Years in print:
History of St. Louis Chinese American News
Many Chinese immigrants in the St. Louis region were used to reading the Chinese newspaper to know local news - United States news, world news and home town news (China and Taiwan). Also, this big Chinese community needed a communication tool and bridge to the American community. Seeing the needs of a Chinese newspaper, in September 1990, George and Sandy Tsai decided to start a Chinese language newspaper entitled the St. Louis Chinese American News (SCANews), in St. Louis.
To better serve the community, the St. Louis Chinese American News was made available free, published weekly, and distributed to more than 50 distribution points in the metro St. Louis area. The mission statement said that the paper would "promote the Chinese culture, create a bridge between the Chinese community and the larger society, and be the voice of the community." The newspaper operated as an independent local newspaper to maintain its freedom and community orientation. The front page always featured headlining Chinese news while the other sections focused on other community events, economic news, special columns, and interviews.
Circulation of the newspaper increased over time from 1,000 copies to 6,000. Copies of the newspapers were made available at about fifty distributing points including Chinese grocery stores, Chinese restaurants, Chinese churches, and Chinese language schools. The staff members also grew from two to eight in 2003 including Director/Marketing May Wu, Community Outreach Olivia Pieknik, Editor Maria Zhang, Advertising Designer Tracy Wong, and other staff.
In 1997, St. Louis Chinese American News launched their website at http://www.scanews.com, the first and only St. Louis local Chinese newspaper on the web. In 1998, St. Louis Chinese American News signed a contract with Sinanet.com, the largest Chinese website in North America. In 1999, St. Louis Chinese American News began the partnership with Hunchnet.com, which brings local Chinese newspapers throughout the US together into one web hub. These web events and strategic partnerships indicate a significant transition.
SCANews also established the Chinese Culture and Education Foundation (http://www.CCEFoundation.org) in order to promote understanding and cooperation between the Chinese and English-speaking communities in the St. Louis region. The CCEF provided support for publications, lectures, workshops, and other programs that showcase the Chinese culture.
In November 2001, St. Louis Chinese American News broke the language barrier and published a special English section - "St. Louis Chinese American" - inside the regular weekly Chinese newspaper.
(Adapted from the paper's website)
St. Louis Chinese Newspaper Serves Growing Community
Since 1990 the St. Louis Chinese American News has served the growing Chinese community in St. Louis now  estimated at about 15,000. The News is independently owned and prints 2,500 copies weekly which are distributed free of charge except for 600 subscribers.
Publisher Sandy Tsai claims that, for many readers, the News is the only source for news, information and advertising.
The paper is located at 8401 Olive Blvd. in St. Louis. Subscription rates are $25/year.
(Published with permission of the St. Louis Journalism Review. Originally published 9/1996).