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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
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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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, Founders' Scholarship
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, 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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AAJA Seattle is teaming up with the University of Washington Communication Leadership program, the Seattle Times and the SPJ Western Washington to host a Social Media One-Night Stand with Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University’s chief digital officer and CNET News blogger.
The event will be held March 18 at 6 p.m. at The Seattle Times. Tickets are $10. Get them before they’re gone!
We’re excited to help bring this event to Seattle.
Topics Sreenivasan will be discussing include:
- How to deepen your connection with your audience via social media
- New tools you must absolutely know and use
- How to build your personal brand
- How to find, on deadline, specific types of people you need for work
- The best ways to increase your followers, fans, and connections
- How to get the “right” followers, fans, and connections
- Metrics: why you need to understand them and how you can do just that
- Sustainable social media — how to keep from drowning in information and make time to participate efficiently
Sreenivasan has given version of this talk to CNN, NBC, ABC, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Boston Globe, Washington Post, NPR, Mediabistro and others.
He is one of AdAge’s 25 media people to follow on Twitter and one of Poynter’s 35 most influential people in social media. For more on Sreenivasan, click here.
ALL THIS AND LIGHT REFRESHMENTS FOR JUST $10!
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW
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, digital media
, Sree Sreenivasan
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AAJA Seattle student member Katelin Chow with AAJA Seattle founder Lori Matsukawa at the 2010 AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles
The following post was written by Katelin Chow. Katelin will be a junior at the University of Washington this fall. A 2010 recipient of the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship, Katelin also earned the Founders’ Scholarship, which provided funding for her to attend the 2010 National Convention of AAJA in Los Angeles.
As the airplane carried me from Seattle to Los Angeles for my first AAJA convention, I could feel the strangest sensation bubbling in my stomach. And it wasnâ€™t from the can of ginger ale that I had knocked back. I was getting nervous about the convention. I thought that because I was a student, I might not have much to contribute to the AAJA conversation. Luckily, I was wrong. These eight tips helped me walk away from the convention feeling more excited about my future with journalism than I had ever felt.
- Always have business cards and resumes on hand at a conference. Be sure to have your â€œresumeâ€ site finished, as well. If youâ€™re a multimedia journalist, have a demo-reel edited and accessible online. When I was walking through the career fair, I was shocked at how many cards I was handing out. As Mai Hoang tweeted, â€œA good sign you met lots of great people atÂ #aaja? You need to reorder your biz cards. I have 12 left.â€
- When networking, be natural. The point of networking is to form lasting relationshipsâ€”not to collect or give as many business cards as possible. Itâ€™s important to understand that almost everybody feels nervous and a little bit awkward when networking, so smile, breathe and let your passion for journalism shine through.
- Always ask questions. Youâ€™re a journalist, right? So you might as well let your inquisitive nature take over you at conferences. Asking questions helps show youâ€™re interested, that you care and well, that youâ€™re articulate.
- Use social media. Everybody wants to stay connected, so stay in the loop by keeping up with your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and FourSquare accounts. All these networks might seem intimidating and overwhelming at first, but no fear. Even the least technology-inclined (yours truly) are able to spring into action when it comes to social media. Plus, I learned that journalists can use social media to brainstorm and execute stories.
- Repetition. If youâ€™ve found a producer, editor or human resources generalist who youâ€™ve bonded with (at the career fair or around the conference), donâ€™t be afraid to say hi to them again. Repetition builds recognition, which leads to them remembering your face. So that after the conference, when you follow up with all the people who were gracious enough to speak with you, youâ€™re not just another e-mail that floods their already-crammed Inbox.
- Follow up within three days. Donâ€™t be a slow-poke when it comes to writing thank-you e-mails (or letters)! My mentor, Owen Lei, insisted I send my e-mails out within three days, otherwise anyone who I had spoken with might not remember me. Which brings me to the next pointâ€¦
- Find good mentors, and donâ€™t be afraid to seek advice from them. Journalism is a scary business, so itâ€™s important to have people who you can trust to give you solid advice. Youâ€™re not limited to having just one mentorâ€”the more perspectives on your career, the better.
- Donâ€™t forget about meeting other students. Itâ€™s easy to feel overwhelmed by the hoards of adults you meet, so make sure you also hang out with students, too. While youâ€™re most likely at the convention to learn more about the journalism industry, remember that your peers are also the future!
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, Founders' Scholarship
, Katelin Chow
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