Why I want to be AAJA’s next national president
Our industry is going through an exhilarating transformation. Our business model is changing at a rapid pace, and the expectations of what it takes to be a journalist are being redefined. I believe this is the most innovative time in journalism.
Friends, I am excited by the tasks ahead of us. In these moments, we must carry on not simply because it’s our job, but because we must remain faithful to the ideals of journalism.
AAJA must play a leadership role in reshaping our industry. As your president, I promise to work with you on bold solutions. We will act not only to stabilize our industry but also to lay a new foundation for growth. To do that, we need to:
- Expand our skills so that we can become leaders in our industry, through training and mentoring programs. We have strong programs like JCamp, Voices and ELP but we must sync up the various programs to create a continuous pipeline from high school to college to entry level to mid career to executive. We must assure the next generation of journalists that their future is bright.
- Grow and diversify our membership to represent the changing faces of our industry. George Kiriyama, our current vice president for broadcast, introduced affinity groups for members who work in small broadcasting markets, as well as a separate group for our members who work in radio. I’d like to build on that effort by establishing communities within our organization for photographers, those who specialize in social media, or members who work as freelancers.These groups can help guide our programming and help us recruit new members. Many companies are looking for specific skills and this would position AAJA to recommend our talent to media companies.
- Build a sustainable future for journalism by working hand in hand with media companies to solve their business and diversity needs. We can help media companies build a successful diversity recruitment strategy. AAJA can also offer internal training for media companies about diversity and leadership.
- Forge a closer relationship with our AAPI communities to serve as their watchdog and ensure fair and accurate coverage. From Danny Chen to Jeremy Lin, it is clear that we must take a vital role in our communities and get to know them better. AAJA should be a resource to our community. We must build a national speaker’s bureau with experts and community leaders.
I have a track record of success and creativity. As a manager for the past 10 years at the Wall Street Journal, the Miami Herald and the Associated Press, I have pushed our newsrooms to be more innovative and diverse.
I also have a deep understanding of AAJA’s mission and priorities. As an ELP graduate, I helped create last year’s Our Chinatown media demonstration project. As a JCAMP trainer, I have mentored young journalists. As a former convention co-chair and UNITY programming co-chair, I created workshops that also brought sponsors to AAJA. And as a board representative for both small and large chapters, I understand the challenges each of you is facing.
Together, we will continue to tell great stories about our communities, our cities, our nation and our world. It’s in our hands.
Come and join me and my supporters on my journey to serve as your next AAJA president. What are your ideas? I want to hear them.