AAJA was founded in 1981 by a small group of AAPI journalists to support one another and to encourage more AAPIs to pursue journalism at a time when there were few AAPI faces in the media.
AAJA owes its founding to the vision of this small group of Los Angeles journalists:, Tritia Toyota and Frank Kwan of KNBC-TV News; Bill Sing, Nancy Yoshihara and David Kishiyama of the Los Angeles Times; and Dwight Chuman of Rafu Shimpo, a local Japanese American newspaper.
In 1985, AAJA became a national organization spanning the United States with the formation of additional chapters beyond Los Angeles. Today, AAJA has more than 1,600 members in 20 chapters across the U.S. and Asia, with its largest membership bases in large metropolitan areas on the West Coast (Los Angeles, San Francisco-Bay Area, and Seattle), East Coast (New York City and Washington, D.C.), and in the Midwest (Chicago).
In addition, AAJA has a growing number of members working throughout Asia — in Tokyo, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, the Philippines and Bangladesh — which underscores the rapid growth of media properties in Asia and points the way to future expansion of the organization.
Close to one-third of AAJA’s members are students, attesting to the organization’s emphasis on bringing young people into the news business.
AAJA is proud to include among its members some of the top journalists in the country, from network news anchors and reporters to Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, editors and photographers, to national radio show producers and major magazine editors.
Since its founding, AAJA has established journalism career development and mentorship programs that prioritize diversity and that continue to evolve as journalism evolves. Over time, AAJA has strengthened its civic engagement arm, which holds newsrooms accountable to accurate reporting on AAPIs (through MediaWatch and AAJA Studio) and trains local and community organizations to engage with the media (Media Access).
AAJA celebrates its 41st year in 2022. Our mission remains just as urgent as it was in 1981, especially in the shadow of a recession that reduced the number of journalists of color who would have been poised for senior-level roles. AAJA’s programmatic priorities have existed in parallel, but there is an unprecedented opportunity to further coordinate and synthesize our work. Even with programs that cultivate leadership at different stages of a journalist’s career, the “pipeline” problem remains, and will be even further exacerbated by COVID-19’s impact on the industry. AAJA views this pivotal moment as both an opportunity and a challenge to uplift our mission, the work and livelihoods of our members, and our larger AAPI community and communities of color.
OUR MISSION IS FOUR-FOLD:
– To provide a means of association and support among Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) journalists, and to advance AAPI journalists as news managers and media executives.
– To provide encouragement, information, advice and scholarship assistance to AAPI students who aspire to professional journalism careers.
– To provide to the AAPI community an awareness of news media and an understanding of how to gain fair access.
– To research and point out when news media organizations stray from accuracy and fairness in the coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and AAPI issues.
For more information, visit aaja.org.
We are looking for volunteers to help during the conference to:
– Help with registration and reception, and offer guidance to visitors at the venue
– Maintain the conference hall or workshop rooms
– Promote the conference and the relevant publications
* A good command of Chinese is a plus
* Media-related experience is appreciated
This is your opportunity to deeply participate in the conference with hundreds of talented media veterans and gain insight and experience from them.
To sign up, click here! For any questions, please contact us with the form below.
If you would like to volunteer, sponsor or speak at N3Con, contact us at email@example.com