The Online News Association has a link to all the presentations from its daylong Parachute Training session held during the convention.
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!
Couldn’t make it to Los Angeles to attend the AAJA Convention? Or didn’t have a chance to attend all the sessions (or all the ones you wanted to attend were at the same time)?
No problem. Thanks to the wonders of technology, you can get a taste of the convention experience long after it’s over.
#AAJA Tweets â€” What the Hashtag has a transcript of all the tweets made during the convention.
Web tools and Social media â€” One of the convention highlights were several presentations from Robert Hernandez, a professor at the University of Southern California (and former senior news producer and director of development at The Seattle Times). Check out his handy site for interesting web tools as well as his Intermediate Social Media presentation (done with Justin Osofsky of the Facebook Development Network) .Â And here’s a great takeaway made by Hernandez during his presentations: “You are a lazy journalist if you only use social media. You are a lazy journalist if you don’t use social media.”
Presentation bits and pieces. Sacramento-based multimedia journalist Cody Kitaura has a great post that includes a variety of audio, quotes and links from several convention presentations.
AAJA Voices. The student multi-platform project was a great success thanks to great professional mentors and top notch leadership from AAJA Seattle’s own Marian Liu. The site is chock full of video, photos and stories from the convention and around LA. Don’t know where to start? Check out this video by three-time Northwest Journalists of Color scholarship winner Peter Sessum on the convention experience of AAJA Seattle student member Katelin Chow. (And it’s worth noting that Peter practices what he preaches about social media — he was among the top 10 tweeters during the convention!)
Finally, it’s never too early to think about next year. The next AAJA National Convention will be in Detroit on Aug. 10-13, 2011. Check out the video below.
UPDATE: The AAJA Convention Blog is on Tumblr. Check it out for regular updates.
The 21st Annual AAJA Convention: Back to the Future begins inÂ Los Angeles this week.
Here’s some tips to help you get the most out of the experience.
A cheap way from LAX to the Convention hotel
Here’s a handy tip from Kevin Leung of the Los Angeles Times:
Consider taking the FlyAway bus to Union Station in downtown and then
taking the Red Line subway to the Renaissance (Hollywood & Highland
station). It’s cheaper ($7 for bus + $1.50 for subway) than taking a
shuttle and probably faster (you are not being driven all over L.A. to
drop off other passengers).
The bus stops are just outside the baggage area. Make sure you take the
one to Union Station; there are separate buses to UCLA, Van Nuys and
Irvine. They run 24 hours.
The Red Line runs approximately 5 a.m. to midnight.
Plan out your convention
A full schedule can be found here.
It’s not all work in LA
Check out this handy guide from the AAJA-Los Angeles chapter. The guide offers information on popular dining and night spots, recreation areas and events happening during the week.
Check out the highlights of this year’s silent auction. A bottle of champagne from Robin Leach’s collection? Oh yeah!
Get connected with social media
Mark your AAJA Convention posts with the hashtag #aaja.
Here are some Twitter users to follow while you’re at convention:
@aajajcamp â€” J Camp, a multicultural high school journalism workshop, is currently in session through Wednesday at Loyola Marymount University. Athima Chansanchai (@TimaMedia), AAJA Seattle’s National Board Representative, is J Camp trainer this year.
@aajavoices â€” Check out AAJA Voices, the convention’s student news project, directed by AAJA Seattle member and Seattle Times reporter Marian Liu (@marianliu).Â AAJA Seattle student member Peter Sessum (@petersessum) is on this year’s Voices Staff.
@aajaseattle â€” AAJA Seattle’s Twitter feed.
@aajala â€” Follow the AAJA- Los Angeles chapter, who is hosting this year’s convention.
@aaja â€” the official Twitter stream for AAJA National.
Get the latest things to do while you’re at convention by adding AAJA to your Foursquare friends list.
Want a great convention experience?
On Wednesday evening, a new ethnic media web project held its launch party at The Seattle Times.
The project is led by AAJA member Julie Pham, who is managing editor of the family-owned Northwest Vietnamese News.
Sea Beez has its seed funding from the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods and represents the newest “hive”Â for New America Media, the nation’s first and largest collaboration of 2,000 ethnic media organizations reaching 51 million adults. The NOLA Beez launched in January. The other hubs are LA BeezÂ and San Jose Beez. LA Beez isÂ part of aÂ New America Media’s Digital Divide initiative, funded by the Ford Foundation.
About 80 people attended the event.Â They included ethnic media executives:
The evening began with networking and attendees admiring The Seattle Times’ Pulitzer Prize winning stories. Thanks to AAJA student member Peter Sessum for shooting photos.
The evening gave AAJA student members, like Andrew Doughman, a chance to practice networking and connect with editors looking for freelance contributors.
