AAJA Author archives for Mai Hoang

Mai is a business reporter for the Yakima Herald-Republic in Yakima, Wash. She covers a variety of topics from retail and restaurants to economic development. She currently serves as president of AAJA Seattle.

Lori Matsukawa inducted into the Silver Circle

Posted on by maiphoang

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Longtime KING5 anchor and AAJA Seattle co-founder has been inducted in the Silver Circle by the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

The Silver Circle includes a group of standout media professionals who have started their careers at least 25 years ago and have made a significant contribution to both the television industry and their communities.

Lori’s contributions for AAJA Seattle and the Asian American journalist community are numerous. She has mentored countless young journalists who are now in successful careers of their own. She play an instrumental role in the launch of the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship, which has helped fund the journalism studies of more than 130 students since its inception in 1986.

Earlier this week, Lori was the keynote speaker at the annual Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship reception. Here a snippet of her speech:

When aspiring journalists ask me what it takes to be a journalist — the answer doesn’t involve what apps you use (though that helps) or how many friends you have on Facebook or followers on Twitter (though that helps, too). Rather, what it takes — is entirely within yourself.  Your attitude, your determination, your willingness to try and try again. 

Lori has been a living example of this in her long and amazing career. All of us at AAJA Seattle are inspired by Lori daily.

Lori and the other Silver and Gold Circle inductees were recognized in a special reception Friday night and will also be recognized during the 2014 Northwest Emmy Awards. A live stream of the Awards can be found here and starts at 4 p.m. this evening.

Congrats, Lori!

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Founders Scholarship winner Sandi Halimuddin: “I finally feel empowered and ready to take the next step”

 

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Sandi Halimuddin, left, and AAJA Seattle president Mai Hoang at the AAJA Scholarship and Awards gala, which was held during the convention.

Sandi Halimuddin, 22, graduated earlier this year from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism and international relations and previously interned at The Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly. Halimuddin was the recipient of the 2013 Founders Scholarship, which covered the cost of registration and travel for the 2013 AAJA National Convention in New York. In the coming weeks, Halimuddin will return to New York in the next month for an internship at the World Policy Journal

As part of her scholarship, Halimuddin shared her convention experience for AAJASeattle.org. 

When I first heard about the AAJA Convention in New York, I was terrified. While my mentor (former AAJA National President) Sharon Chan described the event as a fun networking and learning opportunity, the thought of shamelessly self-promoting myself in front of well-established people in the journalism industry made me nervous. As a recent grad looking for an entry-level reporting job, the career fair, workshops and networking events are excellent resources, if not a bit daunting. Luckily, AAJA Seattle chapter members gave me great advice on how to make the most out of the annual convention.

First, my mentors encouraged me to come prepared. In addition to preparing an elevator pitch, resumes, business cards and a website with clips, it’s important to do your homework on the companies at the career fair. Sharon encouraged me to do research on media companies, their notable work and current job openings. Speaking with recruiters at the career fair was easier and more meaningful when I showed knowledge of the company and asked specific questions. While working the career fair may not immediately lead to a job, I found that speaking with recruiters helped me gain a better understanding of what my goals and expectations are.

Second, my mentors recommended that I meet as many people as possible. At big events such as these it’s too easy to hide in the corner, tweeting at celebrities and friends. While I had my share of awkward moments standing in the middle of the room looking for someone to talk to, I found that reaching out to people is not as frightening as it seems. Most people at networking events are genuine, friendly and eager to speak with people who are equally as passionate about journalism. Developing connections with fellow convention attendees is a good strategy to establish your presence in the industry, find mentors and learn from people you respect. It’s also comforting to have fellow journalism friends to keep in touch with throughout and after the convention.

Finally, my mentors in the AAJA Seattle chapter insisted that I follow up with recruiters, editors and fellow journalists I met during the convention. While it might be hard to stand out in such a busy and well-attended convention, a prompt and thoughtful follow-up letter or email goes a long way. Even if there are no current job opportunities, showing initiative and establishing relationships with people in the industry can be helpful in the future.

While I was initially hesitant about attending the AAJA Convention, I’m so glad I went this year. I met a lot of wonderful, helpful people at the convention and gained more confidence navigating the professional world. I also now have a more realistic understanding of the possibilities in the journalism industry. Following the AAJA Convention, I finally feel empowered and ready to take the next step in shaping my writing career by moving to New York City this month.

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NAHJ’s departure from UNITY: Journalists for Diversity; Statement from AAJA National President Paul Cheung

As many of you know, the board of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists recently voted to leave UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, which has been the umbrella of several minority journalism organizations, including AAJA.

