Tag Archives: asian american journalist association

AAJA congratulations ad to Lori Matsukawa on her induction into the Silver Circle

Screenshot 2014-05-28 07.29.17

Congratulations to KING5 anchor Lori Matsukawa, who was just inducted into the Silver Circle by the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Lori co-founded the Seattle chapter of AAJA, has mentored countless aspiring Asian American broadcast journalists and been a guardian angel of our chapter. AAJA congratulated Lori with a full-page program ad at the regional Emmy dinner on June 7.

The AAJA Seattle chapter and AAJA members around the country bought this ad together.

Congratulations Lori! You totally deserved it. (And it’s about time.)

AAJA Seattle
Debby Abe
Frank Abe
Judy Averill
Sanjay Bhatt
Frank Blethen
Ryan Blethen
David Boardman
Paula Bock
Niala Boodhoo
Venice Buhain
Brent Champaco
Sharon Chan
Shawn Chitnis
Mimi Gan
Susan Han
Chris Jose
Mimi Jung
Ken Kashiwahara
Doug Kim
Curtiss Kim
Lloyd LaCuesta
Owen Lei
Robert Mak
Assunta Ng
David Ono
Hari Sreenivasan
Janet Tu
Su Ring Vitue

AAJA Seattle also thanks TJ Mullinax, an online news producer for Good Fruit Grower in Yakima, for volunteering his time to design the ad.

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Founders Scholarship winner Sandi Halimuddin: “I finally feel empowered and ready to take the next step”



Sandi Halimuddin, left, and AAJA Seattle president Mai Hoang at the AAJA Scholarship and Awards gala, which was held during the convention.

Sandi Halimuddin, 22, graduated earlier this year from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism and international relations and previously interned at The Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly. Halimuddin was the recipient of the 2013 Founders Scholarship, which covered the cost of registration and travel for the 2013 AAJA National Convention in New York. In the coming weeks, Halimuddin will return to New York in the next month for an internship at the World Policy Journal

As part of her scholarship, Halimuddin shared her convention experience for AAJASeattle.org. 

When I first heard about the AAJA Convention in New York, I was terrified. While my mentor (former AAJA National President) Sharon Chan described the event as a fun networking and learning opportunity, the thought of shamelessly self-promoting myself in front of well-established people in the journalism industry made me nervous. As a recent grad looking for an entry-level reporting job, the career fair, workshops and networking events are excellent resources, if not a bit daunting. Luckily, AAJA Seattle chapter members gave me great advice on how to make the most out of the annual convention.

First, my mentors encouraged me to come prepared. In addition to preparing an elevator pitch, resumes, business cards and a website with clips, it’s important to do your homework on the companies at the career fair. Sharon encouraged me to do research on media companies, their notable work and current job openings. Speaking with recruiters at the career fair was easier and more meaningful when I showed knowledge of the company and asked specific questions. While working the career fair may not immediately lead to a job, I found that speaking with recruiters helped me gain a better understanding of what my goals and expectations are.

Second, my mentors recommended that I meet as many people as possible. At big events such as these it’s too easy to hide in the corner, tweeting at celebrities and friends. While I had my share of awkward moments standing in the middle of the room looking for someone to talk to, I found that reaching out to people is not as frightening as it seems. Most people at networking events are genuine, friendly and eager to speak with people who are equally as passionate about journalism. Developing connections with fellow convention attendees is a good strategy to establish your presence in the industry, find mentors and learn from people you respect. It’s also comforting to have fellow journalism friends to keep in touch with throughout and after the convention.

Finally, my mentors in the AAJA Seattle chapter insisted that I follow up with recruiters, editors and fellow journalists I met during the convention. While it might be hard to stand out in such a busy and well-attended convention, a prompt and thoughtful follow-up letter or email goes a long way. Even if there are no current job opportunities, showing initiative and establishing relationships with people in the industry can be helpful in the future.

While I was initially hesitant about attending the AAJA Convention, I’m so glad I went this year. I met a lot of wonderful, helpful people at the convention and gained more confidence navigating the professional world. I also now have a more realistic understanding of the possibilities in the journalism industry. Following the AAJA Convention, I finally feel empowered and ready to take the next step in shaping my writing career by moving to New York City this month.

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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.”

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AAJA Seattle in 2009

Chapter President’s Report

Dear members,

This has been a year of great accomplishments for our Seattle chapter in the face of the worst recession in our lifetime. It’s because of you that we continue to take a stand for diversity in journalism, nurture students and support media entrepreneurship.

