Tag Archives: njc

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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AAJA Seattle student member: AAJA Voices was one of the most rewarding weeks of my life

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Peter Sessum’s mug shot for AAJA Voices

This post was written by Peter Sessum, an AAJA Seattle student member. Sessum recently was one of 20 students to participate in AAJA Voices. He received training and mentoring on a variety of media platforms to cover the AAJA National Convention, which was held last month in Los Angeles. Sessum, a three-time recipient of the Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship, last wrote about the chapter’s recent innovation salon on Twitter for the AAJA Seattle website.

I have benefited from AAJA more than anyone else I know. Workshops, scholarships and of course the mentorships. There is one thing that wraps it all up in one neat little package: The AAJA Voices Convention News Project (CNP). For a week in Los Angeles, students benefited from everything AAJA has to offer. I was lucky enough to be one of them.

If the convention is a sprint for most convention goers, for the Voices staff, it is a marathon that started long before registration.Twenty students were selected to be part of CNP. Once selected, we got to work. There were webinars that needed to be completed and story assignment ideas. We were paired with a professional mentor. Mine was William Wan from the Washington Post. I couldn’t have asked for one better.

By the time I arrived in LA, I already had one story in the can. I had written my column about how I came to be a journalist. After that, I just needed two more in two different media. This is what separated the journalists from the writers. You have to do research to know what story ideas to pitch. There were still a lot of unknowns heading to the airport, but excitement was high.

There is a saying among Navy SEALs, “The only easy day was yesterday.” For the convention, the only easy day was Monday. After all the students trickled in, introductions were made and we headed out to dinner. It would be the last time everyone would eat together outside the newsroom until after the convention.

Voices Director Marian Liu quickly laid down the law. Three students failed to complete the assigned tasks prior to the convention and were told not to come. From the start, Liu kept the group on task. Every day was full. If we weren’t working on a story, there were tours, guest speakers or some form of training or networking. One day was spent at The Los Angeles Times.

With so many moving parts I have no idea how Liu kept it all straight. It was more coordinated than most military operations. Nothing got past our leader. As soon as a student would finish a task, Liu would be calling their name with something new to do.

When the convention started on Wednesday I felt like I was in the eye of the storm. Despite furiously working against an ever impending deadline, tweeting updates for AAJA and Voices and trying to work on future stories, I felt calm. For me, it was not my most stressful newsroom.

The days were filled. Something was scheduled just about every minute. Fortunately, one of my stories was about Katelin Chow, an AAJA Seattle student member, NJC scholarship recipient and a first-time convention goer. Following her got me out of the newsroom and into a couple workshops.

When recruiters talk about elevator speeches, they mean it literally. When heading to my next event, I found myself in an elevator with a person from USA Today. I had missed her at the job fair. In the six-floor ride down, I was able to give her my pitch and we exchanged cards.

I was one of the lucky few who not only got out of the newsroom, but also had some time at night to get some downtime. I was able to spend time with members of AAJA Seattle. And I even found time to make some new friends. My roommate, however, was working far into the night.

National conventions are an Olympics of a conference. While most spring from event to event, the members of the voices project run a week long marathon. By the end of it, I was running like a well-oiled machine. One being operated by a rabid, schizophrenic badger.

Despite all the hard work, the Voices project was one of the most rewarding weeks of my life. I left feeling prepared for next year when I graduate and will be looking for a job. I also picked up some skills to make me a better journalist. As a side bonus, I had some fun.

I would encourage anyone to get involved with the program. Professionals will be able to mentor the next generation of journalists — some of who are really impressive. For students, the CNP is a great experience. They select the best AAJA has to offer, but only the best of those who apply.

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Meet the 2010 Northwest Journalists of Color recipients!

Posted on by maiphoang
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[AAJA Seattle members at the 2010 Northwest Journalists of Color reception, June 8 2010. From left to right AAJA Seattle president Sanjay Bhatt, NJC co-chair and AAJA Seattle secretary Venice Buhain, Rachel Solomon, Mary Pauline Diaz, Katelin Chow, Peter Sessum, NJC co-chair Mai Hoang, AAJA Seattle treasurer and past NJC chair Nicole Tsong. Photo by Naomi Ishisaka.]

Katelin Chow

Katelin is a sophomore at the University of Washington where she studies Journalism and political science. She’s interested in all types of journalism, including television, print and radio—Katelin would eventually like to produce broadcast stories, whether for a local TV station or an online publication. This past February, Katelin interned with NBC Universal at the Vancouver Olympics, where she worked as a runner for operations and production logistics, as well as a logger for curling production. Katelin has also worked with The Daily since she started at the UW, and has written stories, copy-edited, produced
video stories and has also helped start the paper’s new TV-show, The Daily’s Double Shot. Earlier this month, one of Katelin’s stories for The Daily was recognized as one of the top three in SPJ’s Region X for General Television reporting. She is a student in the University Honors program.

Mary Pauline H. Diaz

Mary Pauline is finishing her sophomore year at Seattle University, studying Theology and Religious Studies. Her name roughly translates to “humble overthrow,” reflecting what she hopes to offer the world and how she views the media’s impact potential. Originally from Aurora, Colorado, Diaz was Entertainment Editor for Seattle U’s student weekly The Spectator and has written for Ignite Your Faith Magazine, myUsearch.com and her own music website, TheOvercast.net. Diaz is a Filipina-American—her parents and siblings immigrated in the 1980s, and she is the only member of her immediate family born in the United States. She is grateful for their models of commitment to justice and empathy, and she hopes to bring that to a career in print or online journalism. In all things, Diaz seeks to explore and honor true human experience.

