Tag Archives: AAJA Seattle

AAJA Seattle in 2010

Chapter President’s Report

Dear friends,

Happy holidays! As 2010 draws to a close, our chapter has many accomplishments to celebrate this year. It’s also that time of year to renew your membership and make a tax-deductible donation.

The chapter is blessed with a dedicated core of active members who see the value of this community. Our mission is to inspire the next generation of journalists, promote diversity and support media entrepreneurship. We focused our resources in 2010 on outreach, training and mentoring – and you responded.

Our membership increased from about 80 members in 2009 to more than 100 members in 2010. More students are joining our chapter, as are non-traditional journalists, such as Alex Stonehill, co-founder of the Common Language Project and our keynote speaker at our Lunar New Year Banquet & Silent Auction.

Last year’s Lunar New Year fund-raiser at Tea Palace set a new attendance record, with more than 70 attendees. The chapter board was so pleased with the turnout, we’ve decided to hold our 2011 event there on Jan. 29. Save the date!

One of our key strategies in 2010 was partnering with other organizations to broaden our reach and expand local benefits to members.

The boards of SPJ Western Washington and AAJA Seattle agreed to offer each group’s members reciprocal rates on events to increase attendance and diversity. That gave our AAJA Seattle members access to SPJ’s fall training series and freelancer’s workshop at SPJ member rates.

AAJA Seattle also signed a partnership agreement with 911 Media, a non-profit provider of multimedia training, which provided our members with discounted rates and fellowships for students and professionals. Our first recipient of the fellowship was Carina del Rosario, a freelance photographer, who applied the fellowship toward a class in audio recording.

And our chapter collaborated with other local journalism organizations to broaden our reach and relevance: We provided financial or in-kind support to three regional conferences – Journalism That Matters, SPJ Regional Conference, and the Northwest Video Workshop.

We also provided financial and in-kind support to the newly launched Sea Beez ethnic media consortium, and the William O. Douglas SPJ chapter in co-hosting a “Choppy Waters” workshop for students at Central Washington University.

Finally, we collaborated with the Seattle chapter of the National Association of Asian-American Professionals (NAAAP) on two of their events and promoted the kickoff event of the local chapter of Hacks/Hackers, a journalism innovation group.

Speaking of innovation, our AAJA Seattle chapter held our inaugural Innovation Salon at the Seattle Art Museum in May. The classy event at SAM’s TASTE restaurant offered attendees appetizers, wine and tips on Twitter. We plan to hold another Innovation Salon in 2011. Stay tuned.

Acting on another strategic priority, the chapter this year stepped up its efforts to support the next generation of journalists: We held two student pizza nights (including a multimedia journalism night at the UW), judged student work at the Washington Journalism Education Association state conference and awarded four Northwest Journalists of Color scholarships and two Founders scholarships.

Three of our scholarship winners attended the AAJA National Convention and blogged about their experiences. Read what Peter Sessum, Mary Pauline Diaz and Katelin Chow wrote.

And after returning from a fantastic AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles,  we held an end-of-summer potluck in West Seattle’s Lincoln Park.

We also elected new officers for 2011. Here are your officers for next year:

President: Sanjay Bhatt, reporter, The Seattle Times
VP, Events: Caroline Li, editor, EarthWalkers.com
VP, Programs: Owen Lei, reporter, KING 5
Treasurer: Mai Hoang, reporter, The Yakima Herald-Republic
Secretary: Venice Buhain, editor, Bellevue Patch

As you know, our National Board Representative Athima Chansanchai was elected to AAJA National Secretary to fill the remaining term of Doris Truong, who was elected AAJA National President. The chapter board is discussing its next step to fill Tima’s seat for the remainder of her term.

Speaking of national AAJA affairs, it’s been a challenging year. Fiscal crises threatened AAJA’s future, and all chapters, including ours, gave funds to stabilize the organization.

We can all be proud of our AAJA National President Sharon Chan and AAJA National Treasurer Candace Heckman for steering the national organization through the crisis and making tough decisions. Today AAJA has a strong executive director and is on steadier fiscal ground.

And in what could become an annual tradition, Sharon, Candace and Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman, who is also an AAJA Seattle member, organized an all-media Holiday Scoop party at Nectar that benefitted the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship endowment.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped support the chapter in accomplishing its goals this year. Our event chairs deserve huge kudos: Caroline Li (Lunar New Year Banquet), Nicole Tsong and Mai Hoang (student workshops), Mai Hoang and Venice Buhain (scholarship application and judging), Karen Johnson (innovation salon), and Naomi Ishisaka (scholarships reception).

Our AAJA Seattle community is strong. We can meet any challenge by working together. Our continued success rests on your support, so please renew your membership, bring a colleague to our events and tell us how you’d like to get involved!

If you’re not already, I encourage you to follow us @aajaseattle on Twitter, join our Facebook group and check us out at aajaseattle.org.

I wish you and yours a memorable holiday season and prosperity in the New Year!