As we all know, 2009 was the year of convulsions for our industry as advertisers retrenched and everyone was affected either directly or indirectly by newsroom layoffs. Hearst Corp.’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the city’s oldest newspaper, published its last print edition on March 17 and laid off most of its staffers. Despite layoffs in 2008, The Seattle Times itself was on the brink of bankruptcy, and the staff agreed to painful concessions. Local television stations imposed wage freezes and eliminated jobs as well. Freelancers had a tougher time getting paid their usual rates and finding outlets for their work.

Yes, there were challenges and setbacks, but they didn’t extinguish our spirit.

Here are some of the highlights of 2009:

  • In February, AAJA Seattle held one of its most successful Lunar New Year fundraisers ever. Karen Johnson, managing editor of Seattlemag.com, coordinated a team of volunteers who pulled off the classy event, which was emceed by Q13’s Lara Yamada. Our National Board representatives generously covered our biggest costs: Athima Chansanchai donated the cost of renting the Wing Luke Museum’s gorgeous space, while Chris Nishiwaki donated the cost of wine.
  • Our “Choppy Waters” conference in January at the University of Washington’s Haggett Hall and “Reboot Your Career” workshop in March at Microsoft were a hit with attendees. A big shout-out to the UW’s Department of Communications for making Choppy Waters possible and to freelance writer James Tabafunda for working with me on organizing the entrepreneurship-focused program. Doug Kim, managing editor for Microsoft Office Online, took the initiative to offer a resume workshop for members hunting for jobs.
  • For the first time, AAJA Seattle partnered with the Seattle Association of Black Journalists (SABJ) to develop a video to inspire the next generation of journalists of color. Amy Phan, an editor for NorthWest Cable News, and Jessica Boyd, a former Northwest Journalists of Color recipient, produced the video. Lisa Youngblood-Hall, SABJ’s president, supervised the young producers.
  • We screened the video in June at the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship reception at KING TV. The NJC scholarship program, run this year by Caroline Li, who publishes earthwalkersmag.com, awarded grants to Peter Sessum, Martha Flores Perez, Kassiopia Rodgers and Ilona Idlis.
  • At the AAJA National Convention in Boston, our Seattle chapter had a stellar turnout with 16 attendees, including Whitworth University student Yong Kyle Kim, this year’s recipient of the Founders scholarship. President Sharon Chan delivered an inspiring speech, and Marian Liu led the Voices Student Project with aplomb.
  • In another first, the Seattle chapter went to Vancouver, B.C., in September to support journalists of color there and establish ties with major media. Jennifer Chen, associate producer for CBC’s Early Edition, and Alden Habacon, manager of diversity initiatives for CBC Television, worked hard to put together a packed two-day itinerary that included newsroom tours, a panel discussion at the University of British Columbia’s Graduate Journalism School and a Lunar New Year-style dinner that brought out 60 local journalists.
  • And in November, AAJA launched the Asian American Small Market Broadcast Journalists group. Chapter member Shawn Chitnis, a reporter for KNDO TV in Yakima, is co-coordinator of the group.

These and other members of our Seattle chapter are the reason why AAJA Seattle is one of the best chapters in the country. Our members are also lucky to have an extremely dedicated board, and I want to thank this year’s officers for their service. If you’re interested in serving on our board in the future, please drop me a note.

We have reorganized and expanded our board, dropping the co-presidency and establishing two new positions – vice president for events and vice president for member programs. Many thanks to Venice Buhain, board secretary, for managing the restructure and chapter elections. Here are the chapter’s officers in 2010:

  • President: Sanjay Bhatt, reporter, The Seattle Times
  • Vice president for member programs: vacant
  • Vice president for events: Caroline Li, founder, Earthwalkers Magazine
  • Treasurer: Nicole Tsong, reporter, The Seattle Times
  • Secretary: Venice Buhain, reporter, The Olympian
  • National Advisory Board representative: Athima Chansanchai, founder/president, Tima Media

The board held a retreat recently at the home of Lori Matsukawa and Larry Blackstock and developed a roadmap for the chapter in 2010 and beyond.

As we look ahead, we will inspire the next generation of journalists, promote diversity and support media entrepreneurship. We will focus our resources on outreach, training and mentoring. We will strengthen the relationships we’ve built and develop new ones.

Next year we plan to launch a training series, hold social events with other professional groups, and sponsor pizza nights with journalism students at colleges and universities. We plan to send one, maybe even two, students to the AAJA National Convention, Aug. 4-7, in Los Angeles (and hope to see you there).

Have an idea for a chapter event? Come to a chapter business meeting! We plan to hold them every other month on the second Saturday. Subscribe to updates at www.aajaseattle.org.

