Tag Archives: diversity

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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Sea Beez meetup: Best practices in journalism

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The “Sea Beez” ethnic media project is holding a roundtable on best practices in journalism from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 23 at KOMO’s Fisher Plaza.

In May, AAJA Seattle and the Seattle Association of Black Journalists (SABJ) co-hosted the launch party for the Sea Beez project, which aims to build the capacity of Puget Sound area ethnic media and empower them to strengthen their business and journalism practices.

Julie Pham, managing editor of Northwest Vietnamese News, directs the project. Pham invites AAJA and SABJ members to the event on Sept. 23. The project’s website is seabeez.com.

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AAJA Seattle radio and television members win awards

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Susan Han

Congratulations to Susan Han, a senior producer for the Seattle Channel, who received two regional Emmy awards.

Her weekly Seattle Channel public affairs program, City Inside/Out, was recognized in two categories – political/government program and interview/discussion program.

Han is a 2007 graduate of the AAJA Executive Leadership Program in New York City and co-chaired the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship fund-raising campaign with me that same year. Prior to joining The Seattle Channel, Han worked at KCTS, the PBS affiliate in Seattle.

And congratulations to KBCS 91.3 FM in Bellevue on winning the 2010 Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) national journalism award in the category of Radio-AAPI Issues!

Joaquin Uy

Past KBCS producer Irene Noguchi and KBCS News & Public Affairs Director Joaquin Uy won awards for excellence in news coverage of Asian American and Pacific Islander issues for a story that originally aired in April 2009. The story looked at the challenges facing unemployed AAPI senior citizens looking for work in the Great Recession and how they get help from the Seattle-based National Asian Pacific Center on Aging, which received a $1.6 million federal job-training grant.

You can listen to the story by going to http://kbcs.fm/site/PageServer and scrolling down.

Joaquin Uy is a long-time AAJA member and supporter of the Seattle chapter. If you haven’t contributed to their pledge drives, please keep them in mind in your charitable giving this year! Another AAJA connection: Former AAJA Seattle chapter president Derek Wing is director of communications for NAPCA.

Sanjay Bhatt is president of AAJA’s Seattle chapter. He is also a reporter for The Seattle Times.

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Meet the 2010 Northwest Journalists of Color recipients!

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[AAJA Seattle members at the 2010 Northwest Journalists of Color reception, June 8 2010. From left to right AAJA Seattle president Sanjay Bhatt, NJC co-chair and AAJA Seattle secretary Venice Buhain, Rachel Solomon, Mary Pauline Diaz, Katelin Chow, Peter Sessum, NJC co-chair Mai Hoang, AAJA Seattle treasurer and past NJC chair Nicole Tsong. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka.]

Katelin Chow

Katelin is a sophomore at the University of Washington where she studies Journalism and political science. She’s interested in all types of journalism, including television, print and radio—Katelin would eventually like to produce broadcast stories, whether for a local TV station or an online publication. This past February, Katelin interned with NBC Universal at the Vancouver Olympics, where she worked as a runner for operations and production logistics, as well as a logger for curling production. Katelin has also worked with The Daily since she started at the UW, and has written stories, copy-edited, produced
video stories and has also helped start the paper’s new TV-show, The Daily’s Double Shot. Earlier this month, one of Katelin’s stories for The Daily was recognized as one of the top three in SPJ’s Region X for General Television reporting. She is a student in the University Honors program.

Mary Pauline H. Diaz

Mary Pauline is finishing her sophomore year at Seattle University, studying Theology and Religious Studies. Her name roughly translates to “humble overthrow,” reflecting what she hopes to offer the world and how she views the media’s impact potential. Originally from Aurora, Colorado, Diaz was Entertainment Editor for Seattle U’s student weekly The Spectator and has written for Ignite Your Faith Magazine, myUsearch.com and her own music website, TheOvercast.net. Diaz is a Filipina-American—her parents and siblings immigrated in the 1980s, and she is the only member of her immediate family born in the United States. She is grateful for their models of commitment to justice and empathy, and she hopes to bring that to a career in print or online journalism. In all things, Diaz seeks to explore and honor true human experience.

Peter Sessum

Peter fell into journalism almost by accident. It was the only humanities course open when he signed up for his first quarter of classes.
At the time, Peter was making his return back to school after spending a year and a half working counter narcotics for the State Department in Afghanistan. He thought he could do more good with a degree since the department supervisors didn’t listen to the contractors without college degrees. But he quickly decided that he could do more good reporting overseas and bringing back the stores that aren’t being told than he could working for the State Department.
Despite the recent change in the face of journalism, Peter remains optimistic. He doesn’t feel like he has to compete with 500 other graduating journalism students next year. Instead, Peter, who is currently a student at the University of Washington, believes that he only needs to find one editors that is looking for someone like him. With a lot of experience overseas, knowledge of the way military works and plans to take Arabic classes starting in the fall, Peter feels he will be competitive to report overseas.
Peter won two awards in the 2009 Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards — first place for in-depth reporting and second place for general news reporting.

Rachel Solomon

Rachel is a junior studying journalism at the University of Washington. She grew up in Redmond, Wash., and started working at The Daily, the UW’s student newspaper, as a copy editor the day before she started her first quarter of college. She has since worked as a beat reporter, features editor and news editor, and has interned at Seattle Metropolitan magazine and the Ballard News-Tribune. Rachel is interested in pursuing a career in radio journalism after she graduates. She loves the intimacy of the medium and how no matter how many people are listening, it always feels like the host or reporter is having a conversation with only you. Her dream job would be to follow in the footsteps of her idol, Ira Glass, and work for This American Life.

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Ethnic media web project, “Sea Beez,” launches

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Sea Beez project

On Wednesday evening, a new ethnic media web project held its launch party at The Seattle Times.

The project is led by AAJA member Julie Pham, who is managing editor of the family-owned Northwest Vietnamese News.

Sea Beez has its seed funding from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and represents the newest “hive” for New America Media, the nation’s first and largest collaboration of 2,000 ethnic media organizations reaching 51 million adults. The NOLA Beez launched in January. The other hubs are LA Beez and San Jose Beez. LA Beez is part of a New America Media’s Digital Divide initiative, funded by the Ford Foundation.

Our AAJA Seattle chapter, the Seattle Association of Black Journalists and Chen Communications all co-sponsored the party.

About 80 people attended the event.  They included ethnic media executives:

  • Assunta Ng, founder and publisher of the NW Asian Weekly and Seattle Chinese Post
  • Gustavo Montoya, president and CEO of El Mundo, a Spanish-language weekly newspaper
  • Olga Kazakova, a journalist with Russian World Newspaper
  • Andrew Taylor, president of Japan Pacific Publications, which publishes The Soy Source Seattle, a Japanese biweekly newspaper
  • Mohamud Yussuf, publisher of Runta, the largest East African language newspaper in Seattle.
  • Grace Zhang, Seattle bureau chief for The China Press.
  • Sandy Close, executive director of New America Media.
  • The evening began with networking and attendees admiring The Seattle Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning stories. Thanks to AAJA student member Peter Sessum for shooting photos.

    Attendees read about previous Seattle Times Pulitzer Prizes

    The evening gave AAJA student members, like Andrew Doughman, a chance to practice networking and connect with editors looking for freelance contributors.

    UW journalism student Andrew Doughman is networking

    During the presentations, Julie explained the overall goals of the Sea Beez project.

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