In unity,

Sanjay Bhatt
President, AAJA Seattle chapter
Reporter, The Seattle Times

Sanjay Bhatt

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Welcome our new Seattle chapter officers

Our chapter is lucky to have a great team as we enter 2011. In our recent chapter officer elections, you elected a new treasurer and vice president for programs, and re-elected a vice president for events.

Caroline Li
Vice president for events
Publisher & Editor, Earthwalkers Magazine

Caroline is founder of social media travel web site Earthwalkersmag.com and its print edition, Earthwalkers Magazine. She freelances stories and has worked for TD Wang Advertising Group, a full-service marketing agency that helps companies reach the Asian-American market. You can find her on Twitter @earthwalkers.

Owen Lei
Vice president for programs
Owen Lei
Owen is a reporter for KING 5 News, which he joined in January 2009, and has more than a decade of experience in broadcast news. Prior to KING 5, Owen reported for KETV in Omaha, Neb., where he provided continuous coverage of several breaking news and weather stories, including the 2007 mass shootings in an Omaha mall and a deadly tornado that destroyed a Boy Scout camp. Owen also reported for KESQ in Palm Springs, Calif., where he covered multiple wildfires in 2005; and KTVM in Butte and Bozeman, Mont., where he wrote about anything from Iditarod sled dogs to national guard deployments to the tallest horse in the world. He participated in the 2010 AAJA Executive Leadership Program with support from the Seattle chapter. You can find him on Twitter @king5olei.

Mai Hoang Parmentier
Treasurer
Mai Hoang Parmentier

Mai has worked as a business reporter at The Yakima Herald-Republic since 2006. She co-chaired this year’s Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship and organized an SPJ-AAJA workshop for students at Central Washington University. She is also president of the SPJ William O. Douglas Pro chapter, which serves journalists in Central Washington and northeastern Oregon. You can find her on Twitter @maiphoang.

I’d also like to thank Nicole Tsong, my colleague at The Seattle Times, for her hard work and contributions these past two years as treasurer for the Seattle chapter. She’s been a key part of our success in fundraising, managing our budget and organizing great programs. Thank you, Nicole!

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Hacks/Hackers Seattle kicks off Nov. 11 with free food

AAJA Seattle members Sharon Chan and Karen Johnson are joining forces to hold a kickoff event for Hacks/Hackers Seattle on Nov. 11 at Havana in Capitol Hill.

Come out and show your support and learn about this interesting group!

There will be FREE food from Marination Mobile sponsored by Patch.com!

Hacks/Hackers is a group that was started by former AP bureau chief Burt Herman (now CEO of Storify), Aron Pilhofer of The New York Times, and Richard Gordon of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Read a piece Herman wrote about Hacks/Hackers’ origins. Gordon has written on PBS’ MediaShift blog about the first truly national gathering of Hacks/Hackers last spring in San Francisco.

Hacks/Hackers meetups have become common now at national journalism conventions, including at this year’s Investigative Reporters and Editors convention in Las Vegas. (We gathered at the hotel bar, of course.) The group has received sponsorship from the Knight Foundation’s News Challenge and has attracted journalists and technologists from all over the country. Former New York Times reporter and AAJA member Jenny 8. Lee is a key organizer for Hacks/Hackers now.

Hacks/Hackers chapters are forming one by one across the nation, and our own Sharon and Karen have taken the initiative to get the Seattle one off the ground.

Chan, who covers Microsoft for The Seattle Times (and finishing her term this year as AAJA National President), sent out this invitation:

If you’re a journalist who cares about technology and the future of media, you should come. If you’re a technologist who cares about journalism and the future of media, you should come. Journalists call themselves “hacks,” someone who can churn out words in any situation. Hackers use the digital equivalent of duct tape to whip out code. Hacker-journalists try and bridge the two worlds.

Hacks/Hackers Seattle will bring all these people together — those who are working to help people make sense of their world. It’s for hackers exploring technologies to filter and visualize information, and for journalists who use technology to find and tell stories. In the age of information overload, all their work has become even more crucial.

We aim to help members find inspiration and think in new directions, bringing together potential collaborators for projects and new ventures.

RSVP and get your free ticket at http://seattlehackshackers.eventbrite.com.

For more information about Hacks and Hackers check out http://hackshackers.com.

The event is in partnership with AAJA Seattle and the Western Washington Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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AAJA Seattle student member: AAJA Convention gave feeling of “renewed hope” in journalism

NJC Scholars with Bill Dinh

[Mary Pauline Diaz, far left, with fellow Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship winners Katelin Chow and Peter Sessum and AAJA co-founder Bill Sing during the 2010 AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles.]

Mary Pauline Diaz, a 2010 Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship winner, spent her summer writing for the Seattle Weekly. As a recipient of AAJA Seattle’s Founders Scholarship, Diaz she also was able to attend the 2010 AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles in August. As AAJA Seattle’s student members return to school, Diaz, a junior at Seattle University, shares why she returns with a renewed confidence in her career path.

