Future Journalists Receive Valuable Training through VOICES Program

VOICES BubbleVOICES is a rare opportunity for college students to develop multimedia and reporting skills in the company of industry professionals from all over the world. Just as newsrooms across the country are adjusting to smaller staffing and new technology, the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) has redesigned its student convention program to simulate the convergence newsroom of tomorrow. This innovative opportunity, which will celebrate its 27th year in 2017, trains students and professionals before and during AAJA’s annual convention.



VOICES serves as a multimedia journalism training fellowship for college and graduate students, as well as a leadership program for young journalists.



AAJA will conduct a national search for a team of students and professionals to cover the convention in 2017 in one or more of the following areas: multimedia reporting in print, audio and video; web/print design and layout; photography; multimedia producing and copy editing.

The most promising students will be selected and given the opportunity to build skills and develop their portfolios. They will participate in pre-convention training that will include interactive online courses in interviewing, multimedia, ethics, and visual and audio techniques. Participants will also be given pre-convention assignments to cover issues related to the journalism industry and the Asian American Pacific Islander community today. Up to 15 applicants will be selected to cover convention, with travel and hotel accommodations provided. A group of skilled journalists and media professionals will also be selected to act as mentors and guide the students as they report on the convention.

Coverage of the convention spans three areas of journalism: print, online and video. Students will produce a daily newspaper distributed to convention attendees. Select students will record a daily convention newscast. Written stories, videos, podcasts and digital content will appear on the VOICES website.



Students from the program’s 27-year history have gone on to work for news outlets like Bloomberg and the New York Times. Many VOICES alumni return to the program as faculty and mentors; in 2013, VOICES entered the third generation of students who came back as staff. Alumni also provide key networking opportunities and donate to the program. Find out what VOICES alumni from past programs are doing now!




“AAJA VOICES was a phenomenal experience. I had never considered broadcast as a career, and the VOICES faculty were instrumental in opening broadcast journalism to me as a potential option. The friendships and connections you make at VOICES stay with you long after the convention is finished.”

– Michelle Pham, 2013



“Programs like VOICES are important to young journalists like me because they give us a chance to be mentored by top-level professionals, report intensively on stories during a national convention and network with journalists from all over the country … My mentors guided me through each day of the program and pushed me forward on my career path. It compensated for what cannot be learned or obtained in school.”

– Shako Liu, 2013



“I left the program with a completely new perspective on who I am as a journalist. It was because of VOICES and the extraordinary men and women who came to share their insight with us, collaborate with us on our reporting and or simply to get to know us as young journalists that I am a more inspired and ambitious member of this industry.”

– Matt Lee, 2013

How to Apply

Click here to learn how to apply to the 2017 VOICES program. Applications are due by Friday, March 31.


  • Applicants must have a strong commitment to AAJA’s mission.
  • Applicants must be enrolled as a full-time college student or recent graduate (within one year) with a serious interest in pursuing journalism as a career.
  • Applicants must be available during AAJA’s 2017 National Convention in Philadelphia the week of July 24-29, 2017. There will be additional preparations during the summer.
  • Applicants must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Applicants must not be a former participant in any AAJA VOICES or college student projects with similar journalism organizations.


Paypal DonateAAJA welcomes donations to its student and professional programs throughout the year. Your donation to the VOICES program will go a long way toward helping the students produce quality work and gain valuable newsroom experience in 2017! Donate today, and be sure to write “VOICES” in the special instructions box before confirming your payment!


Learn more about the experiences of 2013 participants Matt Lee and Shako Liu in the VOICES program.