Now catering to a wider and more diversified readership than ever before, the ethnic press, besides reporting on politics, covers a growing range of journalistic interests. Editorial subjects vary tremendously, from those about personalities to trivial Philippine customs and slipping traditions. 44 The celebration of the predominantly Roman Catholic rituals in the ethnic communities appears to receive greater attention in the press than was the case decades earlier. 45 Moreover, many guest reviewers and columnists write on their own areas of expertise: nutrition, film-making, medicine, and so on. In its task to instruct, the press has just begun to address bits and pieces of Filipino-American history, perhaps for the benefit of the later immigrants, or the children of the first group, or both.
The prospects for the many separate and often redundant Filipino-American publications to become consolidated into a smaller number in the future remain problematic. Already, the Filipino ethnic communities in major United States and Canadian cities are being served by two or three news magazines. If the past is any gauge at all, the existence of many of these publications will prove tentative. A 1981 news release regarding a newly organized Filipino American Press Association gave no indication that such condensation is indeed likely. 46
On the other hand, the potential for a more coordinated and unified press, viewed in the context of an Asian press, is real. Few publications managed by an all Filipino-American staff have yet taken this direction, and only the Asian American News, in bias more Filipino than Asian, has emerged with relative success. Be that as it may, an instructive editorial from the Filipino Reporter projects a new crusade and a potential evolution in the ethnic press:
Asian Americans in the United States suffer from what may be called the "under" syndrome. We are underrepresented, underrated, undercounted, undersold and underpaid. In effect, we are the classic underdog in the American scene. . . .
The Asian press, aside from being our first line of defense, is the ideal medium for articulating an Asian viewpoint.
For the Asian press to be able to perform this role, Asian publishers and editors need to get together and agree on a common editorial venture designed to promote the cause of Asian Americanism.
The Asian press must agree to an exchange of materials, and from time to time, print a joint editorial . . . on an issue of far-reaching import to Asian Americans.
The Asian press must organize an information center, staffed by one representative from each newspaper or publication, charged with the function of disseminating, gathering, planning, coordinating and executing activities in accordance with the policies formulated by the center. . . .
The press center [would work] on the premise that Asian American issues or problems are apt to be brought to the attention of the Asian press first because of racial considerations. 47