Tag Archives: journalism

Founders Scholarship winner Sandi Halimuddin: “I finally feel empowered and ready to take the next step”

 

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Sandi Halimuddin, left, and AAJA Seattle president Mai Hoang at the AAJA Scholarship and Awards gala, which was held during the convention.

Sandi Halimuddin, 22, graduated earlier this year from the University of Washington with a degree in journalism and international relations and previously interned at The Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly. Halimuddin was the recipient of the 2013 Founders Scholarship, which covered the cost of registration and travel for the 2013 AAJA National Convention in New York. In the coming weeks, Halimuddin will return to New York in the next month for an internship at the World Policy Journal

As part of her scholarship, Halimuddin shared her convention experience for AAJASeattle.org. 

When I first heard about the AAJA Convention in New York, I was terrified. While my mentor (former AAJA National President) Sharon Chan described the event as a fun networking and learning opportunity, the thought of shamelessly self-promoting myself in front of well-established people in the journalism industry made me nervous. As a recent grad looking for an entry-level reporting job, the career fair, workshops and networking events are excellent resources, if not a bit daunting. Luckily, AAJA Seattle chapter members gave me great advice on how to make the most out of the annual convention.

First, my mentors encouraged me to come prepared. In addition to preparing an elevator pitch, resumes, business cards and a website with clips, it’s important to do your homework on the companies at the career fair. Sharon encouraged me to do research on media companies, their notable work and current job openings. Speaking with recruiters at the career fair was easier and more meaningful when I showed knowledge of the company and asked specific questions. While working the career fair may not immediately lead to a job, I found that speaking with recruiters helped me gain a better understanding of what my goals and expectations are.

Second, my mentors recommended that I meet as many people as possible. At big events such as these it’s too easy to hide in the corner, tweeting at celebrities and friends. While I had my share of awkward moments standing in the middle of the room looking for someone to talk to, I found that reaching out to people is not as frightening as it seems. Most people at networking events are genuine, friendly and eager to speak with people who are equally as passionate about journalism. Developing connections with fellow convention attendees is a good strategy to establish your presence in the industry, find mentors and learn from people you respect. It’s also comforting to have fellow journalism friends to keep in touch with throughout and after the convention.

Finally, my mentors in the AAJA Seattle chapter insisted that I follow up with recruiters, editors and fellow journalists I met during the convention. While it might be hard to stand out in such a busy and well-attended convention, a prompt and thoughtful follow-up letter or email goes a long way. Even if there are no current job opportunities, showing initiative and establishing relationships with people in the industry can be helpful in the future.

While I was initially hesitant about attending the AAJA Convention, I’m so glad I went this year. I met a lot of wonderful, helpful people at the convention and gained more confidence navigating the professional world. I also now have a more realistic understanding of the possibilities in the journalism industry. Following the AAJA Convention, I finally feel empowered and ready to take the next step in shaping my writing career by moving to New York City this month.

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Defending press freedom for student journalists at WWU

To use a metaphor that sports writers may jibe me for: some of my peers at Western Washington University seem to view college not as the season opener to adult life, but as merely a scrimmage. “Sure, we’re doing the same things, but they don’t affect our record right now.”

It sounds implausible that members of the digital generation who document their lives on social networks would delude themselves that way. But let’s forget about Facebook’s bottomless memory and humor them for a moment, because they almost had a major impact on our school’s interpretation of the First Amendment.

On Oct. 26, the Student Senate at Western introduced a resolution that would have allowed sources to back-edit Western publications’ content. It proposed that students or alumni featured in a publication could, one to 10 years later, tell the publication to delete the content and wipe it from the online archives.

I’m guessing most people reading this are journalists. While you folks pick your jaws up off the floor or try to control your incredulous laughter, I’ll explain the reasoning behind the proposal. (more…)

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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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SPJ continuing education series – final spring workshop on May 9

Posted on by sbhatt

Beyond Google: Exploring the Visible and Invisible Web
MONDAY, MAY 9, 7 p.m., Seattle Times Auditorium
Sponsored by the Western Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Free for SPJ and AAJA members, $10 for non-members. Free pizza included!

Go beyond Google searches and learn to get the most from the Web. This session will cover what reporters, editors and students need to know. From better search techniques to delving into the deep, invisible Web, how to find documents or background people on deadline, track historic content and where to find reliable sites for enterprise stories. The craft of better searching and not wasting time.

Presenter:

  • Cheryl Phillips, Seattle Times data enterprise editor and former president of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE)
  • Alex Johnson, reporter, msnbc.com

The Seattle Times is located at 1120 John St., Seattle, WA  98109. Free parking is available in the visitor’s lot across the street.

Please RSVP to Hilary Reeves, hilary.j.reeves@gmail.com prior to the class.

See you there!

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Take your writing skills to the next level – free workshop

Posted on by admin
This announcement about University of Washington alumnus Jack Hart comes to us by way of AAJA member Karen Gaudette. Thanks, Karen!

Struggling with writer’s block? Let journalism alum Jack Hart (’68), the former managing editor of “The Oregonian,” and the author of “A Writer’s Coach,” help you overcome!

Space is limited, so register through the link to reserve a spot! http://uwcommwritingworkshop.eventbrite.com/

You can’t improve your writing without changing your writing process. And this three-hour workshop will take you through every step of the writing process, focusing on take-it-to-the-keyboard advice you can put to work right away.

You’ll learn how to develop better ideas, make your information-gathering more efficient, find a focus and draft quickly. You’ll fill your writing toolbox with new tips and tricks.
And, best of all, you’ll learn how to write without the pain that moved Gene Fowler to say, “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

Learn the essentials of good writing. Bring ideas to write about and something to write with — laptops are fine, but paper and pencil will work just as well.

Copies of Jack Hart’s book will be available at the event.

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