Tag Archives: Features

RSVP for AAJA dim sum, July 9

Posted on by sbhatt

Come eat, talk and eat some more at our next chapter business meeting! Help shape the chapter’s programs and get some cool swag.

WHEN: 10:30 am – Noon, Saturday, July 9
WHERE: Bamboo Village, 4900 Stone Way N., Wallingford (Seattle)

We’ll be discussing the chapter’s plans for the summer and fall, as well as board elections and the National Convention. We welcome your ideas and involvement in our mission to support the next generation of journalists.

Please RSVP by 5 pm FRIDAY to Sanjay Bhatt, sbhatt@seattletimes.com. Thanks!

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NJC 2011 Scholarship Winners Announced! Blethen honored for diversity commitment.

Posted on by Owen

Congratulations to this year’s NJC scholarship recipients!  On the 25th anniversary of the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship, AAJA Seattle was able to award nearly $5,000 in scholarships to help offset the cost of tuition, send a student to the 2011 AAJA national convention in Detroit, and help pay for off-campus multimedia storytelling courses.

(above picture, from left to right) Mary Jean Spadafora, 911 Media Arts Scholarship; Joanna Nolasco, Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship; Peter Sessum, Founder’s Scholarship; Gina Cole, NJC Scholarship. (not pictured: Katelin Chow, who won an NJC Scholarship, made a special appearance from Barcelona, Spain, via a pre-recorded webcam message)

Seattle Times Publisher and AAJA Platinum member Frank Blethen received a “leadership in diversity” award from AAJA-Seattle and the Seattle Association of Black Journalists.


Frank Blethen accepts Leadership in Diversity Award from NJC



Thanh Tan of the Texas Tribune, as keynote speaker, shared her experiences as a multimedia reporter/producer covering state politics at a non-profit journalism outlet.

The Texas Tribune is a non-profit journalism startup based in Austin that relies on diverse lines of revenue to sustain its hard-hitting reporting on state government and politics.

Here’s an excerpt from Thanh’s amazing keynote speech:

Will we succeed in our mission to be a non-profit, sustainable provider of public interest news? I don’t know. Will I still have a job in a year or two? I sure hope so. When I questioned whether I wanted to venture into the unknown, I leaned on my old Nightline executive producer, Tom Bettag, for help. Here’s what he told me, “As for the future of the Tribune and its model, I don’t think anyone knows. What we know is that it is a serious attempt to do important work. If it fails, it will be a noble failure. People will respect you for having done your best to make it work.”

If you’d told me seven years ago that I would NOT be working in television news. That instead, I’d be producing and writing for an online start-up in Austin, Texas. That I would be a multi-platform journalist– I’d have said, ‘Whatever. Yeah right.’ The bottom is I’ve worked in local TV news in small and big markets. I’ve worked in public broadcasting at a local and national level. All those experiences—the good, the bad, and the ugly… led me to where I am today and make me appreciate what I have so much more. You don’t have to follow my path. Create your own future, and know that it may look nothing like what you’re envisioning right now. But the basics are the same. Just do it. Find that first break. Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed.

Keep in touch with those whose work you admire. Break a few stories. Check your facts. Seek the truth. Hold the powerful accountable. Meet your deadlines. Learn from your mistakes. Survival in this industry may well be based on your ability to adapt your stories for different mediums—so learn all you can about how print, online, and broadcast work. Try new things—but always be mindful of your mission. And know that your job allows you to wield a certain amount of power that should not be abused. Pay attention to the people around you… listen to their stories, and understand that our work as journalists often gives voice to the voiceless. That’s a huge responsibility.

Times are changing for this industry—it is a FASCINATING time to be a journalist, if you do it for the right reasons. You’ve gotten this far. I promise you that with a little help from the Northwest Journalists of Color—and all the people who are around you today– you will go on to produce work that inspires and enlightens your community.

This is just the beginning of your journey, and I am so excited for you.

Thanh Tan and her father, Duc

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VIP Reception for Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan after her appearance at Elliott Bay Books, June 10

Posted on by sbhatt

Join AAJA New York member and author Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and longtime AAJA Seattle member Terry Tazioli, host of TVW’s “Author Hour,” for a conversation about food and family in her tantalizing memoir “A Tiger in the Kitchen” at Elliott Bay Book Co., and then come to a VIP private reception/fundraiser at Tazioli’s home!

Conversation: 8 p.m. on Friday, June 10

Location: Elliott Bay Book Co., 1521 10th Avenue, Seattle (Capitol Hill neighborhood)

Based in New York, Cheryl is a freelance journalist who has worked for the Wall Street Journal, InStyle magazine and the Baltimore Sun. She has given much back to AAJA as a longtime former AAJA Governing Board member.

