About AAJA Freelance


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.


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Leadership Information

erin-chan-ding.jpgCo-Director Erin Chan Ding

Erin is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times, The Detroit Free Press, Chicago Magazine, Fit Pregnancy Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Miami Herald and other publications. 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 and two children.


ellen-lee.jpgCo-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.


EmilyTAN_Headshot_2018_72dpi_(1).jpgCo-Director Emily Tan

Emily Tan splits her time between working as a web producer and project coordinator at the Simons Foundation and being a freelance writer and photographer in New York City. She has contributed to SPIN, Village Voice, MySpace and NBC Asian America, and has worked with Samsung, City Parks Foundation and YSL Beauty. She previously worked as a freelance journalist in the UK while getting her master's degree in Media Industries at the University of Leeds. Emily serves as one of the national board representatives for the AAJA NY chapter and was previously a webmaster and social media officer.


AS_080117_AAJAHeadshots_square.jpgCo-Director Heather Chin

Heather J. Chin is a digital producer with The Philadelphia Inquirer and freelance journalist whose work on health, arts, politics, business, travel, and Asian America have appeared in publications across her native Brooklyn, NYC and the country. She has worked in journalism as a reporter and editor for 10 years, mostly in local news. Heather joined AAJA in 2010, is an ELP 2016 and Catalyst 2018 alum, and currently serves as vice president of AAJA's NY Chapter. She runs What's Up In Asian America, a calendar of events by and for the AAPI community, and co-founded Local Switchboard NYC, a women-led hyperlocal audio storytelling collective.