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AAJA20 Convention & COVID-19

We hope this finds you as well as can be. AAJA firmly believes in our collective strength as a community, and as such, the health and safety and well-being of our members come first. We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation, in order to determine an ethically, organizationally, and financially responsible decision for our AAJA community.
AAJA is committed to the goals and the spirit of what brings us together at convention every year — building community, networking, professional development and leadership programming, and career opportunities. We will be exploring all possible alternatives that fulfill the abovementioned goals, while we face many uncertainties due to the trajectory of this global pandemic and the decision-making processes of government officials.
We understand the great uncertainty and anxiety that you face, both in your personal and professional lives.
In that vein, we encourage you to be flexible and responsible in making arrangements in this time of uncertainty. We will be extending early bird registration to May 31 to give some flexibility.
We hope that you take the time to respond to our member needs survey here, so we may best identify how we can support you in the months to come.
We look forward to being in touch in the weeks to come with further updates on resources and programming.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship

Hello everyone.
College students! We have a big announcement!
(Drum roll…)
AAJA and Getty Images are pleased to announce a new collaboration to award a $10,000 scholarship to a student focused on photojournalism. The scholarship recipient will also receive a $1,000 stipend to support attendance at the AAJA National Convention, July 29 – August 1, 2020 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC.

AAJA and Getty Images (my employer) have teamed up to offer this great opportunity to promote diversity and inclusion within the editorial photography industry and journalism more broadly. Candidates will be judged on the strength of their photographic portfolios, academic performance and a demonstrated commitment to the field of visual journalism.

Application Deadline: April 27, 2020
Click on the link for more details and the link to the application and please share this with other students.
If you have any questions, please send me an email. Thank you.
Alex Wong

AAJA Photo


Instagram: #AAJAPhoto

FB: AAJA Photo


We’re here for you! AAJA Updates, Member Survey, & Member News

March 23, 2020
A Letter from the President
Dear AAJA Member,
I hope this email finds you as safe and as well as can be.
Thank you for the work you are doing, delivering clarity and credible information as we experience rapid changes to the way we work and live.
We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak as it relates to our members and programming (full update here). We encourage our members to avoid physical contact as much as possible, while taking care of each other in other ways.
I am thinking about our members at the frontlines of coronavirus coverage. I am thinking about the toll it takes for our members to cover the racism and xenophobia aimed at our communities. I am thinking about how we can help each other cope during this isolating and destabilizing time.
I’ve been heartened by the organic sprouting of community-care efforts across our chapters and membership, like AAJA Philly’s call for continued support of local Asian businesses, members socializing over virtual happy hours, J-Camp alums checking in with each other on social media, and so much more.
Please let us know: How are you taking care of yourself? How are you taking care of those in your community? How can we take care of you? Check in with us here so we can build or direct you to the resources and support that you need. 
(ICYMI: We sent a list of resources for reporters covering coronavirus as well as wellness tips for working and parenting while working from home. Check it out here.)
At the same time, I am disturbed by the intensifying attacks on the AAPI community, including our members. If you’ve personally experienced an incident of discrimination, we are keeping track here to inform our response. We encourage you to report to Asian Americans Advancing Justice as well at www.standagainsthatred.org.
AAJA has released a joint statement, with other diversity associations in solidarity, condemning the racism and xenophobic remarks that fuel anti-AAPI sentiments around the globe. Please continue to share with your newsrooms our Media Watch guidance on coronavirus coverage.
As this global pandemic continues, so does the threat to free press. We support all of our members overseas and AAJA-Asia’s statement protesting China’s decision to expel U.S. journalists — the latest step in escalating geopolitical tensions that threaten global health and press freedom.
Thankfully, our #AAJAFamily remains as strong and connected as ever. I urge you to lean on your fellow AAJA members. Reach out to your chapter leaders. Communicate on our AAJA Slack community. There is now also a #parenting channel in AAJA Slack.)

Let us know how we can further support you and amplify your good work.
And if you want to join in our efforts, we are seeking support with strengthening our capacity for coronavirus monitoring. Email me at mlee@aaja.org if you can help with:
  • Social media rapid response: Let us know if you’re :100: at social media and can help with rapid response messaging.
  • Monitoring media coverage: Let us know if you’re sharing with your friends and colleagues examples of both offensive AND thoughtful media coverage of coronavirus and its impact on Asians and AAPIs.
  • Resources: Let us know if you want to help our members and journalists cope with coronavirus coverage by curating and sharing resources to help them personally and professionally.
Wishing you health and safety,

