aaja and ethnic media meeting

aaja and ethnic media meeting
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_cinq.

the first-ever asian american journalists association meeting with chicago ethnic media - most of which was filipino media!

the first asian american journalists association (AAJA) meeting with various asian american ethnic media (EM) intended to meet with print, online and broadcast journalists from all nationalities of asian descent in chicago, but interestingly the only nationality present was filipino. the chinese americans and south asians were members of aaja.

that wasn't the first thing that i saw when i came to the meeting, of course. you wouldn't know that just looking at the group present. i forgot what topic it was that they were talking about when i squeezed in a seat next to pinoy monthly (PM) and an aaja rep. but i liked how members from mega scene magazine and PM realized they were at odds with each other. ahahaha.

to be brutally honest, i was hoping that the beef between filipino media would come out. i wanted to know their history, why the second largest asian group in the third largest city in the u.s. has at least five different print publications. and they all seem to be released all at the same time. and they are all free - unless you want them delivered to your door.

when you sit down and read two of these publications side by side, you'll notice that the bulk of news still comes from the homeland. researchers and mainstream journalists have never ceased calling filipinos in the u.s. - or at least, in chicago - the invisible minority. but for their accent and skin color, they blend in extremely well.

if journalism reflects the community it represents, then i say at least two of the five publications are doing a good job (the one i volunteer for and the other that i read. ahahaha). journalists watch what's going on, they, ideally, don't start fires so that they could call firefighters to put out the blaze so then they could have something to write about. they don't make the news.

many editors will say there is always something to cover, they just have to look for it. indeed, there is, it's just a matter of staffing them. that's where ethnic media is lacking. but this could be countered if the one or two bodies they have get trained efficiently so they can accomplish more in the small time alloted to them.

this is what the EM journalists asked for from aaja - training. aaja said they will schedule craft workshops and let them know about upcoming ones already planned, such as the layout and design workshop coming up.

aaja then compiled a list of emails from the meeting and suggested if the ethnic journalists would like to learn about filing freedom of information act requests, finding court documents and police reports.

it made me smile because this is something that EM needs to learn because at the meeting, i heard many things that seemed to all amount to that the journalists want their publications to make an impact on the larger society their backgrounds belong to, that is, chicago, illinois, the u.s.

that the journalists present at the meeting mentioned that this is their desire is very encouraging to hear. i say this as a first-generation immigrant who is the same age as the second-generations aaja journalists who are, like their parents and their contemporaries, still writing "am here" to a society that sometimes deems they haven't yet arrived.
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