Tag Archives: AAJA Seattle

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!

Posted in Convention, Fellowships, Members, News, Programs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Three AAJA Seattle members to participate in the 2013 Executive Leadership Program

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.

Posted in Members, Multimedia, Programs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bravos for Social Media Bootcamp

TV anchor tunes into Spam, the First Amendment and what you can learn at a beauty pageant


Rain gear comes in handy for Lori Matsukawa's job as a Seattle news anchor.

Name: Lori Matsukawa
Lives in: Bellevue, Wash.
Born: Honolulu, Hawaii
Education: B.A. from Stanford University, master’s degree from University of Washington
Work: news anchor, KING-TV, Seattle
Formerly: Anchor/reporter at KOMO-TV, Seattle; KPIX-TV, Portland, Ore.; KRCR-TV, Redding, Calif.; college intern, Honolulu Advertiser.
AAJA member since: 1983. Co-founded Seattle Chapter in 1985.
Must-reads: Wall Street Journal, Seattle Times. Often checks out TIME Magazine, Honolulu Magazine, Twitter, Facebook.
Print or online news? Both.
Go-to website: KING5.com
Best journalism moment: Documenting Gov. Gary Locke’s first trip to China in 1997.
Worst journalism moment: “When my photographer was arrested at Pearl Harbor covering the 50th anniversary.”
Twitter handle: @LoriMatsukawa
Languages: English and “tourist” French. “I can order a beer in Japanese.”
Can’t put down: “The Hunger Games” trilogy.
Favorite Seattle restaurants: Tie: Kaname and Wann Izakaya.
Must-see TV: “60 Minutes”
Fave flick: Tie: “Gone With the Wind” and “The Terminator”
Heaven on a plate: Spam musubi.
Top toy: “My golf clubs.”
You might not know: “I decided to study journalism during my year as Miss Teenage America 1974. I was always being interviewed by reporters and decided this was the job for me: getting paid to talk to people!”
Main motivation: “Journalism is the first draft of history. It’s the only job that’s protected by the First Amendment, so we’d better take it seriously.”

Posted in Members | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on TV anchor tunes into Spam, the First Amendment and what you can learn at a beauty pageant

AAJA Seattle in 2011

Chapter President’s Report
Dear friends,

Your AAJA Seattle chapter ends 2011 with noteworthy accomplishments, a strong community presence and new leaders.

Just this year, AAJA Seattle played an important leadership role in calling for the release of detained Al Jazeera reporter Dorothy Parvaz, a former AAJA Seattle member. The chapter also hosted a memorable Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship reception emceed by AAJA Seattle VP Owen Lei, with great support from KING TV, Safeco Foundation and The Seattle Times.

Former NJC scholarship recipient Thanh Tan, a multimedia reporter for The Texas Tribune, delivered the keynote speech to this year’s scholarship recipients. If you want to be inspired, watch her outstanding speech:

Our chapter and the Seattle Association of Black Journalists presented a leadership plaque to Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen for his consistent support of diversity nationally and locally. And we cut a red velvet cake to mark the 25th anniversary of the NJC scholarship, which has helped more than 100 aspiring journalists of color from Washington state with college expenses.

Chapter VP Owen Lei also brought together our board and other active members for a video shoot at Seattle Center. The video was incorporated in the LA chapter’s AAJA Trivia Bowl video.

The Seattle chapter had an impressive showing at the AAJA National Convention in Detroit. Three of our members – Caroline Li, Sarah Wallace, and Sunny Wu – were awarded Ford Foundation fellowships to attend the conference. The chapter also sponsored University of Washington student Peter Sessum with a Founders scholarship. Whitworth University graduate Kyle Kim joined the team at this year’s VOICES convention newsroom project, which was led by the able Marian Liu (now community manager at Storify.com). Athima Chansanchai represented the Seattle chapter on the convention programming committee co-chair and on the Governing Board as National Secretary.

Former AAJA National President Sharon Chan received the Outstanding Leadership Award from AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program. Yours truly was humbled to receive the Chapter President of the Year award and the Gannett Foundation’s Digital Innovation in Watchdog Journalism award. Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen received the AAJA Special Recognition Award. Congratulations to all!

We have some fantastic talent leading the chapter in 2012:

  • President: Sona Patel, social media producer, seattletimes.com (term expires in 2013)
    VP-Programs: Lauren Rabaino, associate web producer, seattletimes.com (term expires in 2013)
    VP-Events: Caroline Li, web entrepreneur (term expires in 2012)
    Treasurer: Mai Hoang, business reporter, The Yakima Herald-Republic (term expires in 2012)
    Secretary: Samantha Pak, reporter, The Redmond Reporter (term expires in 2013)
    National Board Representative: Sanjay Bhatt, business reporter, The Seattle Times (term expires in 2013)
  • The new board already has stepped up to the plate, and it’s not even Jan. 1! Sona Patel helped organize Holiday Scoop 2011, an unaffiliated event, with AAJA members Sharon Chan and Candace Heckman and Online News Association member Tiffany Campbell. The event raised $2,000 for the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship!

    The new board has begun planning for our 2012 Lunar New Year Banquet & Silent Auction, which will be held Jan. 28 at Acquabar in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood.