In a statement on its website, NAHJ President Hugo Balta explains the organization’s decision:

It’s a bitter sweet decision.The board believes in the concept of UNITY, but feels the organization needs to reform to meet the new challenges minority journalists are facing in an industry that is continuously changing.

AAJA National President Paul Cheung has issued the following response to NAHJ’s decision:

While many of us are understandably reflecting on the future of UNITY, it’s important AAJA leaders and members be patient.
UNITY formed as the news media flourished in the 1990s, amid rising revenues and growing newsrooms. But those days are gone, forever changed by rapidly evolving technology and beset by a catastrophic financial meltdown. Over recent years, newsrooms have struggled. As a result, many lost jobs and some newspapers folded. It’s no surprise UNITY has also struggled. AAJA, fortunately, has weathered those headwinds by fundraising, cutting expenses and making structural changes.

The UNITY we knew in 1994 is  gone. The newsroom you knew in 1994 is also gone. That’s a fact. But the same battles remain, as long as the issue of diversity remains a problem in our industry.

I personally don’t believe retreating to silos will advance our cause for greater diversity. Since July, the alliance presidents have been working on several proposals to fundamentally restructure UNITY — so we can be more nimble, flexible and financially sound. AAJA has taken a key leadership role in coming up with solutions. In the coming weeks, we hope to address these critical issues — including revisiting UNITY’s mission, finances and governance. 

 
Our next UNITY board meeting is in December, and I will update our membership with details so that AAJA can examine what our roles should be in the future.
 
Your feedback will inform our work at the UNITY board meeting. Feel free to email me, your chapter presidents, board representative and AAJA-UNITY board representatives regarding your concerns and thoughts on UNITY.

Change is never easy or painless. And yes, this is very emotional for many of us who have attended UNITY conventions and value UNITY’s mission. These are especially challenging times for the cause of diversity, and we must continue to address those challenges — not only for us, but for the next generation of journalists.

Paul has also encouraged members to give their feedback this form.

In addition, I would like to extend an offer for AAJA Seattle members to contact me, as well as our national board representative Sanjay Bhatt. It is important to me that the concerns of our chapter members are heard.

You can reach me at maisurvey@gmail.com and Sanjay at sbhatt33@gmail.com.

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AAJA declines off-the-record meeting with U.S. Department of Justice on media policy

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The Asian American Journalists Association, along with several journalism organizations, was invited by Attorney General Eric Holder to attend an off-the-record meeting on media policy.

AAJA, however, will not attend. National President Paul Cheung explained the organization’s reasoning in a statement released Sunday:

While AAJA welcomed the invitation to meet with the U.S. Department of Justice on media policy, AAJA will not be attending the meeting.

We advocate for fair and accurate media coverage on behalf of our 1,700 members. An off-the-record conversation would not allow us to inform our full membership about the meeting.

Transparency is key to building trust between the news industry, our government and the public. Should there be a future on-the-record meeting, AAJA would gladly join the conversation to help shape media policy in a way that best serves the public and diversity in news media.

Several other organizations, including the National Association of Black Journalists and the Native American Journalists Association have also declined the invitation.

UNITY: Journalists of Diversity Inc., an umbrella group that includes AAJA, will be attending the meeting.

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Three AAJA Seattle members to participate in the 2013 Executive Leadership Program

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Three AAJA Seattle members have been selected to participate in the 2013 Executive Leadership Program.

The three-day program will be held from Aug. 20 to Aug. 22, in conjunction with the AAJA National Convention in New York.

The annual program builds the leadership and management skills of mid-career journalists seeking to join the ranks of mid-level and upper management in the newsroom. The program’s curriculum includes a wide variety of topics related to journalism and leadership development.

AAJA Seattle has provided $2,100 in financial support to help cover the cost of the program for all three participants. [Full disclosure: To avoid a conflict of interest, president Mai Hoang recused herself from the voting process.]

AAJA Seattle members attending this year’s program are:

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Venice Buhain, an editor for Patch, is a long-time member of AAJA Seattle and has served in several roles for the chapter, including chapter secretary and co-chair of the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship program in 2010.

Mai Hoang, business reporter, for the Yakima Herald-Republic, is currently serving as president of AAJA Seattle. She previously served as chapter treasurer and co-chair of the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship program in 2010.

She also was selected as a recipient of the Dinah Eng Leadership Fellowship, which provides a $400 stipend to attend the Executive Leadership Program.

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Thanh Tan, multimedia editorial writer for the Seattle Times, is an alumna of the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship and also was the keynote speaker for the NJC Reception in 2011.

Congrats to all three participants!

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