Tag Archives: News

AAJA Seattle radio and television members win awards

Posted on by sbhatt

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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Keep an eye out for jobs in mobile news, product development

Posted on by sbhatt

Just days after attending a panel discussion on mobile advertising, I spotted a blog post on Poynter about news organizations hiring people to develop strategy for delivering news on mobile devices. Apparently, the Orlando Sentinel, CNN.com and Philly.com have each dedicated resources to paying attention to their presence on cell phones – particularly smartphones like the iPhone – with an eye toward capturing more traffic and eventually ad revenue.

And if you know how to develop mobile apps, well… let’s just say you’ve got full employment for the foreseeable future. Gannett and News Corp. are looking for mobile app developers, while The Washington Post is searching for someone with the right chops to be their new mobile product manager.

The folks in the Poynter blog post have some interesting points about the mobile platform. For years now, newspaper editors have talked about how their journalism is “platform agnostic,” which means they don’t define themselves by how they distribute their content. The leading news organizations have been cultivating their skill at leveraging the unique strengths of those platforms on big breaking news stories. The web story has immediacy, virtually infinite flexibility for updates and crowdsourcing, and viral distribution. Print has the weight of that first draft of history, lovingly composed page designs, and longer, in-depth reportage for those who make the time to appreciate it.

I love this quote:

“Having a mobile manager has helped everyone realize how we have to treat content differently on the platform,” said Roger Simmons, director of content/East Coast for Tribune Interactive. “I love the fact that at any given time the top stories on the newspaper front page, website and mobile site might all be different — all tailored to the needs and expectations of our readers.”

The next platform – mobile – offers newspapers a second chance to avoid the mistake they made with the web, according to Ken Doctor, the author of  Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape the News You Get. The prevailing norm on mobile is one of paying for useful content, unlike the web browser.

“For local newspapers, this is the biggest opportunity in a decade for a do-over,” Doctor said at the ASNE convention this year.

And just the other day, the chief marketing officer of Unilever told an audience at the International Advertising Festival that the Number 2 advertiser worldwide plans to double spending on digital marketing this year. The company spent only 4 percent of its $864 million in measured media last year on Internet spending, according to an article in Advertising Age. But the company is rapidly moving to shift its marketing spend to be proportionate to the amount of time people spend with digital media.

So you do the math: How much time do you spend consuming content on your television? at your PC? on your iPhone?

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Q&A with Mei-Mei Chan, new publisher of The News-Press

Posted on by sbhatt

AAJA Seattle members took Mei-Mei Chan out for a farewell breakfast on March 23, 2010.

Mei-Mei Chan, vice president of advertising at The Seattle Times and former National AAJA Vice President, has been named president and publisher of The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., effective March 29. Mei-Mei has been vice president of advertising at The Seattle Times since 2004. She succeeds Carol Hudler, who was named president and publisher of The Tennessean in Nashville late last year.

Read The News-Press story about Mei-Mei being named its next publisher.

As many of you know, Mei-Mei started as a reporter in 1981 in Illinois, became an editor at USA Today, and served as executive editor of the Post Register in Idaho Falls, Idaho. In 1997, she switched to the business side of newspapers, becoming head of circulation at The Seattle Times. She was instrumental in The Times’ conversion to a morning circulation and was named Sales Executive of the Year for large newspapers by the Newspaper Association of America in 2003.

Read more about her career path on the AAJA National website. You can also read the National Association of Multicultural Media Executives’ Q&A with Mei-Mei in 2003.

AAJA Seattle chapter president Sanjay Bhatt did a short Q&A with Mei-Mei on March 23.

Q: Why did you move from the news side to the advertising side and how was that transition?
A: I wanted to keep growing, contributing and being challenged… and [Seattle Times Publisher] Frank Blethen gave me the opportunity to do so! I became head of the Circulation department in 1997, then head of Advertising in 2005. I loved applying my journalistic skills to learning new disciplines, probing and diagnosing core issues, and identifying patterns among the chaos. Certainly there have been many a news day when I missed being in the intense creative frying pan cooking up a fabulous story!

