Front row (L to R): Elyse Tan, Joella Charis Ortega, Seungkyul Joseph Park, Seungkyul Joseph Park, Ashley Walls and Holly Martinez. Back row (L to R): AAJA Seattle board members Mai Hoang, Caroline Li and Tiffany Wan, Lori Matsukawa of host KING 5 and Steve Kipp, vice president of communications for Comcast Washington.
Several students were recognized during the Northwest Journalists of Color (NJC) Scholarship reception on June 4.
$5,000 in scholarship were presented to the four NJC scholars:
Joella Ortega discovered her passion for journalism during her junior year in high school while working on the yearbook staff. When she got to Western Washington University she quickly transformed into a full-fledged reporter. She realized she could no longer live without the rush of investigating, reporting, writing and editing: “The process of creating and publishing an article thrilled me like nothing had ever thrilled me before. I became a mad newswoman, eager to take on all aspects of this 24/7 lifestyle of living. I can make a change by using any medium available to me.” Joella’s goal is to pursue a career in new media journalism. She wants to live and breathe investigative reporting, create works that cannot be ignored, works that wake up a sleeping society to the heartbreak of far away lands – and she is confident she will not fail: “My generation will be the one to alter the face of journalism as America knows it; I know my hope for being a part of this shift is not in vain. I can make a substantial change along with my peers. I want to be a part of this new and improved system of reporting. I will succeed in my education, and I will succeed in my future career as a journalist.” She was chosen specifically for the Comcast Multimedia Scholarship, which was funded by Comcast.
Holly Martinez is currently attending Seattle University, majoring in journalism. She is the first in her family to go to college: “I want to prove to my younger siblings that they can do it too, no matter how hard it is and no matter how big their dream may be.” In addition, “The fact that I am a woman in a traditional Hispanic Catholic household also contributed
greatly to my desire to write and to be given the tremendous honor of serving as a voice for groups that are oftentimes left voiceless. I’ve learned to embrace my culture while also challenging it.” She started writing poetry in elementary school and was first published in third grade. She says as time progressed she became more interested in journalism and advocacy work. She has written for the school paper and was hired as a freelance writer for Equal Voice News after being awarded a fellowship opportunity with them. She also did internships with former Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed, KOMO-TV and Comcast. Holly said she would like to be political analyst and one day run for office where she plans to use journalism to reach voters and constituents and attempt to make real changes in the community.
Charmaine Riley Is a student at Western Washington University where she is majoring in journalism and writes for the campus paper. She says for years, she thought college was a gateway to money, and that was the only reason why anyone went to college. But now she knows journalism is where she belongs: “I am studying journalism at Western Washington University because I love learning. Learning is a stereotypical answer but I am not studying journalism to learn about stereotypical topics or ideas. I want to learn by researching topics, investigating contentious issues, and telling the stories of people who
are unable to tell the stories themselves.” She says journalists may be innovative by posting on Twitter or interviewing sources from halfway around the world on Skype, but promoting new ideas to fight ignorance would be a significant and simple advancement within the industry.
Elyse Tan currently attends Western Washington University where she is majoring in Journalism and writes for the college newspaper. She is also online editor for the student publication, Klipsun Magazine. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and a member of Western Washington University’s Public Relations Organization. rowing up she spent the majority of her time after school at the cash register of my mother’s restaurant with a jar for college funds. She is the first in her family to attend college. Since her first creative writing class she has been using writing as a personal and professional outlet. She is not deterred by the challenges of the industry: “I find it exciting that new technological advancements and social media have made news more accessible than ever before. Although some may suggest that print publications are dying, I have faith in the profession and know that there will always be a demand for efficient, truthful news in whatever medium readers choose to get it.” Seungkyul Joseph Park of Highline Community College was chosen for the Founders’ Scholarship. The scholarship pays for airfare and registration to attend the annual AAJA Convention, which will be held this year in New York City. Park is currently studying communication, journalism, art history and minoring creative writing at the community college, with plans to transfer to the University of Washington. He has worked at the student-run newspaper at Highline Community College, The Thunderword since last year and became the paper’s arts editor last fall. Joseph’s passion is in fashion journalism and he jokes that in the future, he will execute a hostile takeover of Vogue, Vanity Fair, or The New Yorker. One project that that he is very proud of was when he organized a fashion editorial in honor of Referendum 74, which legalized gay marriage in Washington state. He and his friends decided to organize a photo shoot that represented gay love through the lens of fashion to complement an editorial column on why the referendum should pass. The piece was titled, “GLITTER AND BE GAY: An editorial on Referendum 74.”