Michelle Ye Hee Lee

AAJA President
On Our Reading List
Above the fold: Coronavirus coverage from AAJA members
In other news:
  • Ed Yong’s April 2020 feature story for The Atlantic about giraffe life and why these understudied creatures may be more endangered than we noticed.
  • Hannah Bae’s interview with author E. J. Koh about living between languages, the boom in historical writing on Korea, and parent-child separation for Asian American Writers’ Workshop.
  • Elise Hu’s NPRreview of Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings, a newly published series of essays on the Asian American experience.
  • Lakshmi Gandhi’s interview with Kevin Nguyen about his debut novel New Waves, which explores Asian American male identity, classism, and power in tech.
  • Seung Min Kim’s International Women’s Day chat with #HerStory at Twitter News about what it’s like to be a White House reporter and her tips for fellow women journalists.
  • Corinne Chin’s multimedia project and 23-page print piece on “Disappearing Daughters” with co-author Erika Schultz for the Seattle Times, exploring femicide on the US-Mexico border and highlighting the resilience of the mothers of Ciudad Juárez through text, photography, film, and visual poetry.
#AAJA Kudos: Member & Alumni News
  • Maria Ressa is among Time’s 2019″100 Women of the Year,” honoring her work combating fake news in the Philippines. She was also one of the journalists honored in Time’s 2018 Person of the Year.
  • Sacramento Press Club has named one of its new scholarships after Lonnie Wong, founder of AAJA-Sacramento and 2015 AAJA Lifetime Achievement Awardee.
  • Ti-Hua Chang has joined The Young Turks network as an investigative climate change reporter.
  • Cheryl Diaz Meyer received first place in the NPPA’s International Picture Story competition with her photo story featuring Comfort Women of the Philippines.
  • W.W. Norton will be publishing Vauhini Vara’s novel, The Immortal King Rao, in 2021, followed by a collection of short stories, This is Salvaged.
  • Jen Yamato has just launched a new LA Times’ podcast Asian Enough with co-host Frank Shyong
Our Community Counts: The 2020 Census
Did you know AAJA member Hansi Lo Wang is a Census expert? Earlier this March, he created a census tip sheet for fellow journalists:
Follow @hansilowang on Twitter for Census updates.
For more information about the Census, check out APIA Vote.
Facebook Journalism Project Seeks Your Input

Facebook Journalism Project is seeking input from AAJA members on how you use Instagram and Facebook in your work in order to provide you better tools and trainings for using those platforms. Complete the survey here.

Open Scholarship Opportunities & Program Applications
  • *New* Apply for 2020 AAJA / Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship
    by April 27, a $10,000 scholarship to a student focused on photojournalism and $1,000 stipend to support attendance at #AAJA20.
  • Apply for Voices 2020 by March 29 (extended), an all-expenses paid student journalism fellowship (July 26-August 1 in DC).
  • Apply for JCamp 2020 by March 29, a weeklong journalism program for high school students (July 5-10 in DC).
** Please know we are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak situation. Our utmost priority is the safety and well-being of our student participants, and we will make decisions based on recommendations from health and government authorities.
We still encourage all students to apply for these programs. Depending on the situation, while we may be able to continue as scheduled, we are also exploring virtual opportunities for the program. We may postpone this program until we have a chance to reschedule.
Communicate with Us
Is your membership up to date? Renew today!

Applications Open for Investigative/Enterprise Reporting Grants

Aloha AAJA Hawaii, just passing along this opportunity.

Applications are now open for the Winter 2020 round of the McGraw Fellowships for Business Journalism, which provide financial and editorial support to journalists working on high-impact stories on financial, economic or business topics. As always, we’d much appreciate any help you can give us in getting the word out to your members!

Grants up to $15K to Produce High-Impact Business Journalism — Apply by 1/31/20  

Got a great idea for a story that ‘Follows the Money’? Apply now for the Winter 2020 McGraw Fellowship for Business Journalism, an initiative of the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY that supports high-impact economic and business journalism. The McGraw Fellowships provide up to $15,000 and editorial support for experienced journalists to produce deeply-reported investigative or enterprise stories on important economic, financial or business topics. No residency is required; McGraw Fellows work from their own offices. Open to both freelance and staff journalists with five years professional experience. Winter 2020 applications are due January 31, 2020.

Previous McGraw Fellows have worked on a wide range of topics – and you don’t need to be a business reporter to apply. Many McGraw Fellows have been generalists, or cover other beats such as health care or the environment. Here are a few examples:

You’ll find more information at bit.ly/McGrawFellows. You can also contact us at mcgrawcenter@journalism.cuny.edu.

Please let me know if there’s any further information I can provide you. We’d be very interested in hearing from any of your members who might have good projects in need of funding, so thanks in advance for any help you can give us in spreading the word.



Jane Sasseen
Executive Director
McGraw Center for Business Journalism
Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

Check out the McGraw Fellowship: Grants up to $15K to report investigative and enterprise stories on business/financial topics.

IRE media training coming to Honolulu


IRE will bring its acclaimed watchdog workshop series to Honolulu, on Saturday, Feb. 9. Get a free (or extended) one-year IRE membership and all-day training on how to ramp up your watchdog skills at the workshop co-hosted by The University of Hawaii School of Communications; Society of Professional Journalists–Hawaii Chapter; Asian American Journalists Association–Hawaii Chapter; and Media Council Hawaii.

You’ll learn tips from some of the top investigative journalists from print, TV and online newsrooms. Our speakers are Cody Winchester and Charles Minshew, both from IRE & NICAR; Bigad Shaban from NBC Bay Area; John Hill from Honolulu Civil Beat; and Brian Black of Civil Beat Law Center for Public Interest.

Sessions are designed for all journalists looking to improve their data and reporting skills. Freelancers and students are also encouraged to attend.

Registration includes a one-year IRE membership, giving you access to reporting tipsheets, training resources and more. Current members receive a one-year extension. 

In addition, you may register for hands-on spreadsheet training on Sunday, Feb. 10, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. This beginner class teaches you how to use spreadsheets to find stories. Reserve your spot today, as space in the computer lab is limited.

Find additional information, including the schedule, pricing and registration details, athttps://www.ire.org/events-and-training/event/4115.We encourage you to share this with any colleagues who might be interested.

This program is made possible thanks to support from the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

We look forward to seeing you in Honolulu on Feb. 9!

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