AAJA Convention Guide: Bobby Caina Calvan, MediaWatch chair

bobbycalvanAAJA has asked some of this year’s speakers to give a sneak peek into their sessions. Let Bobby Caina Calvan tell you what to expect during his “The Year in MediaWatch” session, Friday at 3 p.m.


Our conventions aren’t only about hanging out, clinking glasses and karaoke nights – all of which are enough to draw me to any AAJA convention.

But there’s serious work going on, and deep discussions about the future of our industry and how our peers portray our communities. It’s always nice to have these heavy discussions among friends.

I know what a lot of us will be talking about this year: the ongoing fiasco at KTVU, the San Francisco Bay Area station that broadcast those bogus Asian-sounding names.

As chair of AAJA’s MediaWatch program, I know I’ll be getting an earful about how AAJA handled the incident — how we did things right, and how we could have done things better. The convention is a great place to share your ideas. Should we cross paths at the convention, don’t be shy to tell me what you think.

We’ve invited KTVU to be part of the conversation, and we’re awaiting their response. Regardless, I hope you’ll be a part of the discussion.

There’s always something to learn from my fellow AAJA’ers, not only from my fellow newsroom veterans but also from our young, rising stars who understand one of the core values of AAJA: to serve as a watchdog for  fair and accurate coverage of our communities.

It’s something I take seriously, and that we should all take seriously. The discussion about fair and accurate coverage of our communities is something in which we should all partake. And our annual convention is an opportunity to talk about how we do things as an organization, and the responsibilities we have as journalists of color.


Bobby Caina Calvan is chair of AAJA’s MediaWatch program and is a D.C.-based freelance reporter. Follow him on Twitter: @CalvanBobby or @BobbyCalvan.