Category Archives: Programs

Core initiatives, such as scholarships, workshops and career development

Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship Reception is June 4!

NJCThis year’s Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship reception will be from 6-8 p.m. on June 4 at KING 5 (333 Dexter Ave. N. in Seattle).

Doors open at 6 pm. Light food provided by Pho Bac and non-alcoholic drinks will be served.

The program will start just after 6:30 pm and wrap up by 8 pm.

Five aspiring college journalists will receive scholarships from the Northwest Journalists of Color, a consortium of four minority journalist groups in Washington State. The 2013 recipients include Western Washington University students: Joella Charis Ortega, Charmaine Riley, Elyse Tan, and Seattle University student, Holly Martinez. Joseph Park from Highline Community College will be awarded the Founder’s Scholarship, which covers a student registration for the 2013 AAJA National Convention in New York City.

The Seattle Association of Black Journalists (SABJ) will ask be awarding their Patricia Fisher Endowment Scholarship at the reception.

Mónica Guzmán, a digital life columnist for The Seattle Times and Northwest tech news site GeekWire, will be the keynote speaker for the evening.

This year’s sponsor is Comcast_COLOR BLK_Horizontal, who will be presenting the Comcast Multimedia Scholarship to one of the NJC winners.

In attendance will be the scholarship winners’ family and friends, as well as news executives and journalists from the local community and this year’s NJC Scholarship judges: Brent Champaco (Gig Harbor, Sonya Green (KBCS FM), Melissa Santos, (The Olympian) Christina Twu (International Examiner) and Lori Matsukawa (KING5 TV).

Come enjoy food and drink, meet this year’s Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winners and support the future generation of storytellers.

For more information and to RSVP for the event, click here.



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

Posted on by maiphoang

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:


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.


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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Bravos for Social Media Bootcamp

Tons of transformational ideas, tools and Twitter tips highlighted the AAJA Seattle Spring Training Social Media and Self-Branding Bootcamp on March 28. Sona Patel, Lauren Rabaino and Brian Rosenthal of the Seattle Times did a dynamite job dishing out info and inspiration (plus a tour of the newly consolidated Times newsroom).

The talented trio asked us to blog about our five top takeaways. My list:

Interact. Subscribe to blogs. Follow people who are doing what you want to do.  Comment on their posts. Lauren shared an anecdote from her student days how she posted on a Big-Shot Journalist’s blog and he responded, much to her delighted astonishment. It marks you as someone who contributes to the discourse and helps establish you as a credible source of information.

Use your name or a consistent alias across all platforms. To build the brand, you need a unified naming convention on Twitter, your website, Facebook, LinkedIn.

Tweet where you’re at. Beaming out that you’re at a school board meeting, tech conference (or AAJA event!) builds credibility that you’re covering what’s important, doing the footwork.

Don’t sweat the SEO. People will find you if you write well about what matters to you, said Lauren. Brilliant strategy.

Always have visuals – makes posts more shareable. To wit: Fueling up for the drive home to Bellingham, I stopped afterward at Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream for a triple hot fudge sundae (salted caramel, Scout mint and vegan coconut chunk!). Noticed they had a map showing their ingredients’ origin. Noticed their milk and cream come from the Edaleen Dairy in Lynden. Realized this would make a fun post on my Blue Ribbon blog about local food, farming and fairs. Also, realized, with regret, that a photo of the little thumbtack on “Lynden” would’ve made the post 10 times cooler. Hit home that I need to take my camera everywhere — even the malt shop.

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Self-Branding Bootcamp for students!

(Students only, but feel free to pass along the message!) If we don’t have enough student sign-ups by March 27 at 1 p.m., we will open up the event to AAJA Seattle members.

STUDENTS: Don’t miss this great opportunity from AAJA Seattle!

“Personal branding” is about more than having a matching logo on your business cards, blog and Twitter profile. It’s about having a voice that people recognize in the industry and in your own personal sphere of interest. It’s also about knowing how to promote your voice — and yourself — to the people who care. We can show you how to get started. In this AAJA Seattle crash course, join producers from The Seattle Times and other regional media outlets to learn how to start (or improve) your blog and use social media strategies — skills that you can use in your personal lives, and carry into the newsroom. Oh, did we mention we’ll have pizza?