After growing up in the most food-obsessed city in the world, Cheryl left home and family at eighteen for America to pursue her dream of becoming a journalist. (It was proof of the rebelliousness of daughters born in the Year of the Tiger.)

But as a thirtysomething fashion writer in New York, she felt the Singaporean dishes that defined her childhood beginning to call her back. Was it too late to learn the secrets of her grandmothers’ and aunties’ kitchens, as well as the tumultuous family history that had kept them hidden before? In her quest to recreate the dishes of her native Singapore by cooking with her family, Cheryl learned not only cherished recipes but long-buried stories of past generations.

If you liked “Eat Pray Love” or you have noshed at Malay Satay Hut in Seattle, you will devour Cheryl’s book. You can check out her blog at http://atigerinthekitchen.com and follow Cheryl on Twitter @cheryltan88.


A VIP reception with author and AAJA member Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

Friday, June 10, 9:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Location: The Leschi home of Terry Tazioli, host of TVW’s “Author Hour”

We’ll be eating late-night snacks with Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan at a VIP reception immediately after her book reading at Elliott Bay Book Co. In Singapore, we call the midnight snack siew yeh. You’re invited to siew yeh with Cheryl after her reading Friday!

You’ll get personalized cooking tips from Cheryl and the New York Fashion Week style forecast straight from the one-time InStyle magazine editor.

All attendees will receive a signed copy of a new special recipe designed for Seattle foodies by Cheryl that is not in her book. You’ll also be able to purchase autographed copies of her new book at the reception.

It’s all for a great cause. Proceeds from the reception will benefit the Founders Scholarship program for the nonprofit Asian American Journalists Association Seattle Chapter.

We will also be selling tickets at Cheryl’s book reading at Elliott Bay Book Co. at 8 p.m. on June 10.

Buy your tickets today from Brown Paper Tickets!  AAJA members get in for $25. Non-AAJA members pay $40. These prices do not include Brown Paper Tickets’ service charge.

Any time in June: Buy your copy of “A Tiger in the Kitchen” by AAJA member Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan from Elliott Bay Book Co. in June and the store will donate 10 percent of sales proceeds for the book to the AAJA Seattle Founders Scholarship!

You don’t need to live in Seattle to take advantage of this offer. You can order a copy of Cheryl’s book by mail from Elliott Bay and she will sign it for you while she is in Seattle on June 10! To order, call 206-624-6600 or email orders@elliottbaybook.com

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Thanh Tan of The Texas Tribune headlines this year’s NJC scholarship reception

Posted on by sbhatt

Thanh Tan

Thanh Tan is the keynote speaker for this year’s Northwest Journalists of Color awards reception, which will be June 7 at KING TV.

Get your free tickets at EventBrite!

The reception, which marks the 25th anniversary of AAJA Seattle’s flagship program, brings Thanh Tan from Austin, Texas, to share her experiences with this year’s scholarship winners.

Tan, a three-time NJC scholarship winner, is a multimedia reporter/producer for The Texas Tribune.

She previously worked at Idaho Public Television, a PBS station that serves a statewide audience.

While there, she was an Emmy award-winning producer/reporter/host for the longest-running legislative public affairs program in the West, Idaho Reports, moderator of The Idaho Debates, and a writer/producer for the flagship series Outdoor Idaho.

Prior to joining IdahoPTV, she was a general assignment reporter at the ABC affiliate in Portland, OR and a political reporter for KBCI-TV in Boise, ID. Her work has also appeared on the PBS NewsHour and This American Life.

She graduated with honors from the University of Southern California with degrees in International Relations and Broadcast Journalism.

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Free Dorothy on Friday on Twitter, Facebook

Posted on by sbhatt

Free Dorothy banner

UPDATE: Please download this new Free Dorothy banner, which Wendy Wahman designed and updated to reflect the news that Dorothy was deported from Syria to Iran.

You can help raise awareness by swapping this image with your Facebook and Twitter profile pic every Friday — marking another week since Dorothy disappeared.

Please tell your friends and family to do the same. The wider this message spreads, the sooner we’ll find her.


You can also send friends a direct link to this image: http://www.aajaseattle.org/FreeDorothy_Iran.jpg

Be sure to Like the Free Dorothy Parvaz Facebook page and to follow her on Twitter @FreeDorothy.

If you’d like to sign a petition calling on the UN to work for Dorothy’s release, check out the Human Rights Petition at http://www.change.org/petitions/find-and-free-dorothy-parvaz-missing-journalist


Kristen Young, a friend of Dorothy and former colleague at The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, is spearheading press and public diplomacy efforts in the US to free Dorothy. She wrote the press release below.

