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Meet Ling-Mei Wong of Sampan Newspaper

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ling-Mei Wong.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m the editor of New England’s only bilingual Chinese-English newspaper, Sampan. A “sampan” is a small river boat used to unload cargo from larger boats and was founded by social service agency Asian American Civic Association in 1972 to bring organization news to the community at large. Today, Sampan covers not just its publisher but Chinatown updates. immigration, housing and the Asian American community at large.

I’ve been a journalist for 12 years and have been with Sampan since 2012. Sampan is a dream job, as I’m an immigrant from Taiwan. I was born overseas and was educated in English, so I speak Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Nearly everyday I’ll speak all three, as the newspaper and agency serves the Chinese-American community.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Sampan is a community newspaper which runs on advertising. Like most print media, our advertising revenue has decreased. But online, our readership grows every year and we’re exploring new media.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Sampan provides community news about Boston’s Chinatown in English and Chinese. Our content runs in both languages, so you can choose the language you feel most comfortable with.

Boston has daily and weekly Chinese newspapers, but they tend to cover international developments rather than local news. English papers will cover regional developments but not cover Chinatown regularly. Sampan’s a hyperlocal newspaper that covers Chinatown in a way that’s accessible to Chinese and English readers.

What were you like growing up?
I was a voracious bookworm, who’d get in trouble for talking in class.

Contact Info:

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