Category Archives: Uncategorized

A video from the Seattle chapter to AAJA President Paul Cheung for his 40th birthday #pcheungis40

AAJA President Paul Cheung turns 40 Sunday. We just didn’t think that a card was enough for our global-interactives-managing, Instagram-bombing, data-loving, responsive-designing AAJA president. So we did the (fake) Harlem Shake.

Akiko Oda, field editor at AOL Patch, produced this video. Starring Akiko, Lori Matsukawa, Candace Barron, Nigel Barron, Caroline Li, Samantha Pak, Thanh Tan, Wendy Tang (Hong Kong AAJA member who did a guest appearance), Danny O’Neil, Larry Blackstock, Devon Bacon, Sharon Chan and two random guys we met at the park.

To mark this milestone birthday, Paul is asking you to make a gift to the future of Asian Americans in journalism by donating to AAJA’s Power of One campaign.

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Top five reasons to register for the AAJA NY convention by 5 p.m. Tuesday

statue of liberty

I know I’m one of the faithful members who would go to an AAJA convention even if it was in Detroit. (I did, and had a ball.) But I don’t represent all of you who are choosy about how to spend your hard-earned money and time. So here are five reasons why you should register for the AAJA Convention in New York, Aug. 21-24, before early-bird rates end Tuesday, April 17. Rates are $225 for pro members, and $100 for students until end of Tuesday.

Top Five Reasons to Register Now for the AAJA Convention

  1. It’s in New York, the media capital of the world. That means you’re going to meet editors and hiring managers you will not meet at another AAJA convention because it’s in their backyard. By the way, did you know you  can upload a resume to AAJA’s online database and schedule meetings with three news companies of your choice before you even get to NY? It’s a great way to network even if you aren’t actively job searching.
  2. Programming is getting a makeover. I’ve seen a dramatic transformation in AAJA’s convention sessions over the past five years. It’s more relevant, it reflects a digital-first multiplatform mindset and it re-ignites the journalism flame within. This year that transformation is getting even more dramatic. There will be 5-minute Lightning Sessions. Attendees will vote, American Idol-style, on who will present some of the lineup. The pre-convention workshop lineup features an all-day Learn to Code workshop. Check out a sneak preview of workshop lineup:
  3. It’s going to be big. AAJA expects 850 attendees!
  4. You know you’re going to regret not going when you see the tweets, Instagram photos and Facebook updates from New York. 
  5. Did you know that the chapter that registers the largest percentage of its members will get 10 percent off convention registration for the 2014 AAJA convention? 

Register now at

AAJA Seattle is also taking applications for the Founders Scholarship, which helps a student  member go to the convention! Deadline is April 30. Apply here:

Rates will rise by $50 to $75 after Tuesday. Take the money you’ll save and come to dinner and karaoke with former AAJA VP George Kiriyama this Saturday, April 20. (Email me at if you want to join us for either or both events.)


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We’re awarding 2 UNITY registrations to AAJA Seattle members

AAJA Seattle will award two UNITY registrations — one for a professional member and one to a student member — who can demonstrate financial need. Deadline to apply is Friday, price  July 13.

Please fill out this form to be considered for one of the registrations. If you have any questions, please email or tweet @aajaseattle.

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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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What you missed at the UNITY Seattle mixer

That's U for UNITY. Top row, left to right: John Ryan, Peter Sessum, Genevieve Alvarez, Venice Buhain. Middle: Katrina Barlow, Mai Ling Slaughter, Melissa Hoyos. Bottom: Sona Patel, Lauren Rabaino, Sharon Chan.

Thank you to everyone who came to the UNITY Seattle mixer on Tuesday night! We had a crowd of about 20 journalists of all backgrounds at Lucid Lounge in the U. District: Asian American, Latina, white, gay, student, professor, digital, TV, radio, nonprofit, ex- and job-seeking journalists.

We projected the #UNITY12 Twitter stream up on a screen and UNITY and alliance presidents Joanna Hernandez, David Steinberg, Doris Truong, Rhonda LeValdo all joined us via Twitter. UNITY Programming Co-Chairs Paul Cheung and Robert Hernandez also joined in the event via Twitter.

I did a short slideshow about why you should think about coming to UNITY:

    • Thousands of journalists
    • Inspired workshops
    • Vegas

AAJA Seattle President Sona Patel announced a convention grant the chapter will award to help a laid-off journalist attend UNITY. She also highlighted the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarships, deadline April 15. This year the winner will receive a grant to attend the convention as well. Former scholarship winner Peter Sessum spoke about how the scholarships changed his life.

We raffled off two “J” pins and a $50 gift card to Lucid Lounge. Congratulations to the three winners, all students at the University of Washington. Thank you to Lucid for donating the gift card. If you haven’t been to Lucid lately, they have a new elevated stage and a great digital presentation setup (they handed me an iPad to run the slideshow).

Don’t you wish you had been there?

The early-bird registration rate for UNITY 2012 convention ends on March 16! The early bird rate is $325 for members, $150 for student members, $500 for non-members and $250 for student non-members. After March 16, rates go up $75!

Register now at

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