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The well-known and well-regarded Investigative Reporters (IRE) and Editors are great friends of AAJA. In fact, thanks to a recent partnership, IRE and AAJA members were able to attend each others’ conferences in 2014 at member rates!
So it’s a pleasure for our chapter to support a new Seattle-area branch of the investigative reporting organization.
The new branch will have its first mixer on Jan. 21 at The Diller Room, 1224 First Ave., Seattle. Besides mingling with journalists and learning more about IRE, attendees will also get to drink a special mixed beverage for the event, The Watchdog.
For more details and to get further updates, go to the group’s page.
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, investigative journalism
, Investigative Reporters and Editors
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Trennesia Jackson, right, with Hillary Manalac, a student at San Diego State University, during the AAJA National Convention
Trennesia Jackson, a senior at the University of Washington, has been busy working the convention circuit this summer. Last month, she attended the 2014 AAJA National Convention as a recipient of AAJA Seattle’s Founders’ Scholarship.
While at the AAJA National Convention you will meet tons of new people, make connections and make many new friends.
One of the biggest lessons I learned while at the conference is that you never know who you will sit by. While in these 50-minute to day-long workshops, you can meet some amazing people that you never would have met outside of AAJA.
While sitting in one of the pre-convention workshop, I met a producer who works on videography for the Washington Post. We started talking about what she does, how she likes her job and eventually about the software she uses. Surprisingly, she uses the exact software I use at the University of Washington: Final Cut.
Now to those of you who are videographers, this discovery may seem trivial, but to a reporter who has been doing a lot of videography work, knowing that the software you use at your college or university is being used by established media outlets is exciting.
After talking with her, exchanging business cards and following each other on Twitter, I realized that this is probably going to happen a lot while I was there. Sure enough, I was right.
My mentor Lori Matsukawa (AAJA Seattle co-founder and anchor at KING 5) told me that while at the convention I should talk to as many people as I can and make friends.
At one event, I was walking around the ballroom trying to find people I knew, which were only a handful. After a while, I just starting talking to people.
One of those people I will never forget, because now she’s now a friend.
“I’m here. You’re here. Hey, I’m Tre.”
Those were the first few words I said when I met Hillary Manalac, who like me, was a student interested in being an on-air television reporter.
Wherever I went, I made sure to ask her if she was going so I wouldn’t be by myself. Over workshops and different mixers I learned a lot about her and what she wanted to do. We had a lot in common.
Another thing I learned at convention is that you should always surround yourself by people who are in the specific field you want to go into. They have a lot of insight and give great advice and feedback.
Everywhere I went, I surrounded myself with people in television: reporters, directors, or producers. I sat by people Lori introduced to me, people I had just met and with their friends. Looking back, that was probably the best thing I could have done for myself.
I learned a lot of valuable information. I bounced ideas off them and asked this question:“I want to end up here, what’s the best way you think I can end up there?”
While I talked to reporter about how I’d love to be a reporter in San Francisco or Sacramento one day, he told me I had to meet his friend. A few hours later, he introduced me to a Christopher Nguyen; a journalist in Sacramento who also graduated from my school, the University of Washington.
He told me where my best bets were if I really wanted to end up being a reporter in Sacramento or San Francisco. He was very kind, funny and blunt, just like all the other reporters I met.
After talking with him for a while, he had to leave. So I scooted over closer to where everybody else was sitting and I began to speak with a woman.
I found out her husband was a news director at a station in Green Bay and his station has hired a few people out college. I told her while at the convention it’d definitely be nice to meet him.
She then turned around and started talking to the man behind her. He looked at me and smiled, “Hey, I’m Matt. I’m a news director up in Green Bay. So what is it that you want to do? Do you have a video reel I could look at?”
It are connections like these that help you get to where you want to be and make lifelong friends.