Note: this is open to any student (not just UW).  We’ll also be answering questions about applying for the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship program. Applications for the NJC Scholarship are due April 15. We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

You MUST RSVP! You can do so here.

When: Wednesday, March 28

Where: Mt. Baker Training Room, 6th floor, Seattle Times building, 1000 Denny Way, Seattle, 98109

Time: 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Cost: FREE for students; $10 suggested donation at the door. Cash or credit card only, please.

If you’re driving you may need to pay for parking. There are SOME guest parking spots in the lot outside The Seattle Times building that are free as well as paid street parking.

Questions? Email Sona Patel at or 949-310-0336.

To renew your AAJA membership visit

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NJC 2011 Scholarship Winners Announced! Blethen honored for diversity commitment.

Posted on by Owen

Congratulations to this year’s NJC scholarship recipients!  On the 25th anniversary of the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship, AAJA Seattle was able to award nearly $5,000 in scholarships to help offset the cost of tuition, send a student to the 2011 AAJA national convention in Detroit, and help pay for off-campus multimedia storytelling courses.

(above picture, from left to right) Mary Jean Spadafora, 911 Media Arts Scholarship; Joanna Nolasco, Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship; Peter Sessum, Founder’s Scholarship; Gina Cole, NJC Scholarship. (not pictured: Katelin Chow, who won an NJC Scholarship, made a special appearance from Barcelona, Spain, via a pre-recorded webcam message)

Seattle Times Publisher and AAJA Platinum member Frank Blethen received a “leadership in diversity” award from AAJA-Seattle and the Seattle Association of Black Journalists.


Frank Blethen accepts Leadership in Diversity Award from NJC



Thanh Tan of the Texas Tribune, as keynote speaker, shared her experiences as a multimedia reporter/producer covering state politics at a non-profit journalism outlet.

The Texas Tribune is a non-profit journalism startup based in Austin that relies on diverse lines of revenue to sustain its hard-hitting reporting on state government and politics.

Here’s an excerpt from Thanh’s amazing keynote speech:

Will we succeed in our mission to be a non-profit, sustainable provider of public interest news? I don’t know. Will I still have a job in a year or two? I sure hope so. When I questioned whether I wanted to venture into the unknown, I leaned on my old Nightline executive producer, Tom Bettag, for help. Here’s what he told me, “As for the future of the Tribune and its model, I don’t think anyone knows. What we know is that it is a serious attempt to do important work. If it fails, it will be a noble failure. People will respect you for having done your best to make it work.”

If you’d told me seven years ago that I would NOT be working in television news. That instead, I’d be producing and writing for an online start-up in Austin, Texas. That I would be a multi-platform journalist– I’d have said, ‘Whatever. Yeah right.’ The bottom is I’ve worked in local TV news in small and big markets. I’ve worked in public broadcasting at a local and national level. All those experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly… led me to where I am today and make me appreciate what I have so much more. You don’t have to follow my path. Create your own future, and know that it may look nothing like what you’re envisioning right now. But the basics are the same. Just do it. Find that first break. Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed.

Keep in touch with those whose work you admire. Break a few stories. Check your facts. Seek the truth. Hold the powerful accountable. Meet your deadlines. Learn from your mistakes. Survival in this industry may well be based on your ability to adapt your stories for different mediums—so learn all you can about how print, online, and broadcast work. Try new things—but always be mindful of your mission. And know that your job allows you to wield a certain amount of power that should not be abused. Pay attention to the people around you… listen to their stories, and understand that our work as journalists often gives voice to the voiceless. That’s a huge responsibility.

Times are changing for this industry—it is a FASCINATING time to be a journalist, if you do it for the right reasons. You’ve gotten this far. I promise you that with a little help from the Northwest Journalists of Color—and all the people who are around you today– you will go on to produce work that inspires and enlightens your community.

This is just the beginning of your journey, and I am so excited for you.

Thanh Tan and her father, Duc

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