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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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The Holiday Scoop is a big success!

002Scoop

[Organizers and emcees kick it at The Holiday Scoop, an all-Seattle media party to raise money for the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship on Dec. 17, 2010 at Nectar: Sharon Chan, Seattle Times technology reporter; David Boardman, Seattle Times executive editor; Candace Heckman, senior editor at Nyhus Communications; Bill Radke, KIRO FM Radio host and Lori Matsukawa, KING 5 anchor. Photo by Erika Schultz]

By Sharon Pian Chan and Candace Heckman
AAJA National President and National Treasurer

Journalists packed the house at The Holiday Scoop, the first all-Seattle media party for broadcast, radio and online journalists on Friday, Dec. 17.

More than 200 people broke out their holiday finest for the party at Nectar, a nightclub in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, representing current and former journalists from more than 40 news outlets in the Puget Sound.

005Scoop[Seattle Times executive editor David Boardman skewers Seattle media in a poem at The Holiday Scoop, which he help organize. Photo by Erika Schultz]

The highlight of the night? Seattle Times executive editor David Boardman’s version of “Twas the Night before Christmas” skewering local media, LOLcats and newsmakers. If you missed it, it will live on only in our memories.

003Scoop[Emcees Bill Radke and Lori Matsukawa deliver a poem about Seattle “snowmageddon.” Photo by Erika Schultz]

Emcees Lori Matsukawa of KING5 and Bill Radke of KIRO FM Radio opened the event, exchanging some very special holiday gifts with each other (also for our memories). They also recognized newsrooms that won national awards this year: The Seattle Times (Pulitzer Prize), Puget Sound Business Journal (Pulitzer Prize finalist), Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Knight-Risser Prize), KIRO FM Radio (RTDNA), KOMO TV (RTDNA), MSNBC.com (ONA) and West Seattle Blog (ONA).

The event benefited AAJA Seattle’s Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship, a 24-year program that has awarded more than 100 scholarships to student journalists. NJC scholarship winners Rachel Solomon and Peter Sessum volunteered at the event. Other former winners also showed up: Seattle Times religion reporter Janet Tu and Seattle Magazine online managing editor Karen
Johnson.

006Scoop[Seattle Times reporter Dominic Gates (center) and Sports Press NW soccer reporter Stanley Holmes were among the 200 journalists who attended at The Holiday Scoop, an all-Seattle media party to raise money for the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship. Photo by Erika Schultz.]

Here are all the newsrooms represented: 710 ESPN Seattle, AOL FanHouse, AOLNews, Associated Press, CBS Interactive, Crosscut, Intersect, InvestigateWest, KBCS 91.3 FM Radio, KING TV, KIRO Radio, KIRO TV, KUOW/NPR, Maple Leaf Life, MSN Money, MSNBC.com, My Green Lake, Neighborlogs, Northwest Vietnamese News, Puget Sound Business Journal, Q13 FOX, Ravenna Blog, Renton Reporter, Patch.com, Reuters, Roosevelt Neighborhood Blog, Seattle Bride, Seattle Business, Seattle magazine, Seattle PostGlobe, Seattle Weekly, Seattlepi.com, Sportspress Northwest, The Associated Press, The Daily (Everett) Herald, The (UW) Daily, The Seattle Times, The (Tacoma) News Tribune, Three Sheets Northwest, USA Today online, Xconomy, Northwest Asian Weekly.

The masterminds behind the event were David Boardman, AAJA National Treasurer Candace Heckman and AAJA National President Sharon Chan. See you next year? Maybe.

If you have feedback for the event, send it to candaceheckman@gmail.com or schan@seattletimes.com.

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Celebrate the holidays at all-media party, Dec. 17

The first all-media holiday party is being held on Dec. 17 at Nectar Lounge in Fremont! Reconnect with your friends working in print, television, radio and web journalism. All Puget Sound-based newsrooms staffers and former staffers invited.

Buy your tickets today!
http://theholidayscoop.eventbrite.com/

Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door.

All the proceeds benefit the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship administered by our AAJA Seattle chapter. Since 1985, the NJC scholarship has awarded grants to more than 100 outstanding young journalists. Alumni have gone on to work for The Seattle Times, Seattle magazine, The Los Angeles Times, CBS News, and Sony Pictures, among other places.

The party is hosted by David Boardman, executive editor of The Seattle Times; Sharon Chan, technology reporter at The Times; and Candace Heckman, senior editor for Nyhus Communications.

KING5’s Lori Matsukawa and KIRO Radio’s Bill Radke will emcee. There will be a live DJ and heavy appetizers. Cocktail attire recommended.

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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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Diversity on the menu at end-of-summer potluck

The potluck is an apt metaphor for what makes a chapter vibrant.

Everyone brings something to the table.

Thanks to all who came out for our AAJA Seattle end-of-summer picnic. It was a fun event – and we enjoyed sunny skies!

The picnic offered members with children a rare opportunity to come network with colleagues and enjoy the beauty of West Seattle’s Lincoln Park.

We had members come from as far away as Yakima, Bellingham and Tacoma!

The chapter provided picnic supplies, bratwurst, chips, salsa, vegetable trays and soda pop.

Members brought food items that gave our picnic an international flavor: Thai BBQ chicken, Southern fried chicken, orzo salad, tomato-basil salad, Indian samosas, spicy Asian noodles, and peach pie with ice cream, among other dishes.

You can contribute your photos or video from the picnic by adding them to our Flickr pool! Just go to http://www.flickr.com/groups/aajaseattle. Photos need to be approved by a moderator before they go live.

If you didn’t receive an alert about the picnic, you need to update your subscriptions: Click on each of the links below to update your social-media accounts:

    Facebook Group
    Twitter channel

Speaking of giving, what would you like to contribute to your AAJA chapter?

Would you like to…

    mentor a student?

    organize a workshop on an issue you are passionate about?

    coordinate our nationally recognized minority scholarship program?

    manage our chapter blog and social media channels?

Whatever your interest, chances are there’s a need our chapter has that you can help address. Please consider giving back to your AAJA chapter. Our officer elections are in the fall, and we hope you’ll participate by stepping up to run for the board or volunteering to take on a project.

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