Along with the NJC and Founders scholarship, the Seattle Association of Black Journalists (SABJ), a longtime NJC supporter, presented the Patricia Fisher Scholarship to Ashley Wells. Wells is a freshman at the University of Washington. She is majoring in journalism and plans to pursue a business sales certification. She writes for a newspaper for the Greek community, volunteers in the community and is active in multiple student organizations.
Along with the presentation of the scholarships, Monica Guzman, a digital life columnist for The Seattle Times and Geekwire, presented a keynote speed on how she survived and learned from her early job experiences. “Journalism is a set of carefully-managed relationships,” she said. She also explained why she was excited about the contributions of the current generation.
The Northwest of Journalists of Color scholarship and reception would not be possible without our sponsors:
Comcast came on as a sponsor for the second year in a row, this time funding one of the scholarships.
During the reception, Steve Kipp, vice president of communications for Comcast’s Washington region, spoke and explained why Comcast supported the program. Comcast has played an instrumental role not only in sponsoring this year’s Comcast multimedia sponsorship but providing valuable job experience to students, including several NJC alumni. Thank you for your support!
An already great reception was even better with delicious food from Pho Bac. The Vietnamese restaurant has several locations throughout the Seattle area.
KING 5 hosted this year’s reception. Assistant news director Cheryl Carson greeted the audience during the reception.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who attended this year’s reception. See you next year!
[Mary Pauline Diaz, far left, with fellow Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship winners Katelin Chow and Peter Sessum and AAJA co-founder Bill Sing during the 2010 AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles.]
Mary Pauline Diaz, a 2010 Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship winner, spent her summer writing for the Seattle Weekly. As a recipient of AAJA Seattle’s Founders Scholarship, Diaz she also was able to attend the 2010 AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles in August. As AAJA Seattle’s student members return to school, Diaz, a junior at Seattle University, shares why she returns with a renewed confidence in her career path.
It’s easy to feel daunted and overwhelmed by the changing state of the journalism, especially at this point in time. But at the AAJA National Convention, the language and the feeling definitely exuded a renewed hope. As a nervous convention first-timer and forward-minded student, it was refreshing to be around so many journalists who wereÂ excited about the future of journalism, who had enough passion to propel themselves past hurdles or who were gearing up for the hurdles they were facing: unemployment for seasoned vets, first forays into a fickle field for students and recent grads and the utter volatility of the industry for everyone.
And that’s not the only good news. The good news (and I think this is good news) is that journalism as we know it is being turned on its head. I jotted down a few quotes from some convention workshops that totally threw me for a loop, but they indicate exactly how journalism itself is being redefined and regenerated.
Get excited. The time in front of us is the perfect time to experiment, reexamine our roles and position yourself for the upper hand in the market.
“New media, digital media, perhaps even journalism don’t really apply as terms for what I do.” – John Bracken, Director of New Media at The Knight Foundation
Let go of those traditional conceptions of your job description. Regardless of what Bracken himself does, every journalist has to face the transitioning ambiguity of what journalism is, what media is and what audiences consider their sources of information.
“Audio is really a visual medium.” – Sora Newman, Senior Trainer at NPR
Though every format and every story is unique, the richest part of a converging media market is indeed the convergence. It’s not just about the parts sitting beside each other but the way they meld and speak to each other. Newman and the others on the Audio Storytelling for Print Journalists panel challenged participants to look beyond the verbal portion of audio stories and to capture the ambient sounds and bits that paint that “picture” for the listener.
“Content is king, but collaboration is queen. If you think of a chessboard, the king is the most important, but, let’s be honest, the queen is most powerful.” – David Cohn, Spot.us
The most hopeful thing to hear over and over again at the convention was the call to collaborate, a particular theme of the hyperlocal news panel featuring Cohn. Especially as citizen journalism grows and culture’s demand for transparency and immediacy grows, the spirit of collaboration not only grows in importance but in creativity. Spot.us, for instance, uses a unique model of collaborative funding â€” freelancers can pitch stories, and community members can pitch in the cash.
“It’s not about what the staff is doing. It’s about what the reader is experiencing.” – Wasim Ahmad, Multimedia Journalist and Assistant Professor at Stonybrook University
So often we get caught up in what all of this change means for our jobs and our futures, but journalists should really be mindful of what the changing media landscape means for the audience â€” not only in how it will change the way people receive information but also the way people interact with information and what they choose to do with it.