There are many ways you can support AAJA: Become a member. Attend an event. Volunteer your time or expertise. Make a tax-deductible donation. This is your community.

Thank you and happy holidays!

Sanjay Bhatt
President, AAJA Seattle

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AAJA Seattle member Shawn Chitnis answers questions on Asian American Small Market Broadcast Journalists


Shawn Chitnis, co-cordinator of the Asian American Small Market Broadcast Journalists group, with Lori Matsukawa, AAJA Seattle chapter founder and KING 5 anchor, at the AAJA National Convention in Boston. (Photo submitted by Shawn Chitnis)

On Nov. 1, AAJA launched the Asian American Small Market Broadcast Journalists (AASMBJ) group. The group, which will be advised by George Kiriyama, AAJA’s vice president for broadcast and a reporter for NBC Bay Area, was created to provide support and guidance for AAJA members who are in their first job, either at a small media market or in an entry-level position at a larger media market.

AAJA Seattle member Shawn Chitnis is serving as co-coordinator for the group. Chitnis, 23, is currently a reporter for KNDO-TV in Yakima. He is a 2008 graduate of the University of Southern California and a Seattle area native. Before coming to KNDO, he spent several summers working on the assignment desk for ABC News in Los Angeles and New York.

Chitnis met with fellow Yakima reporter and AAJA Seattle member Mai Hoang recently to answer questions about the group.

Q: Why did you want to get involved?

I am in a small market, so I can certainly empathize with the struggles of being in that situation. I believe very strongly in AAJA. I’ve been a member for two years, since I was a senior in college. In the limited time I’ve been a part of it, I feel I got a lot out of it and been able to connect with amazing people. (I want to do) anything I can to give back to the organization, and this is a first step toward that.

It’s very difficult to be in a small market in general. I think those who are members of AAJA may have additional challenges because they might be from larger cities and are adjusting to a smaller town or a part of a country they’re not familiar with and, honestly, a community that isn’t as exposed to Asian Americans as where they’re from. Take my situation, for example, (moving from) Seattle to Yakima. They’re both relatively diverse areas, but understanding of Asian culture is substantially different.

Q: What are some things from your small market broadcast journalism experience that you will share with the group?

The first thing is understanding what is needed in a smaller market and what small market news directors and small market TV stations are looking for. My experience was fairly exclusive to large markets, having grown up in Seattle, going to school in LA and interning in those (larger) markets. So perhaps I wasn’t properly exposed and didn’t know what small market news looked like and what was going to be expected of me in a small market.

Feedback and guidance is very difficult to get at any stage in your career, forget about being in a small market. Once you land that job, which in itself is a difficult step, you have to make sure you have the proper network to give you the right critique so that you are advancing; that you are improving. And so whatever your next goal may be – it might be staying in that small market and taking on a larger responsibility or it might be moving to a larger market – you need to have someone or a group of people who can help you do that.

Q: Tell me about your duties as the group’s co-coordinator.

Both Maria (Hechanova, a reporter and producer for KYMA in Yuma, Ariz.) and I, the two co-coordinators, have been tasked to lead the organization. We’re figuring out our social media presence. We’re trying to figure out how to have a show at AAJA-LA in 2010 and we are really working with our peers to figure out what is needed to make AASMBJ a success.

What’s neat about our situation is that I’m a year in working for a small market and Maria is a few weeks, maybe a month, into it. We’re people who can actively benefit from AASMBJ. We’re all going to be learning from each other and seeking each others help.

Q: How will AASMBJ integrate into the main AAJA group?

First of all, we’re a sub-group of AAJA and AAJA is what makes this organization alive. Our advisor is AAJA’s vice president for broadcast. Our associate advisors are active in AAJA and are in mid- to large-size markets so AAJA surrounds us and everything we do will be an extension of AAJA.

We’re working to figure out how we’re going to have a presence at the (AAJA National) Convention in 2010. Maybe it will be a mixer, maybe it will be a panel.

We have folks in small markets throughout the country. When we all come together for our convention, we want people to know that there is a place you can go during that time to connect with those who are going through the same things.

Q: How do you join the group?

We have a created a Facebook group (it can be found by searching for AASMBJ on the social networking site), which is going to be the core of AASMBJ. That is where we will do our primary order of business – putting out information, offering job postings, offering feedback and helping other members of AASMBJ connect with their peers. We’re also on Twitter right now. Twitter will keep you up-to-date and keep you in the loop, but we’ll push you to Facebook.

If you really want to be involved in AASMBJ, you have to be an active AAJA member, so you can join the Facebook group. And from there, we’ll do everything we can help connect people, create feedback, create forums and create a sense of community.

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