    You may have noticed that AAJA Seattle’s website has a new look and feel. The site has served mainly as a bulletin board for chapter news and job listings as well as an archive of photos, videos and stories about past chapter events. Thanks to incoming chapter VP Lauren Rabaino, as well as AAJA members Sarah Wallace, Furhana Afrid and Sunny Wu, the site now is integrated with our @aajaseattle Twitter account and designed to offer a better user experience and engagement. If you’d like to contribute stories to the site, please contact Lauren, whose Twitter handle is @laurenrabaino.

    As we close out 2011, you still have a few days to make a tax-deductible donation to AAJA! You can make an online donation to AAJA National’s Power of One campaign or its scholarships. The Seattle chapter also welcomes donations by check to its P.O. Box. The chapter will have a PayPal option in 2012.

    Don’t forget to renew your AAJA membership! I encourage you to renew at the Gold or Platinum level, each of which include perks and special mention on the chapter and national websites. Platinum level membership includes your registration fee for UNITY 2012 in Las Vegas!

    For the past four years, I have been honored to serve the chapter during a period of turbulence for our employers and our occupation. Working together, we finished the campaign to establish a $100,000 endowment for the NJC scholarships, grew membership despite the closure of The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and increased our reach through workshops, partnerships, field trips and digital media.

    We are blessed in Seattle with a cadre of leaders who have an ethic of giving and paying it forward. I’d like to thank several people who supported me in ways large and small during my term: my fellow board members Nicole Tsong, Mai Hoang, Athima Chansanchai, Venice Buhain, Caroline Li, Owen Lei; AAJA Executive Director Kathy Chow; Karen Johnson of Hacks & Hackers; former AAJA chapter officers Sharon Chan and Lori Matsukawa; and the leadership of The Seattle Times, especially Publisher Frank Blethen, Executive Editor David Boardman and former Executive Editor Mike Fancher.

    Being a journalist today is more challenging and entrepreneurial than ever before. Journalists must sharpen their skills, cultivate their network and have a community to stand behind them. You and your fellow members are AAJA. Together, we are charting a new course for journalism in the 21st century.

    Happy New Year!

    Sanjay Bhatt
    Seattle Chapter President

    Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Comments Off on AAJA Seattle in 2011

    What’s in Your Backpack, Journalist?

    If you’ve been looking for your next journalism position then you know your journey has probably been painfully bumpy against the backdrop of the lingering recession, newsroom cut backs, leaner paychecks, scarcity of jobs and scores of unemployed journalists eager to get back to another newsroom. Many others have even jumped the journalism ship in search of other opportunities.

    Want a journalism job? Carry more tools to get hired, survive and thrive in the news industry. (Photo by Furhana Afrid)

    You may have invested the last few months or years doing everything you could possibly do to help secure that next job. You’ve sent out hundreds of resumes tapes, relentlessly telephoned news directors to tell them why you are the “One,” hit the journalism conventions running and networked until you are blue in your face. You tweet and follow the who’s who on social media, and perhaps you accomplished all that on a very tight budget. It’s no wonder that your backpack feels heavier with discouragement and doubt about your future in journalism.

    You thought you paid your dues by busting your rear end when you were trying to break into the journalism industry and then working yourself to the bone at your first or next job. Now it seems you are back to ground zero. Not really. You are a backpack journalist! (also known as a video, multimedia, multiplatform, digital or one-man/woman band journalist). You are accustomed to producing several stories a day under deadline. The tools in your backpack and your story-telling skills make it all happen. And with so much versatility at your fingertips you can do it all over again even if you are not working in a newsroom right now.

    So journalist what’s in your backpack that can turn that long or short spell of unemployment or underemployment into an opportunity to innovate, explore and keep your skills sharp?

    Three Tips to Strengthen Your Job Search Backpack:

    Create Web Footprint: Employers are looking for creative self-starters. Your website is your broadcasting channel to showcase your multimedia skills. It’s your story-telling portfolio for video/online/audio stories, photographs and news writing. Many journalists are using WordPress.com or WordPress.org to create their sites and tell their stories. The good news…website design credentials are not required to own your own piece of real estate on the internet. You can also use other website developers like Tumblr, Drupal or Joomla. Plus free online tutorials will show you what to do. I’ve been using a WordPress tutorial from the Knight Digital Media Center. It’s an easy to follow, step-by-step approach. Try it.

    Practice Super Story-telling: Jobs will come and go. So will tools. But your story-telling skills will be yours to keep and nurture. NBC multimedia journalist Thanh Truong told me at a recent AAJA convention that many journalists can shoot video, edit and deliver the news. But it’s how well you capture the essence of a story that differentiates one storyteller from another. As a master story-teller your chances of hitting a home run to your next journalism position improve significantly. So put your video gear to work. Check out Poynter’s News University online courses. These courses are affordable, sometimes free and will really help you craft compelling visual stories.

    Nurture Strong Relationships: The journalism industry continues to shed jobs. CNN is reportedly one of the latest casualties with some fifty out the door. You know that you are not the only one. But when times are tough it is easy to spiral down into the abyss of pessimism, low self-esteem and isolation. So don’t turn into an island. Reach out to your trusted family, friends and peers. They will help you weather the storm and encourage you to stay afloat. Stay active in your community. Start groups with like-minded people. Volunteer your skills for a worthy cause. You have the ability to help change lives and your circumstances.

    So journalist what else is in your backpack?

    Furhana Afrid is a backpack journalist and social media manager.

    Posted in Convention, Multimedia, News | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on What’s in Your Backpack, Journalist?
    ← Older posts Newer posts →