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Lori Matsukawa inducted into the Silver Circle

Posted on by maiphoang


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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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 and Sanjay at

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Dim Sum Saturday is Back — Sept. 28 at New Hong Kong Restaurant

Hope everyone had a great summer! We’re back! Our next Dim Sum Saturday event will be at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 28.
Dim Sum Saturday
We’re meeting at at New Hong Kong (it used to be known as New Kowloon), 900 South Jackson Street, Seattle, WA 98104, in the International District.

Meet your fellow AAJA Seattle members for casual chat and a good time over dim sum. The more, the merrier — friends, co-workers, former co-workers, significant others and kids more than welcome.

As usual, we’ll all split the check. Dim sum typically runs about $10-$15 per person.

Please RSVP to the Facebook event page, so we can keep a rough headcount and know how big of a table to reserve. Hope to see you there!

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Rock Box party: An AAJA Seattle sendoff for David Boardman on July 29

Join AAJA Seattle as we say goodbye to Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman. Boardman is leaving to become dean of the School of Media and Communication at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pa.

Boardman has been a champion of AAJA and the Seattle chapter, supporting our scholarship, donating auction items to our lunar banquet and coming to our annual Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship night. He is one of the few executive editors in the nation who makes it a priority to personally attend our national convention. I could not have served as AAJA national president without his support.

You may remember Dave’s karaoke rendition of “No Woman, No Cry” from our lunar banquet. Or perhaps you saw the legendary performance of “Proud Mary” he did with former Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli at the UNITY convention in 2012. This is your last opportunity to duet with Dave in Seattle. Let’s see if we can get him to sing “Baby Got Back.”

Marcus Brauchli (left) and David Boardman perform "Proud Mary" at UNITY 2012

Marcus Brauchli (left) and David Boardman perform “Proud Mary” at UNITY 2012

Rock Box with Boardman
Monday, July 29
6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Rock Box Seattle, 1603 Nagle Place in Capitol Hill
Cost: Pay for what you eat, drink and your share of the room fee
RSVP to by 9 a.m. Thursday, July 25

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Announcing the #2K2WKS Challenge: Donate to Power of One by Aug. 5 and Frank Blethen will match it

Frank Blethen, Seattle Times publisher

Frank Blethen, Seattle Times publisher

Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen is challenging you to support the Asian American Journalists Association with a donation to the Power of One campaign. For all donations from July 15 through Aug. 5, Frank will match all funds raised up to a total of $2,000.

The Power of One fund supports AAJA’s important work on increasing the number of Asian Americans in journalism and ensuring fair and accurate coverage of Asian and Asian American communities.

“With the challenges facing the industry, all of us need to step up and support the important work AAJA does for diversity in journalism,” Blethen said. “Maybe you’re a student who can give $5. Or maybe you’re an ELP graduate who can give $100. Join our family of supporters for AAJA at any level.”

Donate now at AAJA by targeting your donation to Power of One. Here is how to donate. Please specify that your donation should go to “Power of One.”

Update 10/11/13:

Here are the supporters who have stepped up with a donation to Power of One during Frank Blethen’s challenge.

Candace Barron, Boeing
Larry Benesh, Zynga
David Boardman, Temple University
Ryan Blethen, Seattle Times
Venice Buhain, AOL Patch
Bobby Calvan
Janning Chan
Allen Cheng
Sharon Pian Chan, The Seattle Times
Susan Han, Seattle Channel
Mai Hoang, Yakima Herald-Republic
Michael Kim, ESPN
Janet Mason, WZZM 13
Lori Matsukawa, KING 5
Danny O’Neil, 710 ESPN Seattle
Mi-Ai Parrish, The Kansas City Star
The Poynter Institute
Albert Shen, Shen Consulting
Thanh Tan, Seattle Times
Doris Truong, Washington Post
Janet Tu, Seattle Times
Tiffany Wan
Brian Wong, ESPN
Sunny Wu, MSN

Donors pledged $3,460 for the #2K2WKS challenge. When he saw the pledges that came in, Frank Blethen also upped his challenge grant, which means we have raised a total of $5,860 for AAJA’s mission with this campaign.

Thank you all for your support for diversity in journalism.

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