2023 Online Commentary, Personal Narrative winner

Generation Connie

About the Project

“Generation Connie,” written by Connie Wang, with photographs by Connie Aramaki, is a New York Times Opinion multimedia essay about the many Asian American women who were named after the groundbreaking Chinese American news anchor Connie Chung.

In her piece, Ms. Wang set out to explore a simple question: Why were so many Asian American women in their 30s and early 40s named Connie? But once she began reporting, what started out as a piece about a quirky phenomenon became a much larger story about immigration, mother-daughter relationships, media representation, the struggles of one woman to make her way in the white-male-dominated industry of broadcast news and her outsize legacy and impact.

Ms. Chung participated in the essay — she was interviewed and photographed. The piece artfully builds to her meeting a group of 10 women who were named after her. She and the other Connies found the meeting emotional; one tearful moment captured on video is featured at the end of the essay.

We commissioned beautiful portraits for the story: group portraits of Ms. Chung with her namesakes and portraits of three pairs of mothers and daughters, accompanied by audio clips in which the mothers explain, in their own words, why they chose the name Connie. The essay also features older images of Ms. Chung and the younger Connies as babies, which help situate readers in the period when Ms. Chung was one of the few Asian faces on TV, and give the piece additional emotional power.

Judges Comments

Excellent commentary with a powerful interactive presentation that draws you in with an emotional punch. This narrative offered a unique voice and point of view that judges felt created a connection between writer and reader.