If it wasn’t for me moving down to eat my brownie cake and ice cream next to everybody, I would have never met Matt Kummer or his wife. If It weren’t for me sitting in the second row of the pre-convention workshop, I would have never met Casey Capachi, producer at PostTV. And If it weren’t for me breaking out of my comfort zone and just saying hi to Hillary, I would have never made a new friend or met other amazing people like her.
So when you are at convention, go to workshops, network, find people you know or just sit with people you don’t know and introduce yourself.
Because you never know who you’re sitting by.
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, AAJA Seattle
, Founders' Scholarship
, national convention
, Trennesia Jackson
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Nicole Gaddie (far right), a recent graduate of Seattle University, with Yazhou Sun, a recent graduate of Boston University, left, and KJ Hiramoto, a student at the University of Washington, at the AAJA National Convention in Washington D.C. earlier this month
Nicole Gaddie, a recent graduate of Seattle University and a AAJA Seattle student member, attended the AAJA National Convention in Washington D.C. earlier this month. She is a recipient of the Founders Scholarship, which provided registration and a travel stipend. She shares her convention experience in this post.
It’s hard to explain the importance of face-to-face interaction. Some call it networking. I call it building relationships.
That is exactly what happened at the AAJA National Convention in Washington D.C. I formed relationships with people I never guessed I would meet.
We spoke about the industry, how they rose to their current jobs and what motivates them to continue in their profession. The entire week was exhausting, but also rejuvenating.
As a recent graduate, my days were primarily spent at the job fair where a multitude of prestigious companies were represented. ESPN, NBC, FOX, Gannett, Reuters, Bloomberg, WSJ and Sinclair were just some of the big name media companies with booths.
When I wasn’t speaking with recruiters I attended convention-hosted workshops. Topics ranged from vocal training to media diversity advocacy. One of my favorite workshops was focused on data visualization. It took place at NPR’s headquarters (a place I had always dreamed of visiting) and after the session I was able to tour NPR’s facilities.
I won’t say that I landed a job at the convention, but I did make an enormous amount of connections and friends that I know will benefit my future career.
One of my favorite memories took place in the lobby of our hotel, where I stayed up until 5 a.m. with ABC7 Eyewitness News anchor David Ono, MSNBC news anchor Richard Lui and Comcast Sportsnet editor Cameron Kim talking about the future of journalism.
Overall, it was a great experience that I will never forget. I would like to give a big shout out to my AAJA Seattle family who prepped me for convention. I couldn’t have taken advantage of all the opportunities without help from friends like Sharon Chan, Lori Matsukawa, Chris Casquejo, Peter Sessum, Mai Hoang and many more.
To all those thinking about attending convention next year, do it. It is one of the best decisions I’ve made for my professional career.
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, AAJA Seattle
, Founders' Scholarship
, Nicole Gaddie
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Want to work next summer at The Seattle Times or The Boston Globe?
Nov. 1 is the deadline!
The Seattle Times offers paid summer internships in reporting, copy editing, photojournalism, design and multimedia to outstanding students pursuing a career in journalism. For 10 weeks, interns work on varied assignments. They attend weekly training sessions given by members of a Pulitzer-Prize winning staff. Interns receive a skill-development plan and a staff mentor to support them in achieving it.
Internships are open to sophomores, juniors, seniors or graduate students attending a four-year college or university. Applicants must have a demonstrated commitment to print and online journalism. At least one previous internship at a daily news organization is preferred, and multimedia experience is a plus.
Go to The Seattle Times website for instructions on how to apply.
The Boston Globe gives 10 interns the opportunity to work as reporters, as well as photographer, designer or copy editor.
The 12-week program places reporter-interns in our Metro, Business, Living/Arts, and Sports departments; the photo intern shoots stills and video for all sections, the design intern creates sections fronts and information graphics for print and online, and the copy editing intern works on local, national, foreign and business copy.
The Globe provides guidance and direction, as well as a writing coach dedicated to the interns. Globe interns produce every day and finely polish their journalism skills over the summer.
To apply go to The Boston Globe’s website.