Q: How do you keep yourself inspired and hopeful during these hard times?
A: I’ve had the privilege of working with incredibly talented, dedicated teams. Their creativity and courage on behalf of The Seattle Times energizes me and everyone around us. There are many successes to celebrate nearly every day, reinforcing that we are on the right path to excellence. And, my family remains my most important foundation.

Q: As you’ve progressed in your career, what’s enabled you to keep a balance with family life?
A: When I work, I work very, very efficiently and intently. When I’m home, I’m intent on the family. Or I try really, really hard to be! Of course the two intersect and overlap and push and pull on each other. You have to be clear on your priorities, and on what’s most important to you at the end of the day. You want to encourage your family to remind you of those priorities. And one of the unique attractions about The Seattle Times is that it embraces the strength of families.

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Need multimedia training? AAJA Seattle has you covered

I’m thrilled to announce a NEW member benefit for AAJA Seattle members.

Members in good standing are now eligible for discounted rates on classes, computer lab time and rental equipment at 911 Media Arts, Washington state’s premiere non-profit for new media art and documentary film.

Why is this important now?
In today’s tough job market, media professionals with multimedia skills have the edge. 911 Media Arts offers classes in video and audio editing, Adobe Creative Suite 4, documentary film production and web design and programming. 911 Media also rents video cameras and time in its Mac lab.

What does this mean for AAJA members?
Members can take advantage of the benefit in two ways: They can immediately get big discounts on 911 Media’s classes, obtaining the same rate as 911 Media’s members, who pay $45 a year for membership. In addition, AAJA Seattle will offer scholarships to professionals and students in 2010 to defray the cost of classes, equipment rental and lab time.

What classes can I take at 911 Media?

Check out 911 Media’s website for the list. Bare Bones iMovie starts Monday, Feb. 21. Beginning Final Cut Pro starts March 11. “Integrating Photoshop, After Effects and Final Cut Pro” starts March 22. If there’s a topic or skill you’re interested in but don’t see on their site, let AAJA Seattle know because 911 Media has agreed to develop customized classes for our members’ training needs.

I’m unemployed. Can AAJA help with the cost of training?
There are lower cost online training sources as well, but AAJA Seattle has decided to offer three $250 scholarships to professional members this year that cover half the cost of their 911 Media classes. For student members, AAJA Seattle and 911 Media also are providing for two $500 scholarships that cover the entire cost of their 911 Media classes.

How do I make sure I get the discounted rate?
Go to the class listing on 911 Media’s website — http://www.911media.org/education/classes — and click on the link to the class you’re interested in. For example, click on “Beginning Final Cut Pro,” and when the class detail page is loaded, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you’ll see Google Checkout. You’ll select the “Member Price” when you check out. 911 Media will verify with AAJA Seattle that your membership is current.

How do I apply for a scholarship to take a 911 Media class?

We will likely use the same process that we use for our other scholarships. Applicants will be required to write a 250-word statement that describes how the scholarship will help them in their career and how they could use their skills or volunteer time to benefit the chapter. Stay tuned for more details.

If you have any questions, send an email to aajaseattle@gmail.com and use keyword “911 Media” in the subject line. We hope our members will enjoy this new benefit! We are in the middle of our membership renewal drive, so if you could please renew your membership or encourage your colleagues to join AAJA, I would appreciate it. It’s more important than ever before that we sustain our community of journalists and support each other.


Sanjay Bhatt
President, AAJA Seattle chapter

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AAJA Seattle in 2009

Chapter President’s Report

Dear members,

This has been a year of great accomplishments for our Seattle chapter in the face of the worst recession in our lifetime. It’s because of you that we continue to take a stand for diversity in journalism, nurture students and support media entrepreneurship.

As we all know, 2009 was the year of convulsions for our industry as advertisers retrenched and everyone was affected either directly or indirectly by newsroom layoffs. Hearst Corp.’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the city’s oldest newspaper, published its last print edition on March 17 and laid off most of its staffers. Despite layoffs in 2008, The Seattle Times itself was on the brink of bankruptcy, and the staff agreed to painful concessions. Local television stations imposed wage freezes and eliminated jobs as well. Freelancers had a tougher time getting paid their usual rates and finding outlets for their work.

Yes, there were challenges and setbacks, but they didn’t extinguish our spirit.

