to a global audience?
Pop News Edition is our edition of pop news. We are the next generation of pop culture consumers who crave entertainment news from all parts of the world. We are the social-savvy generation that wants an in-depth look at some of the biggest stories shaping our culture today. Diversity is not a moment. It’s a movement! In order to create a pop culture brand that celebrates authenticity, inclusivity, and representation across the board, diversity had to be a part of our editorial team and the content we produce. We’ve teamed up with some of the brightest journalists and contributors from all over the world, as well as leading news agencies across multiple continents. We follow breaking entertainment news and major pop culture moments in Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and all parts of the world, just as closely as we watch everything happening here in Hollywood. Through linear and AVOD platforms on connected TVs, digital set-top boxes, media-streaming devices and web-based and online OTT services, Pop News Edition will be available to a global audience on August 4th.
Do you have any advice for other minorities aspiring to be an entertainment journalist?
No matter who you are, where you come from or what your story is, own your story. Think outside the box and create. Use what you've got and do what you can. Now with the power of social media, you don’t need to audition or wait for someone to give you your big break. Learn all levels of the operation and create your own content! Your voice matters and if you don’t see a face similar to yours doing what you want to do, then you are it. Don’t just do it for yourself. Do it for future generations to come because they’re watching. Check out http://www.PopNewsEdition.com
on August 4th and follow @PopNewsEdition on Instagram and Facebook.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.