John Yang (born February 10, 1958) is an American Peabody Award-winning television news correspondent, commentator and as of February 2016, a special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. He previously worked for NBC as a correspondent and commentator, covering issues for all NBC News programming, including NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Today, and MSNBC. He has also worked for ABC News as a correspondent. Yang is one of several openly gay national television correspondents.
Yang was born in Chillicothe, Ohio, on February 10, 1958. He attended high school at Western Reserve Academy, a private, coeducational boarding school in Hudson, Ohio, graduating in 1975. He went to college at Wesleyan University, where he graduated cum laude in 1980. Yang quickly became involved in political journalism, often writing about American politics and the United States Congress.
After college, Yang got a job as a reporter with The Boston Globe, where he worked from 1980 to 1981. Yang moved on to Time, where he worked as a correspondent from 1981 to 1986, and he also served as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal from 1986 to 1990.
In 1990 Yang became a reporter and editor at The Washington Post, where he worked for nearly ten years. As a reporter he covered domestic politics, including Congress and the White House. As an editor he directed coverage of economic policy in the paper's business section and also directed political features in the Style section.
In November 1999, Yang left The Post when he was offered a job as a Washington, D.C.-based correspondent at ABC News. In 2000, he became well known for covering the George W. Bush presidential campaign during Republican Party primaries. After the primaries and until election, Yang covered the Al Gore campaign, and he continued to cover the campaign during the Florida election recount. After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Yang frequently reported live from the Pentagon and worked as part of the ABC News team that was awarded a Peabody Award and Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for its 9/11 coverage.
From 2002 to 2004, Yang was transferred to Jerusalem, working as ABC's Middle East correspondent. He covered every major development of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including suicide bombings and Israeli military operations in Palestinian territories. In April 2005, Yang covered the death of Pope John Paul II, working with the ABC News team that also won an Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award for its coverage of the event.
In January 2007 Yang joined NBC News as a correspondent. In November 2007, he was named NBC News White House correspondent. He covered the 2008 presidential race for NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.
In 2009, Yang was transferred from NBC News' Washington bureau to its Chicago bureau. "NBC is moving me from the city of big egos to the city of broad shoulders," Yang told colleagues in a note.