It’s easy to feel daunted and overwhelmed by the changing state of the journalism, especially at this point in time. But at the AAJA National Convention, the language and the feeling definitely exuded a renewed hope. As a nervous convention first-timer and forward-minded student, it was refreshing to be around so many journalists who were  excited about the future of journalism, who had enough passion to propel themselves past hurdles or who were gearing up for the hurdles they were facing: unemployment for seasoned vets, first forays into a fickle field for students and recent grads and the utter volatility of the industry for everyone.

And that’s not the only good news. The good news (and I think this is good news) is that journalism as we know it is being turned on its head. I jotted down a few quotes from some convention workshops that totally threw me for a loop, but they indicate exactly how journalism itself is being redefined and regenerated.

Get excited. The time in front of us is the perfect time to experiment, reexamine our roles and position yourself for the upper hand in the market.

“New media, digital media, perhaps even journalism don’t really apply as terms for what I do.” – John Bracken, Director of New Media at The Knight Foundation
Let go of those traditional conceptions of your job description. Regardless of what Bracken himself does, every journalist has to face the transitioning ambiguity of what journalism is, what media is and what audiences consider their sources of information.

“Audio is really a visual medium.” – Sora Newman, Senior Trainer at NPR
Though every format and every story is unique, the richest part of a converging media market is indeed the convergence. It’s not just about the parts sitting beside each other but the way they meld and speak to each other. Newman and the others on the Audio Storytelling for Print Journalists panel challenged participants to look beyond the verbal portion of audio stories and to capture the ambient sounds and bits that paint that “picture” for the listener.

“Content is king, but collaboration is queen. If you think of a chessboard, the king is the most important, but, let’s be honest, the queen is most powerful.” – David Cohn, Spot.us
The most hopeful thing to hear over and over again at the convention was the call to collaborate, a particular theme of the hyperlocal news panel featuring Cohn. Especially as citizen journalism grows and culture’s demand for transparency and immediacy grows, the spirit of collaboration not only grows in importance but in creativity. Spot.us, for instance, uses a unique model of collaborative funding — freelancers can pitch stories, and community members can pitch in the cash.

“It’s not about what the staff is doing. It’s about what the reader is experiencing.” – Wasim Ahmad, Multimedia Journalist and Assistant Professor at Stonybrook University
So often we get caught up in what all of this change means for our jobs and our futures, but journalists should really be mindful of what the changing media landscape means for the audience — not only in how it will change the way people receive information but also the way people interact with information and what they choose to do with it.

“The business of journalism is the business of relationships.” – Raja Abdulrahim, Staff Writer at Los Angeles Times
“You’re not just a journalist. You’re a human being.” – Eiji Yamashita

I put these two together because they pull at a similar issue. So often do we, in the pressure to remain objective, lose sight of the communities and people who are affected the most. It’s not impossible to be both empathetic and fair, and perhaps empathy is intrinsic to justice. Our work as journalists are strengthened by nurturing relationships and trust with the people around us.

“This is not news in one point in time. I want to tell a story with an arc.” – Christopher Wong, Filmmaker of Whatever It Takes
Especially with tools like Twitter, there’s a lot of hype around up-to-the-minute bites (or bytes) of news, quick snippets of information. And the reality is, there’s definitely a demand for that in this fast-paced world. Yet as we reimagine different ways to make the news, we gain more opportunities to harness the power of a compelling story, something that isn’t just informative in an intellectual and utilitarian sense but something that speaks to the bigger picture.

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Missed the 2010 AAJA National Convention? Here’s a taste.

Couldn’t make it to Los Angeles to attend the AAJA Convention? Or didn’t have a chance to attend all the sessions (or all the ones you wanted to attend were at the same time)?

No problem. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can get a taste of the convention experience long after it’s over.

#AAJA Tweets — What the Hashtag has a transcript of all the tweets made during the convention.

Web tools and Social media — One of the convention highlights were several presentations from Robert Hernandez, a professor at the University of Southern California (and former senior news producer and director of development at The Seattle Times). Check out his handy site for interesting web tools as well as his Intermediate Social Media presentation (done with Justin Osofsky of the Facebook Development Network) .  And here’s a great takeaway made by Hernandez during his presentations: “You are a lazy journalist if you only use social media. You are a lazy journalist if you don’t use social media.”

Presentation bits and pieces. Sacramento-based multimedia journalist Cody Kitaura has a great post that includes a variety of audio, quotes and links from several convention presentations.

AAJA Voices. The student multi-platform project was a great success thanks to great professional mentors and top notch leadership from AAJA Seattle’s own Marian Liu. The site is chock full of video, photos and stories from the convention and around LA. Don’t know where to start? Check out this video by three-time Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winner Peter Sessum on the convention experience of AAJA Seattle student member Katelin Chow. (And it’s worth noting that Peter practices what he preaches about social media — he was among the top 10 tweeters during the convention!)

Got photos? Share and check out convention photos on the AAJA Seattle Facebook Group or on AAJA Seattle’s Flickr page. (There is also a link to the Flickr page on the right side of the webpage.)

Finally, it’s never too early to think about next year. The next AAJA National Convention will be in Detroit on Aug. 10-13, 2011. Check out the video below.

2011 AAJA National Convention Heads to Detroit from Annabelle Udo on Vimeo.

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