AAJA affinity groups are specialized groups of AAJA members organized by vocation and/or interest, each led by a director or co-director. They strive to recruit new members and identify and pursue training and networking opportunities that meet members’ evolving and unique needs, as well as connect current AAJA members regardless of geography or career level. Current, dues-paying AAJA members are welcome to join affinity groups. All currently active AAJA affinity groups are listed below; to join or find out more about an affinity group, reach out to the group’s director. For general questions about affinity groups, please contact AAJA Senior Vice President Michelle Lee.
The Student Broadcast Journalists (AASBJ) group is a support system for student broadcasters. It provides them an opportunity to network with their peers and receive mentoring from professionals.
Co-Director Michelle Baik
Michelle is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism and international studies at Northwestern University, after which she hopes to pursue foreign correspondence. Michelle has interned at NBC affiliate WESH in Orlando, fairly close to where she calls home. When she is on campus, Michelle is primarily involved as a reporter for Northwestern News Network.
Co-Director Angeline Bernabe
Angeline is a first year graduate student at UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Public Relations from California State University, Los Angeles. Previously, she was a staff reporter for her alma mater’s newspaper, The University Times; station manager and president for Cal State L.A.’s radio station, Golden Eagle Radio; and a campus correspondent for Cal State L.A.’s chapter of Her Campus, an online magazine for college women. She has interned for KCBS-2/KCAL-9’s Investigative Unit and Dateline NBC in Los Angeles. Angeline is thrilled to be a part of AAJA and serve as an SBJ co-director.
Co-Director Nicole Tam
Nicole is a sophomore at the University of Hawaii, Manoa studying broadcast journalism and Chinese. She has interned at a local Fox affiliate, KHON, and also writes for the school newspaper, Ka Leo. Nicole is excited to be a part of the SBJ team to give back to the organization and help fellow student journalists.
The Small Market Broadcast Journalists (AASMBJ) is a group for small market and entry level broadcast journalists in the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). The group provides networking opportunities and an online support system for AAJA members who are working at small market television stations or at midsize and large market stations as entry level production assistants and desk assistants
Co-Director Stephen Jiwanmall
Stephen is a digital journalist at WTXL, the ABC affiliate in Tallahassee, Florida. He previously worked for three suburban Philadelphia newspapers as a video producer, reporter and fill-in anchor. He earned his M.S. in broadcast journalism from Columbia Journalism School and his bachelor’s degree from La Salle University in Philadelphia. Stephen recently won the 2015 Keystone Press Award for Best Distinguished Visual for his three-part series on a transgender teen who committed suicide. He currently serves on AAJA’s MediaWatch committee and was part of the 2013 AAJA VOICES program.
Co-Director Diane Thao
Diane is a multimedia journalist at KRNV News 4 in Reno, Nevada. She loves that being a reporter, you are at the frontline of documenting history. To be a voice for the voiceless has fueled her passion in journalism. She earned her Broadcast Journalism bachelor degree from San Francisco State University. She was also a part of the 2014 AAJA VOICES program.
More and more journalists are becoming freelancers as full-time staff jobs dwindle. The goal of AAJA Freelance is to support the growing number of AAJA members who are freelancers or are considering a move to freelancing. That includes understanding the business side of freelancing, becoming an entrepreneur, networking and connecting with editors and publications, among other issues.
Co-Director Erin Chan Ding
Erin is a freelance journalist who writes and produces stories for newspapers, websites and magazines. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, the Detroit Free Press, Chicago magazine, Fit Pregnancy Magazine, Time Out Chicago magazine, The Huffington Post, AOL City’s Best, the Los Angeles Times, West Suburban Living magazine and the Miami Herald. She also writes speeches and stories for nonprofit organizations and has edited and fact-checked travel books. Erin is a past board member of AAJA-Chicago and AAJA-Michigan and is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She graduated in 2003 from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and lives in the Chicago area with her husband, Charley, and two kiddos, Chandler and Callie.
Co-Director Ellen Lee
Ellen is a business and technology reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Working Mother, Family Circle, CNBC.com and other local and national publications. A longtime member of AAJA, Ellen has served as a national board member and chapter president, among other roles.
The mission of AAJA Photojournalists is to provide a representation for AAJA photojournalists at the national level; to strengthen AAJA photojournalism programming, photo studio fund raising, networking opportunities, and photograph exposure during convention; and to provide regular updates to the AAJA national board for an improved communication channel.
Director Susan Choi
Susan is a long-time AAJA member and past AAJA-New England Chapter President. She is a freelance photographer and helps organize the AAJA Portrait Studio, the Dith Phan Photo Shoot-Out Competitions, and the Student Photographers Suite. Susan graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s Degree in Public Health.
The Sports Task Force (STF) aims to elevate the voice of Asian Americans in sports media across multiple platforms and encourage future Asian American sports media professionals through mentorship, educational offerings and scholarship opportunities.
Director Howard Chen
Born in Canada, but raised in Houston, Howard Chen is currently a senior-level producer in ESPN’s partnership with China, helping to oversee the on-court portion of their NBA game broadcasts as well as general video production. Previously, Howard was a reporter regularly seen on Houston Rockets and Houston Astros game broadcasts for Comcast SportsNet Houston. He has also been a host on FOX Sports Southwest and was a Sports Producer at FOX 26 KRIV-TV in Houston before being hired at ESPN. From an AAJA perspective, not only is Howard currently the chairperson of the Sports Task Force, he is also the Vice President of the AAJA-Texas chapter. In the past, Howard has served as President and Vice President of the Michigan Chapter during his reporting days in Ohio and has been an advisor in the past for AASMBJ.