Los Angeles Chapter Member: Kim Bui

Kim Bui is the social media and community editor for Southern California Public Radio (89.3 KPCC). She has worked for online and traditional news operations as an editor, reporter and Web producer including The Loop 21, San Luis Obispo Tribune and the Kansas City Star. She is also a co-creator of the weekly Twitter Web journalism chat, #wjchat. Visit Kim’s website and follow her on Twitter.


What’s your life motto?
My motto is somewhere between “Just breathe” and “Do something that scares you every day.”

What advice would you give to up-and-coming journalists?
My advice is always to learn. All of the time. Journalists now need to do so much more than they used to, but that’s OK. Learn one thing well, know a lot about a lot. Try. Fail. Learn to fail hard, and fail well. You should let this field test your faith, because you will only really love what you do if you know that this is the only thing you want to do. Getting laid off and leaving journalism was one of the best things I ever did. When I came back for my current position, I knew in a rock-solid way that it wasn’t just writing for me any more. I am here because I like the challenge, I like telling difficult stories and I like not knowing what I’ll be doing day-to-day.

Describe how you have been involved in AAJA?
I joined the AAJA-L.A. board a few years ago and currently work to improve and design their professional development opportunities.

Why did you decide to become a journalist?
Kim is a writer first. I am — and still do — write fiction and short stories. From there I decided to pursue magazine journalism, but was hooked on the Iowa State Daily from the second I walked in the newsroom. The professors and students there pushed me to write faster, report deeper and continue to be an inspiration for me.

Why is media diversity important to you?
“You can’t write about a community without representing them first.”

What do you love most about being Asian American?

I am a Vietnamese American and love the clash of cultures from Vietnamese to growing up in Iowa. I get the best of both worlds.

Learn more about other AAJA members profiled for AAPI Month.