During the presentations, Julie explained the overall goals of the Sea Beez project.
Sandy Close told the audience that all of the “hives” have a Queen Bee, looking at Julie with a smile. Great work to all involved!
About 15 students at Central Washington spent last Thursday evening (April 15) with SPJ and AAJA Seattle learning how to navigate the job market in last week’s “Choppy Waters” pizza night event.Â AAJA Seattle and the William O. Douglas chapter of SPJ co-sponsored the event while the Central Washington SPJ chapter hosted the event and helped promote it.
During the program, panelists Athima Chansanchai, TJ Mullinax and Debra Yergen discussed a variety of aspects of getting into the job market including usingÂ social media to establish your brand, showing how existing journalism skills can apply to a variety of journalism and non-journalism jobs and the importance of good storytelling especially during the job interview.
The panelists stuck around to critique students’ resumÃ©s, cover letters and clips and as well as answer more questions. The event lasted until 11 p.m., but nobody seem to mind.
AAJA Seattle was a proud co-sponsor of the Journalism That Matters event at the University of Washington in January. Check out a video put together by a documentary filmmaker who was at the event.
The video features interviews with three AAJA Seattle members (Sanjay Bhatt, Mike Fancher and Ranny Kang) and you might spot other chapter members who were there, including Athima Chansanchai, Joaquin Uy, Alex Stonehill, Sam Louie, David Boardman, Caroline Li, Ava Van, Naomi Ishisaka and Carina del Rosario.
Journalism That Matters will be holding a similar forum in Detroit with a special focus on diversity and communities of color.
Here’s the invitation from the JTM site:
Participate in “Journalism That Matters Detroit — Create or Die: Forging communities that initiate, incubate and innovate.”
This focused, three-day gathering of results-driven, action-oriented participants will discover, assess, shape and create forward-looking enterprises focused on key elements of community — diversity, shared values, tolerance, participation and developing youth.
JTM especially invites persons of color — journalists, entrepreneurs, programmers, technologists, bloggers, videographers, venture capitalists, artists, funders, educators and all who have an interest — to explore how voices often unheard or misrepresented can reshape the future of journalism.
AAJA Seattle is now accepting applications for its scholarships. For the first time this year, students need only one form to apply for all three scholarships.
About the scholarships:
Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship: Since its inception in 1986, more than 100 students from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds have received grants to support their studies. This program awards up to $2,500 in scholarship money to students who intend to pursue careers in journalism. Eligible applicants are students who will attend a college or university in Washington in the fall and Washington state residents or seniors attending a high school in Washington who will attend an accredited college or university in the fall.
Founders’ Scholarship: The Foundersâ€™ Scholarship was established in 2000 to honor Frank Abe, Ron Chew and Lori Matsukawa, who founded the AAJA Seattle chapter in 1985. The scholarship covers a student registration fee for the 2010 AAJA National Convention, which will be Aug. 4-7 in Los Angeles. A small stipend for travel and accommodations is available. For more information about the convention, click here.
AAJA Seattle/911 Media Arts Student Scholarship:Â AAJA Seattle has partnered with the 911 Media Arts Center, the stateâ€™s premiere non-profit in new media art and documentary film, to help members looking to develop digital media skills. Though this partnership, the chapter will award two scholarships in 2010 to AAJA Seattle student members for up to $500 in costs of a recipient’s classes, computer lab and rental fees at the 911 Media Arts Center in Seattle’s University District.
Click here to download a copy of the application. Deadline for all three scholarships is May 1. For more information contact scholarship co-chair Venice Buhain at email@example.com.
By Athima Chansanchai
AAJA’ers: Encourage, nurture and inspire the next generation of journalists by recommending they apply to the FREE, multicultural program that is J Camp!
AAJA’s signature training program for aspiring young journalists is geared toward high school freshmen, sophomores or juniors (who are at least 16 years old by July 30, 2010)Â who are interested or thinking about journalism as a career.
It is held the week before the annual convention. This year, the program will run from July 31 – August 4 at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
ThisÂ program houses the students on the university campus while they receive hands-on training in writing, photography, broadcasting, online media, and reporting from professional journalists. The program comes at no cost to J-Campers thanks to the generous support of funders such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Bloomberg, Dow Jones Newspaper Fund; AAJA chapters (sponsoring and/or subsidizing a student from their region when one is chosen for the program); and also from individual members, such as Jennifer 8 Lee and AAJA Governing Board member, Frank Witsil.
JÂ CampÂ scholarship includes return airfare, transportation, university housing, and access to some of the brightest and best media minds in the country.
DOWNLOAD AN APPLICATION!
