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How diverse are our local newsrooms?

By Audrey Carlsen

When we talk about diversity in media, buy there’s a specific question that often gets lost: Do our newsrooms actually reflect the diversity of the communities we cover?

Today, we’re asking that question of newsrooms that primarily cover the Seattle metropolitan area. We know anecdotally that the answer is no, but if we are serious about finding solutions, we need our conversations to be as informed as possible. And for that, we need hard data.

Increasing diversity in media means bringing in more voices, backgrounds, and perspectives of all types. However, given that many recent discussions of newsroom diversity?—?both on social media and in our community?—?have focused on race and gender, we chose to specifically focus on these facets of diversity in this report.

Read the full report here.

Do you have suggestions for how we can better report these numbers on a regular basis? Shoot us an e-mail using our contact information below.

This report was written by Anika Anand and Audrey Carlsen in collaboration with the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA Seattle).

Anika Anand:

Audrey Carlsen:


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AAJA Seattle board news: New VP of Programs, call for Secretary nominations

Welcome Jovelle Tamayo, VP of Programs

AAJA Seattle is happy to announce that Jovelle Tamayo has stepped up to fill our board vacancy for Vice President of Programs. The VP of Programs heads our workshops, training and other programs for members.

IMG_4416Jovelle Tamayo is an independent visual journalist who joined the AAJA Seattle community early this year. Jovelle’s photos have appeared in outlets including The Seattle Globalist, South Seattle Emerald, Seattle Weekly, BuzzFeed News, The New York Times, Esquire, The Star-Ledger, and Previously, she studied Political Science and French at Rutgers University, where she served terms as Editor-in-Chief and Photography Editor of the school’s independent daily newspaper, The Daily Targum. She also interned at Aperture Foundation and The Times Herald-Record through the Dow Jones News Fund Program.

As the new VP of Programs, Jovelle looks forward to producing professional development and engagement opportunities for AAJA Seattle and the community at-large.

Jovelle joins Chapter President Venice Buhain (The Seattle Globalist), Vice President of Events Natasha Chen (KIRO-TV), Chapter Treasurer Sarah Wallace (freelance journalist) and National Advisory Board Representative Audrey Carlsen (Seattle Times).

Call for nominations for Chapter Secretary

We have a vacancy on our board for chapter secretary, and we are calling for nominations through June 5. Being on the board is a great way to get involved in AAJA locally and nationally and to work for boosting diversity in journalism. The secretary position takes the lead on chapter communications, keeps minutes at meetings and is in charge of elections. The position will be through December 2017.

Please contact AAJA Seattle chapter president Venice Buhain at if you have any questions or if you want to nominate yourself or someone else for the secretary position.

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Congratulations to our 2016 Northwest Journalists of Color and Founders scholarship winners!

This year, AAJA Seattle received applications from many impressive high school and college students interested in the field of journalism. Of the applications, we’ve chosen four Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winners and one Founders scholarship winner.

The Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winners will each receive a $1,250 check and an assigned journalism mentor for the next school year. The Founders Scholarship winner will receive a registration and a stipend to the AAJA national convention in Las Vegas Aug. 10-13.

Join us in celebrating these students at our annual Northwest Journalists of Color reception on Thursday, June 2 at 6 p.m. RSVP here.

Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship Recipients

Ahlaam Ibraahim


Ahlaam Ibraahim is a student at Rainier Beach High School. She’s an aspiring journalist and wants to become the first ever Somali-news anchor on CNN. Ahlaam currently covers stories for KUOW/ She loves to discuss politics and religion in her free time! Also the founder of global initiative Global Islamophobia awareness day.

Mohammed Kloub


Mohammed Kloub is a junior at the University of Washington pursuing journalism and Middle East studies. He is the News Editor for The Daily of the UW and a hip-hop writer for the publication as well. Aside from his passion for hip-hop music, he is interested in stories concerning racial and social justice, equity, resistance and celebration. When he’s not writing he likes reading, cooking, and watching Game of Thrones.

Rhea Panela


Rhea Panela studies at the University of Washington, majoring in journalism with a minor in English. She is a staff reporter for The Daily of the University of Washington and was the diversity beat reporter for two consecutive quarters. Currently, she is also the digital media intern at the International Examiner. She was recently chosen as one of the Husky 100, a UW tri-campus award for students who have made the most out of their time on campus and beyond the classroom. She is from the Beacon Hill neighborhood of South Seattle.

