In 2015, AAJA Seattle has reached 30 years as a chapter. Over the last three decades, AAJA Seattle has organized dozens of programs and provided dozens of scholarships toward fulfilling the organization’s three-prong mission of increasing Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists and news managers, ensuring fair coverage of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and encouraging young AAPIs to enter the industry.
AAJA Seattle has planned a number of events and other features to celebrate this special milestone.
The celebration starts now with AAJA Seattle’s 30th Anniversary video series. Every month during the remainder of this year, the chapter will post video interviews with key members of the chapter.
For the first segment, Natasha Chen, AAJA Seattle vice president of events and KIRO 7 reporter, interview chapter co-founder and KING 5 anchor Lori Matsukawa. Lori talks about the early meetings of the chapter, how the chapter impacted the local journalism industry and the formation of the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship.
AAJA Seattle hit the road in March and April for a series of student pizza nights. The chapter held the events as part of its efforts efforts to promote the Northwest Journalist of Color and Founders scholarship programs.
Applications for this year’s scholarships is on Sunday, May 3. Apply today!
During the event, which was organized by chapter board members, students learned about the scholarship program, got tips from scholarship alumni and, of course, enjoyed some hot pizza!
Here are a few highlights from each of our student pizza nights.
Mountlake Terrace High School
Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship alumnus Peter Sessum chats with students at at the AAJA Seattle pizza night at Mountlake Terrace High School.
AAJA Seattle secretary Samantha Pak organized a pizza night at Mountlake Terrace High School, where she is an alumna and also serves as a co-adviser for the school newspaper, on March 24. Students met with with Kat Chow, a 2010 and 2010 Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winner who now works for National Public Radio in Washington D.C, over a Google Hangout. For some of the students, it was a reunion as she met with several of them during a national high student journalism conference in Washington D.C. late last year. Peter Sessum, a four-time scholarship winner, attended the event, sharing his experiences in both journalism and the military and providing plenty of advice.
University of Washington
University of Washington students getting information about scholarships from AAJA Seattle and the Western Washington SPJ Pro Chapter.
AAJA Seattle — with the lead of National Board representative Venice Buhain — co-hosted a scholarship pizza party with UW’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists on March 30 to talk about scholarships from both organizations. It was a great opportunity to talk about the different scholarships and to offer tips and advice on students’ applications.
Poster promoting Western Washington University pizza night.
Western Washington University
Sarah Wallace, AAJA Seattle treasurer and Bellingham-based freelance writer and instructor, organized the April 13 pizza night at WesternWashington University. Students and journalism faculty heard from Carol Kaesuk Yoon, a New York Times science writer, and Rhys Logan, a Native American Western Washington University journalism school graduate who now works in social media for the university. Sarah led a Google Hangout with former NJC scholarship recipient Peter Sessum, who is now of the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs. Sarah also showed links to work by former NJC scholarship recipient Gina Cole of the Seattle Times (and a Western Washington University graduate).
Sarah also recalled her first day on the job at a major metropolitan newspaper back in the 1990s. She recalled how a group of photographers covering a local convention of Asian businesspeople made fun and mocked their accents throughout the day. When Sarah approached an editor at the end of her shift, the editor scoffed at her concerns. The next day, he thought better and emailed that he was utterly wrong and apologized.
Central Washington University
2014 Northwest Journalist of Color winner Bailey Williams and AAJA Seattle president Mai Hoang.
Chapter president Mai Hoang visited Central Washington University on April 23 for pizza and a session on internships. The event included a Q&A with 2014 Northwest Journalists of Scholarship winner Bailey Williams, who is studying broadcast journalism at the university in Ellensburg, Wash. Scholarship alumni Gina Cole (2011), Kat Chow (2010 and 2011) and Julia Martinez (2014) also helped Mai with her scholarship and internship presentation.
Thank you to all students who were able to join us for this year’s student pizza nights! In the meanwhile, if you are a student (or a student advisor) please fill out the form below to give us feedback on what you would like to see in future student journalism programming.
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Travis Quezon and Natasha Chen talk to attendees at the 2014 AAJA Seattle Media Access Workshop – Speed Networking. (Photo by AAJA National)
For the second year in a row, AAJA Seattle is offering a Media Access Workshop for nonprofits! Sign up for this free speed networking event with local media professionals. Meet one-on-one with local journalists and media professionals to get advice on how to pitch your stories to news organizations, and how to handle reporters when they come calling.
The event is at The Seattle Times from 9-11:30 a.m. Sunday April 26.
This short workshop will start off with a presentation on best practices for writing press releases and contacting the media. Then, you’ll get a chance to meet one-on-one with a local media professional to ask for advice and get tips on your elevator speech.
So, come with your business cards and your elevator pitch, and be ready to mingle.
Media professionals include:
Janet Tu, reporter, Seattle Times Natasha Chen, reporter, KIRO 7 News Linzi Sheldon, reporter, KIRO 7 News Ethan Chung, editor, 425 Magazine Chris Casquejo, reporter, China Central Television Travis Quezon, editor-in-chief, International Examiner Christina Twu, editor, The Seattle Globalist Mai Hoang, reporter, Yakima Herald Republic Joaquin Uy, communications specialist, Washington Low Income Housing Alliance
Many thanks to The Seattle Times for co-sponsoring the event.
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“Cambodian Son” documents the life of deported poet, Kosal Khiev after receiving the most important performance invitation of his career—to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Kosal would travel to London having only taken two flights prior: first, as a 1-year-old refugee child whose family fled Cambodia and then as a 32-year-old criminal “alien” forcibly returned to Cambodia in 2011. Armed only with memorized verses, he must face the challenges of being a deportee while navigating his new fame as Phnom Penh’s premiere poet.
The event will be from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24 at MTHS (21801 44th Ave. W. in Mountlake Terrace), in room 130.
We will be providing information about the NJC Scholarship, which is open to high school seniors in Washington as well as college students who are Washington residents or enrolled in a college or university in Washington and pursuing journalism.
AAJA Seattle administers the scholarship and we are currently accepting applications through May 3. I have attached a PDF of the application, but an online version is also available on our chapter website at www.aajaseattle.org/scholarships(online applications are preferred).