Take a look at what pastÂ JÂ CampÂ students had to say about this life-changing experience:
You can also visit us at AAJAÂ JÂ CampÂ Facebook. Â For more information, go to AAJA or contact Nao Vang, AAJA National Student Programs Coordinator at (415) 346-2051 x102 orÂ firstname.lastname@example.org. Â We look forward to hearing from you!
AAJA Seattle member Shawn Chitnis answers questions on Asian American Small Market Broadcast Journalists
Shawn Chitnis, co-cordinator of the Asian American Small Market Broadcast Journalists group, with Lori Matsukawa, AAJA Seattle chapter founder and KING 5 anchor, at the AAJA National Convention in Boston. (Photo submitted by Shawn Chitnis)
On Nov. 1, AAJA launched the Asian American Small Market Broadcast Journalists (AASMBJ) group. The group, which will be advised by George Kiriyama, AAJA’s vice president for broadcast and a reporter for NBC Bay Area, was created to provide support and guidance for AAJA members who are in their first job, either at a small media market or in an entry-level position at a larger media market.
AAJA Seattle member Shawn Chitnis is serving as co-coordinator for the group. Chitnis, 23, is currently a reporter for KNDO-TV in Yakima. He is a 2008 graduate of the University of Southern California and a Seattle area native. Before coming to KNDO, he spent several summers working on the assignment desk for ABC News in Los Angeles and New York.
Chitnis met with fellow Yakima reporter and AAJA Seattle member Mai Hoang recently to answer questions about the group.
Q: Why did you want to get involved?
I am in a small market, so I can certainly empathize with the struggles of being in that situation. I believe very strongly in AAJA. I’ve been a member for two years, since I was a senior in college. In the limited time Iâ€™ve been a part of it, I feel I got a lot out of it and been able to connect with amazing people. (I want to do) anything I can to give back to the organization, and this is a first step toward that.
It’s very difficult to be in a small market in general. I think those who are members of AAJA may have additional challenges because they might be from larger cities and are adjusting to a smaller town or a part of a country they’re not familiar with and, honestly, a community that isnâ€™t as exposed to Asian Americans as where they’re from. Take my situation, for example, (moving from) Seattle to Yakima. They’re both relatively diverse areas, but understanding of Asian culture is substantially different.
Q: What are some things from your small market broadcast journalism experience that you will share with the group?
The first thing is understanding what is needed in a smaller market and what small market news directors and small market TV stations are looking for. My experience was fairly exclusive to large markets, having grown up in Seattle, going to school in LA and interning in those (larger) markets. So perhaps I wasnâ€™t properly exposed and didnâ€™t know what small market news looked like and what was going to be expected of me in a small market.
Feedback and guidance is very difficult to get at any stage in your career, forget about being in a small market. Once you land that job, which in itself is a difficult step, you have to make sure you have the proper network to give you the right critique so that you are advancing; that you are improving. And so whatever your next goal may be â€“ it might be staying in that small market and taking on a larger responsibility or it might be moving to a larger market â€“ you need to have someone or a group of people who can help you do that.
Q: Tell me about your duties as the group’s co-coordinator.
Both Maria (Hechanova, a reporter and producer for KYMA in Yuma, Ariz.) and I, the two co-coordinators, have been tasked to lead the organization. We’re figuring out our social media presence. We’re trying to figure out how to have a show at AAJA-LA in 2010 and we are really working with our peers to figure out what is needed to make AASMBJ a success.
Whatâ€™s neat about our situation is that Iâ€™m a year in working for a small market and Maria is a few weeks, maybe a month, into it. Weâ€™re people who can actively benefit from AASMBJ. Weâ€™re all going to be learning from each other and seeking each others help.
Q: How will AASMBJ integrate into the main AAJA group?
First of all, weâ€™re a sub-group of AAJA and AAJA is what makes this organization alive. Our advisor is AAJA’s vice president for broadcast. Our associate advisors are active in AAJA and are in mid- to large-size markets so AAJA surrounds us and everything we do will be an extension of AAJA.
Weâ€™re working to figure out how weâ€™re going to have a presence at the (AAJA National) Convention in 2010. Maybe it will be a mixer, maybe it will be a panel.
We have folks in small markets throughout the country. When we all come together for our convention, we want people to know that there is a place you can go during that time to connect with those who are going through the same things.
Q: How do you join the group?
We have a created a Facebook group (it can be found by searching for AASMBJ on the social networking site), which is going to be the core of AASMBJ. That is where we will do our primary order of business â€“ putting out information, offering job postings, offering feedback and helping other members of AASMBJ connect with their peers. Weâ€™re also on Twitter right now. Twitter will keep you up-to-date and keep you in the loop, but weâ€™ll push you to Facebook.
If you really want to be involved in AASMBJ, you have to be an active AAJA member, so you can join the Facebook group. And from there, weâ€™ll do everything we can help connect people, create feedback, create forums and create a sense of community.