March 25, 2021
Submitted by the AAJA Photojournalists Affinity Group. Flowers and signs in front of Young’s Asian Massage in Acworth, Ga following the Atlanta shootings. Photo by Jeenah Moon for The New York Times.
  • Updates the Atlanta shootings, join AAJA-HQ as Program & Membership Coordinator
  • Upcoming Events & Resources Asian American Journalists Speak Out
  • #AAJAKudos & Member Bylines
  • Opportunities Scholarship deadlines approaching!
Note from the Executive Director

Last week's tragedy marks a year of increasing anti-Asian hate. In the backdrop, in the recesses of American history are other dark periods, like the Chinese Exclusion Act, the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawai'i and subsequently its annexation, the detainment of Asian immigrants on Angel Island, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, the murder of Vincent Chin and the rallying cry for stronger hate crime legislation, the L.A. riots, the hate crimes in the aftermath of 9/11. Most of our communities have carried this pain and grief silently, but not all journalists have fought to tell the stories.

Without our AAJA family, mainstream media wouldn't have been as nimble and responsible in their coverage: we had many AAJA members on the ground reporting, but just as many were shaping the coverage nationwide by initiating or diving into their own newsroom discussions about ways to be accurate and thoughtful. Because of those internal conversations you have with colleagues, editors, and execs, we are able to build voice and momentum for the AAPI community that is both singular and all-encompassing. We are strong because of your fight to get the right stories and your ability to bear witness with empathy and compassion, no matter how heartbreaking and heavy the events are. Thank you for all that you do.

To folks who have joined AAJA as members and supporters in the last days, thank you for believing in the mission and the movement that our founders began 40 years ago, the movement to hold newsrooms accountable to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, to build #AAJAFamily, and to transform journalism. Thank you for joining us.

In community,

Naomi Tacuyan Underwood
Executive Director, AAJA

📓 On Coverage of Atlanta & Anti-Asian Hate Incidents
  • The Atlanta Press Club hosted an event, "Asian American Journalists Speak Out," featuring Natasha Chen, Chenue Her, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Janice Yu, and moderated by Rahul Bali, with special guest Bee Nguyen. This is an AAJA-partnered event. Rewatch it here.
  • Asian Hate in America: A Conversation With Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, Jiayang Fan and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, an event hosted by the Foreign Correspondent Club, was held on March 24 and touched on topics including Asian American identity and the public’s response to the killings in Atlanta. Watch the recording here.
  • The Los Angeles Times hosted "Ask a Reporter: The Rise of Anti-Asian Violence" over Twitter, featuring journalists Teresa Watanabe, Anh Do, and Ada Tseng, with special guest George Takei. Watch the recording here.
  • A collaborative list of resources by AAJA's Young Professionals affinity group was created to support the community in the aftermath of the Atlanta shootings. Find it here.
  • AAPI community sources for the media: for a list of AAPI spokespeople from 100+ community organizations across 20+ media markets in the U.S., fill out this form. The list was crowdsourced by Resource Media and shared with AAJA Studio.
  • An NPR opinion piece looks at inconsistent editorial calls when naming suspects in mass shootings and makes a case for clearer standards. Read it here.
  • The Center for Women in Journalism published a piece on anti-Asian hate, especially at the vulnerable position of Asian American women. Read it here.

Other Resources

  • Join OpenNews's DEI Coalition Slack. Membership in the DEI Coalition is free if you meet membership criteria. To join, or for more information, fill out the membership request form here.
  • The New York Times's David Leonhardt examines the U.S.'s role in reporting on bad news compared to global media coverage. Read the analysis here.
AAJA-HQ Updates
📅 Upcoming AAJA Events
Statement regarding a Chicago Sun-Times column on March 18, 2021
AAJA Chicago was disappointed to see a column published by the Chicago Sun-Times that included language describing Asian Americans in an insensitive and dismissive light. After our chapter raised the issue with the paper, we were pleased to see the Sun-Times quickly remove the two lines from the column and insert an editor’s note to say the paragraphs did not meet its editorial standards. But publishing the lines was unacceptable from the start. Read the full statement here.

#AAJA21 Planning is underway!
Continue to send us your ideas on what you'd like to see at this year's convention by April 5. Submit pitches here.