Here are some of the highlights of 2009:

  • In February, AAJA Seattle held one of its most successful Lunar New Year fundraisers ever. Karen Johnson, managing editor of Seattlemag.com, coordinated a team of volunteers who pulled off the classy event, which was emceed by Q13’s Lara Yamada. Our National Board representatives generously covered our biggest costs: Athima Chansanchai donated the cost of renting the Wing Luke Museum’s gorgeous space, while Chris Nishiwaki donated the cost of wine.
  • Our “Choppy Waters” conference in January at the University of Washington’s Haggett Hall and “Reboot Your Career” workshop in March at Microsoft were a hit with attendees. A big shout-out to the UW’s Department of Communications for making Choppy Waters possible and to freelance writer James Tabafunda for working with me on organizing the entrepreneurship-focused program. Doug Kim, managing editor for Microsoft Office Online, took the initiative to offer a resume workshop for members hunting for jobs.
  • For the first time, AAJA Seattle partnered with the Seattle Association of Black Journalists (SABJ) to develop a video to inspire the next generation of journalists of color. Amy Phan, an editor for NorthWest Cable News, and Jessica Boyd, a former Northwest Journalists of Color recipient, produced the video. Lisa Youngblood-Hall, SABJ’s president, supervised the young producers.
  • We screened the video in June at the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship reception at KING TV. The NJC scholarship program, run this year by Caroline Li, who publishes earthwalkersmag.com, awarded grants to Peter Sessum, Martha Flores Perez, Kassiopia Rodgers and Ilona Idlis.
  • At the AAJA National Convention in Boston, our Seattle chapter had a stellar turnout with 16 attendees, including Whitworth University student Yong Kyle Kim, this year’s recipient of the Founders scholarship. President Sharon Chan delivered an inspiring speech, and Marian Liu led the Voices Student Project with aplomb.
  • In another first, the Seattle chapter went to Vancouver, B.C., in September to support journalists of color there and establish ties with major media. Jennifer Chen, associate producer for CBC’s Early Edition, and Alden Habacon, manager of diversity initiatives for CBC Television, worked hard to put together a packed two-day itinerary that included newsroom tours, a panel discussion at the University of British Columbia’s Graduate Journalism School and a Lunar New Year-style dinner that brought out 60 local journalists.
  • And in November, AAJA launched the Asian American Small Market Broadcast Journalists group. Chapter member Shawn Chitnis, a reporter for KNDO TV in Yakima, is co-coordinator of the group.

These and other members of our Seattle chapter are the reason why AAJA Seattle is one of the best chapters in the country. Our members are also lucky to have an extremely dedicated board, and I want to thank this year’s officers for their service. If you’re interested in serving on our board in the future, please drop me a note.

We have reorganized and expanded our board, dropping the co-presidency and establishing two new positions – vice president for events and vice president for member programs. Many thanks to Venice Buhain, board secretary, for managing the restructure and chapter elections. Here are the chapter’s officers in 2010:

  • President: Sanjay Bhatt, reporter, The Seattle Times
  • Vice president for member programs: vacant
  • Vice president for events: Caroline Li, founder, Earthwalkers Magazine
  • Treasurer: Nicole Tsong, reporter, The Seattle Times
  • Secretary: Venice Buhain, reporter, The Olympian
  • National Advisory Board representative: Athima Chansanchai, founder/president, Tima Media

The board held a retreat recently at the home of Lori Matsukawa and Larry Blackstock and developed a roadmap for the chapter in 2010 and beyond.

As we look ahead, we will inspire the next generation of journalists, promote diversity and support media entrepreneurship. We will focus our resources on outreach, training and mentoring. We will strengthen the relationships we’ve built and develop new ones.

Next year we plan to launch a training series, hold social events with other professional groups, and sponsor pizza nights with journalism students at colleges and universities. We plan to send one, maybe even two, students to the AAJA National Convention, Aug. 4-7, in Los Angeles (and hope to see you there).

Have an idea for a chapter event? Come to a chapter business meeting! We plan to hold them every other month on the second Saturday. Subscribe to updates at www.aajaseattle.org.

There are many ways you can support AAJA: Become a member. Attend an event. Volunteer your time or expertise. Make a tax-deductible donation. This is your community.

Thank you and happy holidays!

Sanjay Bhatt
President, AAJA Seattle

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