“The business of journalism is the business of relationships.” – Raja Abdulrahim, Staff Writer at Los Angeles Times
“You’re not just a journalist. You’re a human being.” – Eiji Yamashita I put these two together because they pull at a similar issue. So often do we, in the pressure to remain objective, lose sight of the communities and people who are affected the most. It’s not impossible to be both empathetic and fair, and perhaps empathy is intrinsic to justice. Our work as journalists are strengthened by nurturing relationships and trust with the people around us.
“This is not news in one point in time. I want to tell a story with an arc.” – Christopher Wong, Filmmaker of Whatever It Takes Especially with tools like Twitter, there’s a lot of hype around up-to-the-minute bites (or bytes) of news, quick snippets of information. And the reality is, there’s definitely a demand for that in this fast-paced world. Yet as we reimagine different ways to make the news, we gain more opportunities to harness the power of a compelling story, something that isn’t just informative in an intellectual and utilitarian sense but something that speaks to the bigger picture.
(Yakima Herald-Republic reporter Mai Hoang, NJC scholarship winner Peter Sessum and Founder’s Scholarship winners Katelin Chow and Mary Pauline Diaz.)
“Back to the Future” was the motto of this year’s AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles.
Aside from being the title of one of my favorite movies as a kid, “Back to the Future” succinctly captures this year’s milieu: We put the awfulness of 2009 behind us and looked ahead to the opportunities of tomorrow. We gave ourselves the space to dream once again — in Hollywood, a place where humans fail hard and often. But we all know that a few of the persistent ones eventually get a lucky break and make their dreams come true!
AAJA today is a dream realized for the journalists who founded it in 1981. You can’t help but feel moved by this awesome promo video marking the occasion of our organization’s 30th anniversary.
Courage. Pride. Passion.
These are words that come to mind when I think of the people who represented our Seattle chapter.
We can all be proud of our AAJA National President Sharon Chan and AAJA National Treasurer Candace Heckman for steering the organization through one of the most difficult years in its history. They made tough decisions, but today the organization has survived a fiscal crisis and is on steadier ground with a new executive director.
Who else was there from our chapter? KING5 anchor Lori Matuskawa; VOICES project director Marian Liu; and several of your chapter board members (Athima Chansanchai, Venice Buhain, Caroline Li and yours truly).
But there were a lot of other faces too! They include:
Seattle Times Executive Editor David Boardman
KING-TV reporter Owen Lei
Yakima Herald-Republic reporter Mai Hoang
AOL FanHouse producer Sunny Wu
KBCS news director Joaquin Uy (also recipient of an AAJA National award)
KNDO-TV (Yakima) reporter Shawn Chitnis
Public relations executive Christine Chen
Freelance writer Judy Hsu
Founder’s Scholarship recipients Katelin Chow and Mary Pauline Diaz
Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winner Peter Sessum
Special appearances by Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen and former Executive Editor Mike Fancher
For those of you who didn’t come to the LA convention, I ask you, will we see you in Detroit next year? Should AAJA change the way it holds national conventions?
With only four months left in 2010, our chapter continues to offer great programs and events!
Sept. 11, afternoon: AAJA Seattle annual summer picnic. Golden Gardens. FREE. Bring your spouse, kids and anyone else who’s special.
Sept. 21, 11 am-4:30 pm: AAJA members get the SPJ discount to their Freelancer’s Survival Guide conference at REI. $30 members, $40 non-members.
Oct. 16, all day: Northwest Video Workshop at KING TV. $35 registration. First 10 AAJA members to register get in for $20. (You must send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org after you register to confirm the stipend is still available.)
Late October: Elections for chapter board. Stay tuned for details.
Early November: Our second Innovation Salon: Monetize Your Digital Content.
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!
When I was studying journalism at Western Kentucky University in the early 2000s, I was eager to soak every experience I had in college from writing for the school paper to interning at newspapers all over the nation. Though I have been out of school for several years, I still remember fondly how much I grew through all the opportunities that was open to me while I was in college.
So I find great pleasure in hearing about how AAJA Seattle’s student members have made the most of their college experience:
Sessum earned a first place award in in-depth reporting and a second place award in general news reporting for work he did at The Triton Review, the school paper at Edmonds Community College. Sessum’s story on blood donations was also selected as a finalist in the in-depth category for the national Mark of Excellence Awards.
Sessum is now a student at the University of Washington and writing for its school paper. AAJA members will also see him in action at the 2010 AAJA National Convention in Los Angeles as a member of the AAJA Voices staff.