Peter Sessum

Peter fell into journalism almost by accident. It was the only humanities course open when he signed up for his first quarter of classes.
At the time, Peter was making his return back to school after spending a year and a half working counter narcotics for the State Department in Afghanistan. He thought he could do more good with a degree since the department supervisors didn’t listen to the contractors without college degrees. But he quickly decided that he could do more good reporting overseas and bringing back the stores that aren’t being told than he could working for the State Department.
Despite the recent change in the face of journalism, Peter remains optimistic. He doesn’t feel like he has to compete with 500 other graduating journalism students next year. Instead, Peter, who is currently a student at the University of Washington, believes that he only needs to find one editors that is looking for someone like him. With a lot of experience overseas, knowledge of the way military works and plans to take Arabic classes starting in the fall, Peter feels he will be competitive to report overseas.
Peter won two awards in the 2009 Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards — first place for in-depth reporting and second place for general news reporting.

Rachel Solomon

Rachel is a junior studying journalism at the University of Washington. She grew up in Redmond, Wash., and started working at The Daily, the UW’s student newspaper, as a copy editor the day before she started her first quarter of college. She has since worked as a beat reporter, features editor and news editor, and has interned at Seattle Metropolitan magazine and the Ballard News-Tribune. Rachel is interested in pursuing a career in radio journalism after she graduates. She loves the intimacy of the medium and how no matter how many people are listening, it always feels like the host or reporter is having a conversation with only you. Her dream job would be to follow in the footsteps of her idol, Ira Glass, and work for This American Life.

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Ten Twitter lessons from AAJA Seattle Innovation Salon at TASTE

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AAJA student member Peter Sessum, a three-time recipient of Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship who writes for The Daily, documented the event and wrote up 10 Twitter lessons he learned at our AAJA Seattle’s first Innovation Salon:

1. Be yourself. While Twitter can be used for business, it is expression of who you are. Relationships with customers can be built if your Twitter has that personal touch. Better to be loved, or hated, for who you are than to be invisible.

2. Don’t retweet compliments. It comes off as self indulgent and will get you deleted from Becky Selengut’s feed. It is enough that all of the sender’s followers can read it, all of your followers don’t need to as well. Simply reply a thank you and move on.

3. Be mindful of which account you are using. For the professional Twitter, posting a personal Tweet, or replying to a friend, from a business account reflects on the business. Remember to log out and log back in from your personal account.

4. Deleting posts. Recent news proves that deleting can be just as troublesome as the original post. Twitter is in real time and instant gratification. There is a feeling of urgency to post right away or retweet before there is a gap in the posting. In a professional setting, take a moment before posting. It will get read, might as well have it right.

5. Misspellings. Make a correction and move on. Do not be too critical of another’s mistakes; it will happen to you too someday.

6. Inflection is lost when typing. A public forum is not the place to give someone new a taste of your sense of humor.

7. Do not argue over twitter. A healthy exchange of ideas is good, shouting matches are not. In online fights there are no winners, only losers.

8. We are all connected in the Twittersphere. Retweets are a good way to link people you don’t know with people you don’t know. Selengut’s beautifully convoluted story that linked up strangers illustrates how to help one another. As a result, you may end up with jam.

9. There is still room for improvement on Twitter. Creative people will find new ways to utilize twitter at 140 words at a time. Limitations do not stifle imagination, they inspire innovation.

10. Most importantly, know when to unplug. Despite all the “connections” on Facebook and Twitter, it isn’t real interaction. Sit down with friends and family without phones and computers. Have some real connections, there will be plenty of time to Tweet about it later.

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AAJA Seattle student members in action!

Posted on by maiphoang

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:

peterPeter Sessum, the 2008 and 2009 recipient of the Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship, won two awards in the 2009 SPJ Region 10 Mark of Excellence Awards.

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.

resizesAnother winner in the regional Mark of Excellence Awards was Yong Kyle Kim. He won a third place award in online in-depth reporting for a project on pornography on campus for the website of the Whithworthian, the school paper at Whitworth University in Spokane. Last summer, Kim was able to attend the 2009 AAJA National Convention in Boston as a recipient of the Founders Scholarship. Kim blogged about his convention experience on this website, reporting on a session about the dangers of international journalism and what news recruiters look for in students. And if all that wasn’t enough — Kim is currently in the middle of a year abroad in Sydney, Australia studying journalism at Macquarie University.

gerald 2Gerald Patriarca, a student at Seattle Pacific University, recently was profiled in the university’s paper for his internship with KOMO-TV’s problem solvers team. The article, which also mentions his previous internship at KING 5, also quotes Akiko Oda, an AAJA member who interned at KOMO-TV before graduating from University of Missouri this month.  And not only is Patriarca learning from his experience, he’s inspiring other students to do the same.

Who wouldn’t be inspired by these students awesome stories? I certainly am!

Photos: AAJASeattle.org file photo, Yong Kyle Kim’s website and Danielle Knight, The Falcon newspaper at Seattle Pacific University.

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