Jasmine Pollard


Jasmine Pollard is a senior and co-editor of her student newspaper at Shorewood High School. In her free time she enjoys playing basketball and watching crime shows. This fall she will be attending the University of Washington. In the future she hopes to pursue a career in broadcast or sports journalism.

Founders Scholarship Recipient

Starla Sampaco


And this year’s Founders Scholarship goes to Starla Sampaco who is the digital projects editor at The Daily of the University of Washington, where she also produces videos for the university’s video news program. Starla is proud to be the daughter of Filipino immigrants, and her experience as a first-generation American influenced her passion for stories involving immigrants and underrepresented communities. This led her to double-major in journalism and law, societies and justice at the UW. Starla previously represented Washington state at Miss Teen USA and credits the experience for improving her interviewing and public speaking skills. As Miss Washington Teen USA 2014, she promoted a community platform titled “Diversity and Beauty Standards: Different is not defective” to initiate discussions on the lack of diverse female representation in the media.

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April 11 deadline for 2016 Northwest Journalists of Color and Founders’ scholarships

Scholarship winners and journalists at the 2015 Northwest Journalists of Color and Patricia Fisher Endowed Scholarship Reception at KIRO TV.

For nearly 30 years, the Northwest Journalists of Color have coordinated scholarships for aspiring journalists. The NJC’s members belong to the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), Seattle Association of Black Journalists Association of Seattle (SABJ), National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA). Since 1983, the NJC and AAJA have given more than $150,000 in scholarships.

You do not need to identify as a student of color to apply for this scholarship. Strong preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to the importance of diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences in newsrooms.


You are eligible to apply for NJC if you meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • You are a Washington resident
  • You are a current high school junior or senior attending high school in Washington
  • You are a current student attending a four-year college, community college or vocational college who will be attending school this fall (does not have to be a Washington state college)

What scholarship winners receive:

  • Scholarship money to students who intend to pursue careers in journalism
  • An invitation to an awards ceremony and reception in early June attended by other media professionals in the area
  • A professional journalist mentor
  • Application materials for the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship:

AAJA Seattle Founders’ Scholarship

Only AAJA Seattle Student Members are eligible. The Founders’ Scholarship was established in 2000 to honor Frank Abe, Ron Chew and Lori Matsukawa, who founded the AAJA Seattle chapter in 1985. The scholarship covers a student registration fee for 2016 National Convention. The 26th Annual AAJA National Convention will be held at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, August 10-13, 2016. A small stipend for travel and accommodations is available. At the very end of the application below, please indicate if you’d like to be considered for the Founders’ Scholarship.

How to apply for NJC and the Founders Scholarship

Make a copy of this Google doc OR this Microsoft Word document. Please send your completed application and any related materials in ONE e-mail to Anika Anand at with the subject line “NJC Scholarship.”

A completed application form
Resume (optional)
A 500-word essay
Statement of financial need
Three samples of your best journalistic work


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Venice Buhain and KJ Hiramoto elected chapter president and secretary

The election results are in, so please join us in congratulating Venice Buhain and KJ Hiramoto as our incoming president and secretary!
They both will be serving two-year terms, beginning January 2016.
Venice Buhain has been a member of AAJA Seattle since 2000. She is the news editor at The Seattle Globalist, and has worked at TVW, Patch, The Olympian, The Daily News in Longview and the Eastside Journal in Bellevue.
As chapter president, she plans to focus on bringing in new members and early career journalists, building programs that speak to the needs of mid-career journalists and finding ways to keep our chapter members engaged locally and with national programs. Venice’s past experience includes serving as the chapter’s national advisory board member this past year and chapter secretary from 2008-11 and helping to organize the 2014 and 2015 AAJA Seattle Media Access Workshops and Chef Showcases.
KJ Hiramoto is a recent addition to AAJA Seattle and recent graduate of the University of Washington. He is interested in pursuing a career in the social media side of journalism down the line and sees serving as chapter secretary and getting a chance to run the chapter’s social media pages will prove to be a invaluable experience.
Also being a young journalist, KJ said he could always use some indirect training in being a better organizer and fast-paced worker by having to juggle between  jobs, conference calls and projects being run by our chapter.
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