EDIT: In addition, the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund also has a Nov. 1 deadline for its internship program. The program offers internships in copy editing and business reporting. Along with a 10-week paid internship at media outlets around the country, Dow Jones Newspaper Fund participants also receive pre-internship training and a $1,000 scholarship.
The program is open to juniors, seniors and graduate students.
For more information and tips on applying go here.
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Peter Sessum’s mug shot for AAJA Voices
This post was written by Peter Sessum, an AAJA Seattle student member. Sessum recently was one of 20 students to participate in AAJA Voices. He received training and mentoring on a variety of media platforms to cover the AAJA National Convention, which was held last month in Los Angeles. Sessum, a three-time recipient of the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship, last wrote about the chapter’s recent innovation salon on Twitter for the AAJA Seattle website.
I have benefited from AAJA more than anyone else I know. Workshops, scholarships and of course the mentorships. There is one thing that wraps it all up in one neat little package: The AAJA Voices Convention News Project (CNP). For a week in Los Angeles, students benefited from everything AAJA has to offer. I was lucky enough to be one of them.
If the convention is a sprint for most convention goers, for the Voices staff, it is a marathon that started long before registration.Twenty students were selected to be part of CNP. Once selected, we got to work. There were webinars that needed to be completed and story assignment ideas. We were paired with a professional mentor. Mine was William Wan from the Washington Post. I couldn’t have asked for one better.
By the time I arrived in LA, I already had one story in the can. I had written my column about how I came to be a journalist. After that, I just needed two more in two different media. This is what separated the journalists from the writers. You have to do research to know what story ideas to pitch. There were still a lot of unknowns heading to the airport, but excitement was high.
There is a saying among Navy SEALs, â€œThe only easy day was yesterday.â€ For the convention, the only easy day was Monday. After all the students trickled in, introductions were made and we headed out to dinner. It would be the last time everyone would eat together outside the newsroom until after the convention.
Voices Director Marian Liu quickly laid down the law. Three students failed to complete the assigned tasks prior to the convention and were told not to come. From the start, Liu kept the group on task. Every day was full. If we weren’t working on a story, there were tours, guest speakers or some form of training or networking. One day was spent at The Los Angeles Times.
With so many moving parts I have no idea how Liu kept it all straight. It was more coordinated than most military operations. Nothing got past our leader. As soon as a student would finish a task, Liu would be calling their name with something new to do.
When the convention started on Wednesday I felt like I was in the eye of the storm. Despite furiously working against an ever impending deadline, tweeting updates for AAJA and Voices and trying to work on future stories, I felt calm. For me, it was not my most stressful newsroom.
The days were filled. Something was scheduled just about every minute. Fortunately, one of my stories was about Katelin Chow, an AAJA Seattle student member, NJC scholarship recipient and a first-time convention goer. Following her got me out of the newsroom and into a couple workshops.
When recruiters talk about elevator speeches, they mean it literally. When heading to my next event, I found myself in an elevator with a person from USA Today. I had missed her at the job fair. In the six-floor ride down, I was able to give her my pitch and we exchanged cards.
I was one of the lucky few who not only got out of the newsroom, but also had some time at night to get some downtime. I was able to spend time with members of AAJA Seattle. And I even found time to make some new friends. My roommate, however, was working far into the night.
National conventions are an Olympics of a conference. While most spring from event to event, the members of the voices project run a week long marathon. By the end of it, I was running like a well-oiled machine. One being operated by a rabid, schizophrenic badger.
Despite all the hard work, the Voices project was one of the most rewarding weeks of my life. I left feeling prepared for next year when I graduate and will be looking for a job. I also picked up some skills to make me a better journalist. As a side bonus, I had some fun.
I would encourage anyone to get involved with the program. Professionals will be able to mentor the next generation of journalists â€” some of who are really impressive. For students, the CNP is a great experience. They select the best AAJA has to offer, but only the best of those who apply.
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, AAJA Voices
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