Join AAJA as our Program & Membership Coordinator!
If you're excited by opportunities to create, innovate, and build structures, and you want to support signature AAJA journalism programs, our annual convention, and growing membership, consider a role as a Program and Membership Coordinator. Find more information and apply here.
March 26 | AAJA Freelance Affinity Group
AAJA Freelance Presents: 45 Minutes With... The Forbes Content Studio Editors at the Forbes Content Studio will be going over how branded content works, how it compares with traditional journalism and how you can contribute at this paneled event. Register here.

April 2 | AAJA-LA
AAJA Founders Forum: Origin Story Five of the six pioneers who started AAJA will share stories of how and why they created AAJA, the challenges and triumphs they experienced and how they believe the organization and Asian American journalism can move to the next level. It will be moderated by David Ono of ABC7. Register here.

April 17, May 15 | AAJA- HQ, Women and Nonbinary Voices Affinity Group, AAJA At-Large, AAJA Plus
Embrace Cultural Confidence, a series of three mental health workshops customized for AAPI journalists that focuses on mindfulness, identity, and resilience. ICYMI: The first session is available to rewatch here (if you'd like to view it email for the password). Or, register for an upcoming session here.
👏 #AAJAKudos to...
Celebrate your achievements with us-- tag @aaja or let us know on Slack. 
Submitted by the AAJA Photojournalists Affinity Group. Jami Webb and fiancé Kevin Chen outside of Young's Asian Massage. Ms. Webb's mother, Xiaojie Tan, was the shop owner and among those killed in the Atlanta shootings. Photo by Chang W. Lee for The New York Times.
On Our List📺📸📰 🎧
Follow us on Twitter @aajaofficial for more works on our radar from the AAJA community.
  • Bipartisan political rhetoric about Asia leads to anti-Asian violence here by Viet Thanh Nguyen and Janelle Wong, The Washington Post
  • California passes bill allocating $1.4 million to track anti-Asian bias and hate crimes by Ashley Wong, The Sacramento Bee
  • The hidden stories that give rise to violence against Asian American women by Naomi Ishisaka, The Seattle Times
  • How We Tracked Secret Oil Deliveries to North Korea by Muyi Xiao, The New York Times
  • Asian-Americans Are Being Attacked. Why Are Hate Crime Charges So Rare? By Nicole Hong and Jonah E. Bromwich, The New York Times
  • Down from mountain, Japanese internee’s remains return home by Brian Melley, The Associated Press
  • From a tiny desk, newspaper editor opens window to chaotic Myanmar by Anh Do, The Los Angeles Times
  • Oakland’s Chinatown finds solutions to hate crimes by Heidi Shin, The World
  • In Its Joy, “Minari” Expands the Boundaries of the American Dream by Hannah Bae, Bitch Media
  • They couldn’t go outside for years. Then Covid-19 trapped them again by Ann Babe, Wired
AAJA Opportunities
Visit AAJA Careers or follow @AAJACareers on Twitter for up-to-date careers, internships, and more.

  • ICYMI: AAJA hosted a scholarship information session providing potential applicants with more details about our offered opportunities. Find the recording of the event here.
  • Apply to be a VOICES fellow or support our student fellowship program by applying to be a VOICES editor. Voices serves as a multimedia journalism training fellowship for college and graduate students, as well as a leadership program for young journalists. Deadline: April 4 for fellows; March 28 for editors. Apply here.
  • ESPN/AAJA Sports Task Force Internship: A joint internship for sports journalism college students at ESPN that will begin in the summer of 2021. The internship includes pay for qualified candidates. Deadline: April 1. Apply here.
  • White House Correspondents’ Association Scholarship: The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) are proud to offer a joint scholarship opportunity to foster the next generation of journalists. Deadline: March 30. Apply here.
  • Various AAJA scholarships are now open to applicants. Learn more about available opportunities and access our general scholarship application form on our website.
Did you produce (or consume) some great journalism recently? Put your work on our radar, so we can feature you in the next member highlights.
Collectively, we can celebrate 40 years of impact,
and contribute towards 40 more years of AAJA's mission
of supporting and uplifting AAPI journalists.
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