The Asian American Journalists Association, the AAJA National Officers and the 2012 AAJA National Awards Committee are pleased to announce the recipients of the following awards. At UNITY12, additional award recipients will be announced at the AAJA Gala Awards Banquet on Aug. 3.
2012 LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
This award honors an Asian American or Pacific Islander who has demonstrated courage and commitment to the principles of journalism over the course of a life’s work.
Kim has loyally served the Asian American journalism community for more than 35 years. As one of the first and most highly respected Asian American radio news reporters in Kim’s native Bay Area, his 15 years at KNBR included stories on the arrest and trial of Patty Hearst, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, and the trial of convicted would-be presidential assassin Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme. Kim was a reporter and anchor for 11 years with KFTY-TV in Santa Rosa, Calif. He has been an anchor/reporter for Comcast Cable’s North Bay Report for 14 years and continues his popular North Bay Trials reports that are now heard on KSRO Radio. Kim has won multiple awards, including from the Associated Press and the Radio Television News Directors Association for both feature reporting and hard-news coverage, two national Telly Awards and the Western Media Association honor for Best Community News. He is the co-coordinator of the Asian American Radio Group, serving as a mentor and friendly ear to anyone interested in a career in radio.
2012 LEADERSHIP IN DIVERSITY AWARD
This award honors an individual, corporation or organization making strides in promoting and demonstrating diversity in the news media industry. The Leadership in Diversity Award winner is selected by the AAJA National Officers.
Since 2005, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has been AAJA’s partner in ensuring a pipeline of journalism diversity. The foundation’s commitment to AAJA’s JCamp helps us train the next generation of journalists. Over the past eight years, Annie E. Casey has contributed more than a quarter-million dollars to support the success of JCamp. Annie E. Casey and JCamp share a mission to enrich the lives of disadvantaged children in the United States. With the foundation’s financial backing, JCamp has continued to reach out to a broad spectrum of students, including those from varied socioeconomic backgrounds. Together, we recognize that a diversity of voices and experiences is necessary for a broad perspective in 21st-century newsrooms and to best serve news consumers. With appreciation for the investment that the Annie E. Casey Foundation has placed in JCamp and its 500 graduates, AAJA recognizes the foundation as the 2012 Leadership in Diversity winner.
2012 DR. SUZANNE AHN AWARD FOR CIVIL RIGHTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
This award is named in honor of the late Dr. Ahn, who devoted her life to promoting civil rights and social justice for all Americans, especially women and Asian Americans. This award is given in recognition of excellence in coverage of Asian American/Pacific Islander civil rights and/or or social justice issues.
Jacky Tik Wong, a reporter for Sing Tao Daily New York, drove investigative journalism that led to local and national coverage of the death of U.S. Army Pvt. Danny Chen. The shocking details of the abusive acts and racist taunts Chen suffered before his death triggered attention from New York to Beijing, further news coverage, advocacy regarding hazing and discrimination in the armed forces and the demand that the officers involved be held accountable. Eight soldiers — all of superior rank to Chen — were arrested on a variety of charges including negligent homicide. Both Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta issued condemnations of hazing. Wong was nominated for a fearless spirit in seeking the truth that insisted that the military owes Chen’s family and the community a thorough investigation of, a proper accounting for, Chen’s death. The Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award panel, consisting of Dr. Ahn’s family, said Wong’s “hard-hitting piece of journalism embodied the spirit of the award.”
2012 SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
This award honors a person who has helped to advance AAJA’s goals.
Chu embodies the spirit of AAJA’s commitment to diversity. He is being recognized for his work in profiling Jeremy Lin, an American basketball player with the New York Knicks. Chu’s coverage of Lin is unmatched by any other journalist because his reporting predated “Linsanity,” starting from when Lin was an Ivy League star at Harvard University. Chu’s widely read Bleacher Report article on Lin as a source of Asian American inspiration chronicles Lin’s ability to rise above all obstacles. Chu showed how any Asian American could draw inspiration from what is unquestionably one of the biggest moments in Asian American history. By seizing on Lin’s ascension, Chu raised the public’s awareness about the challenges of being Asian American today.