By Kristen Young

Dorothy Parvaz – a citizen of the U.S., Canada and Iran and a former editorial writer for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer – has been detained since Friday, April 29, when she boarded a plane from Doha, Qatar, to Damascus, Syria, on a reporting assignment for her current employer, Al Jazeera English.

She hasn’t been heard from since.

The Syrian government said Dorothy was sent to Iran on May 1 under the control of the Iranian authorities, but we’ve had no word from Iran as to whether that is true. We are unsure of who has her. We continue to hope she is being treated with dignity and respect, especially considering that she is a citizen of Iran.  Most of all, her family and loved ones need to know she is safe.  We believe that Syria maliciously sent Dorothy to Iran and, in so doing, violated international law.

“We miss her, we haven’t heard from her since April 29, we have no idea where she’s being held and who has her, and we want her home,” Dorothy’s fiancé Todd Barker said. “She’s a journalist who was just trying to do her job.”

Hundreds of articles, radio and TV segments, and blog posts have focused attention on her detainment. The U.S. State Department is working on freeing Dorothy, but we’d like for her case to remain a focus of diplomatic engagement by the U.S., Canadian and Iranian governments.  On May 2 – the day after Syrian authorities claimed Parvaz was sent to Iran — the Iranian foreign minister said at a news conference that Iran wanted the Syrians to look into the matter. Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi also indicated that he did not know about Syria detaining Parvaz, or about Syria deporting her.

“I hope that it is not true, but if that is the case, then we demand the government of Syria to look into this,” Salehi said in response to a question on what Iran would undertake to secure Parvaz’s release. We hope that Salehi now focuses his attention on Syria’s claims that Parvaz was sent to Tehran.

Supporters worldwide have visited and “liked” the Free Dorothy Parvaz Facebook page, which already has more than 12,000 members. Thousands of Twitter messages have demanded her freedom at #FreeDorothy.

Harvard University’s Nieman FoundationandWolfson College Cambridge, where Dorothy held journalism fellowships, released statements lauding her reporting skills, affirming the rights of journalists and calling for her release.  Venerable news organizations and bloggers from around the world are spotlighting Dorothy’s detention. Al Jazeera English, The Seattle Times, The Globe and Mail, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders and many other international organizations first demanded her release from Syrian custody – now, they are pushing for Iran to find her and free her.

Could you encourage other news sources and relevant institutions to do the same? Can you ask your political representatives to join U.S. Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and U.S. Representatives Jay Inslee, Jim McDermott and Rick Larsen (D-WA) in supporting the effort to free Dorothy?  Please scroll to the bottom of this message to see relevant embassy and governmental contact information for supporters in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Your participation is crucial.  Her family and loved ones cannot rest until she is known to be safe – and home.

Dorothy is a global citizen.  She grew up in Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Canada.  She studied at the University of British Columbia and earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona before joining the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  She was awarded fellowships at Harvard and Cambridge before being hired by Al Jazeera English online.

Dorothy has dedicated her life to telling stories. She views journalism as a force for good.

Please write to me at k@kristenmyoung.com or call me at 206-795-7771 if you have any questions. Thank you for any action that you contemplate taking. Please keep her in your thoughts.

With deep gratitude,



U.S. Supporters:

Please email and call the White House (visit www.whitehouse.gov/contact;202-456-1111) and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton (http://bit.ly/kQO31Z; 202-647-6575)to politely press for Dorothy’s release.


Canadian supporters:

Please contact the Embassy of Canada to Iran in Tehran
Dennis Horak
Chargé d’Affaires

Tel.: 98 (21) 8152-0000
Fax: 98 (21) 8873-3200


Canadians can call the Iranian embassy in Ottawa at 613-235-4726 and leave a polite message for Mr. Kambiz Sheikh-Hassani, Chargé d’Affaires, respectfully asking that Dorothy, an U.S., Canadian and Iranian citizen, be found and released.
245 Metcalfe Street
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2K2
TEL (613) 235-4726
FAX (613) 232-5712
e-mail: iranemb@salamiran.org
web: www.salamiran.org


#FreeDorothy Call the #Iran embassy in Ottawa: 613-235-4726 PLS RT #Canada


@PMHarper Call Iranian ambassador, demand release of journalist Dorothy Parvaz #freedorothy.

@AndrewSaxton1 Your constituent Fred Parvaz wants Iran to free his daughter. What is ur govt doing? #freedorothy


Irish, English, Scottish supporters:

Please contact the Iranian Embassy in London consulate@iran-embassy.org.uk or info@iran-embassy.org.ukEmbassy and the Consulate switchboard: 020 7225 3000



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