Membership Types and Benefits

Join AAJA Today

With more than 1,700 members throughout the United States and Asia, AAJA serves a variety of needs. AAJA members are staff, reporters and freelance journalists for digital, print and broadcast media. Members also include students interested in careers in journalism and former journalists in public relations, academia and other fields that support AAJA’s mission. There are many benefits available to AAJA members:

  • Discounted tickets and early access to AAJA networking and community events
  • Discounted registration for AAJA convention
  • Early access to career opportunities via bi-weekly online newsletter
  • Entry fee waiver for AAJA’s national journalism awards contest
  • Recognition on of special achievements or career moves
  • Significant discounts on UPS, AP online stylebook, Poynter on-site courses, AARP membership and other services

There are additional benefits for members who upgrade to Gold or Platinum membership. Read on to see which membership is right for you.

Ready to join? Click here


Which membership is right for me?


For those who spend the majority of their work time involved in journalistic work or hiring journalists. Unemployed journalists are eligible for reduced dues. Full membership is also available to those who have left journalism but who were AAJA members and journalists for five or more consecutive years.

“I would not be a journalist today without the support and encouragement that AAJA members gave me early in my career. Their commitment to diversity and dedication to craft continue to inspire me. I’m certain I’m a better reporter because of it.”

Willoughby Mariano, Investigative Reporter, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Full Member

“Being an AAJA member is choosing to join a huge family — one that encourages and celebrates you as a valuable journalist and an important person. I’ve made lifelong friends and mentors through AAJA, and I am so grateful to have found a new family.”

— Stephen Jiwanmall, Reporter, WTXL-TV Tallahassee, FL and Full Member

There’s no doubt TV news is a cut-throat industry, but AAJA has always been my support system. Success is about staying in the game, thriving, learning, and reaching new heights each day. I owe my success to my AAJA mentors, and am committed to paying it forward to future journalists.”

Van Tieu, Broadcast Journalist, KRNV-TV Reno, NV and Full Member



Open to former journalists, public or community affairs representatives of bona fide news companies, and non-journalists who have particular expertise or services they can contribute to AAJA. Associate members are NOT eligible to vote and cannot hold office except for Treasurer.



Full and Associate members interested in upgrading to Gold membership receive additional benefits, such as acknowledgment in AAJA’s annual report and perks at the National Convention.

“The friendships and connections I’ve forged through AAJA have contributed to a lot of my successes in journalism.”

Jennifer Abella, Copy Editor, The Washington Post and Gold Member

“I am thankful for all that AAJA does for its members by connecting us to mentors and experts in our field that can provide helpful feedback as well as highlight better ways for us to do our job everyday. At the same time, I’ve met so many of my closest friends through this organization and love getting to grow as a reporter alongside an amazing group of journalists.”

 Shawn Chitnis, Reporter, KCNC-TV Denver, CO and Gold Member

“AAJA has been instrumental in my mission to work in the news industry. I continue to meet people that share the same vision – to tell stories and report the news. The camaraderie has been invaluable and I continue to grow from those that are established in their careers and those wiser than me. What I have received from my fellow members is intangible.
Shirley Lew, Contributor, MTTN-TV Manalapan, NJ and Gold Member



In addition to the benefits of Gold membership, Platinum membership includes the cost of registration for the AAJA National Convention, VIP seating at the AAJA Gala dinner and invitation to the AAJA President’s Reception.

“I first joined AAJA just because of the mission: ensuring fair and accurate coverage of Asian Americans. I would remain a member for life just for that critical work. But it’s so much more. An AAJA membership is a 5-Hour Energy drink for your career. Scores of journalists got their first job through AAJA. AAJA’s leadership program changed how I saw myself. If I’m having a tough time, the AAJA support network is there to catch me. Join now. Drink it up.”

Sharon ChanDirector of Journalism Initiatives, The Seattle Times and Platinum Member

“Being an AAJA member is all about paying it forward. I feel such a kinship with the organization; I’ve got to do whatever it takes to help other Asian American journalists who are coming up, who need guidance. Here’s the truth: AAJA has had a profound impact on my life and career. In my younger years, AAJA helped me network and meet truly kind, talented people — and realize that there are people who look like me, who are experiencing some of the same things I’m experiencing in the news business. Now, 25 years after joining AAJA, I’m paying it forward. I’ve been mentoring younger journalists and helping them find their voice. And now I see many of them beginning to pay it forward, too. That’s the way it should work.”

Tom Huang, Sunday & Enterprise Editor, The Dallas Morning News; Editing Fellow, The Poynter Institute; AAJA Governing Board member and Platinum Member


Open to enrolled high school, undergraduate, or graduate students who intend to pursue a career in journalism. Copy of most current student ID required. Recent graduates who have yet to obtain their first job may also become Student Members. Student members are eligible to vote but cannot hold office.


“I never thought that I would be able to break into the journalism industry, let alone be working at a major daily paper so early in my career. I have AAJA to thank for that. As a student in a research university without a journalism program, I often doubted that I would ever be able to make journalism work for me. Through the support I found with AAJA, and thanks to the mentors I have met along the way, I have been able to reach my goals. It was AAJA that opened the doors for me and gave me the opportunity to work at the Chicago Tribune as a summer intern. I would not be where I am today without the incredible support and community I have found in AAJA.”

Brian Nguyen, Video and Photo Editing Resident, The Chicago Tribune and Student Member


“AAJA is more than an organization; it is a family. It is a collection of inspiring journalists from around the world. As a recipient of the CIC/Anna Chennault scholarship, they flew me to New York. In addition, the LA chapter has provided me with scholarships throughout my time at UCLA. This past summer, I interned at The Sacramento Bee as a reporter through AAJA and participated in VOICES. Thanks to AAJA, my dreams of graduating debt free and becoming a professional journalist are coming true.” 

Jenn Crane, Broadcast Producer, The Daily Bruin and Student Member


“As a young Asian American journalist, I could not be more grateful for the support system AAJA has provided. From chapter workshops and meet-and-greets to the national convention, the organization has been instrumental in leading me to where I am today. I’m inspired by the trailblazing veterans who make it their duty to turn the industry on its head and the budding journalists ready to step up and achieve the visibility we need in the field.”

Tony Chau, Reporter, News 12 Brookyln, NY and Student Member




Available to persons age 62 and over who have previously worked full- or part-time as a journalist. Retired members are not eligible to vote or hold office, except for Treasurer.



Media companies interested in advancing the mission of AAJA will receive the following benefits with AAJA’s corporate membership.

  • Unlimited career listings (by one designated representative) on AAJA’s national web site for one year
  • 10% discount on advertisements in AAJA’s convention book
  • 10% discount on Career Fair booth registration at AAJA’s convention
  • One-year subscription to AAJA’s newsletter and any other publications
  • Recognition on AAJA’s national web site during year of corporate membership
  • Unlimited access to AAJA member uploaded résumés for one year

Follow this link for detailed benefits and a downloadable application form, or contact the national office.

Ready to join? Click here

Membership is acknowledgment of AAJA’s mission. All membership dues are tax deductible less any benefits derived. Membership is based on the calendar year: January to December.


Follow this link for a downloadable membership application form. You may mail or fax it in with credit card information or a check. For more information, contact the AAJA national office at 415-346-2051, ext 107 or email


AAJA offers dues reduction to assist AAJA full members who were recently laid off or are experiencing economic hardship. Download the application for dues reduction. You will be required to verify that you are eligible. Eligibility requirements are listed on the application.