History: The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), a non-profit educational and professional organization, provides networking opportunities and support for Asian/Pacific American (A/PA) journalists and students of journalism. AAJA additionally raises awareness within the A/PA community of news media and an understanding of how to gain fair access to it, and monitors the media for accuracy and fairness in its coverage of Asian/Pacific Americans.Founded in 1981 by a small group of Los Angeles-based journalists that included Tritia Toyota and Frank Kwan of KNBC-TV News, Bill Sing, Nancy Yoshihara and David Kishiyama of the Los Angeles Times, and Dwight Chuman of Rafu Shimpo, a local Japanese American Newspaper, AAJA expanded in 1985 with the formation of additional chapters, growing to a current membership of more than 2,000 members in 20 chapters across the US and in Asia. Its New York chapter is the largest with more than 450 members concentrated in the New York metropolitan area. Its members have included Helen Zia, Sreenath Sreenivasan, Mohamad Bazzi, Pradnya Joshi, Qin Li, Corky Lee and Jeannie Park, its founding president. To fulfill its fundraising, networking, professional, and leadership development functions, AAJA New York hosts various events that include resume critiques, workshops and panels, board and leadership meetings, chapter elections, Scrabble tournaments, dinner fundraisers, new member mixers, annual holiday parties, and annual softball games in Central Park. AAJA New York has on occasion hosted the organization’s annual National Conference (1990, 2000) and East Coast Mini-Conference for its East Coast chapters. AAJA also funds scholarships and fellowships that help support members’ career advancement and education.
Asian American Journalists Association – New York Chapter. “Past Events.” Accessed January 29, 2015. https://web.archive.org/web/20100709181115/http://chapters.aaja.org/NewYork/events.shtml.
Park, Jeannie. Conversation with Amita Manghnani and Nancy Ng Tam. New York, NY, February, 23, 2010.
Summary: The collection measures 1.0 linear feet and spans in date from 1987 to 2007. Measuring 0.5 linear feet and organized chronologically in three binders (1987-1990; 1990-1997; 1998-2003) are AAJA NY’s organizational records, which include documentation of its first membership meeting on June 23, 1987; correspondence with the national chapter in San Francisco; board meeting minutes; meeting sign-in sheets and agendas; photographs and polaroids of AAJA NY members at various events and conferences; newspaper clippings (from publications including Asian Times and the Village Voice); event flyers; internship announcements; election ballots and memos; press releases; calls for scholarship applications; mailing lists; documentation of various media watch campaigns including the Miss Saigon protests; financial reports; checks and invoices; and thank you letters.
The collection contains 0.5 linear feet of subject files, the bulk of which relate to AAJA’s Executive Leadership Project (ELP), a five-day workshop for journalists’ career advancement that AAJA held biannually (in recent years, annually with a second two-day advanced session option later in the year) in various cities, including New York, Miami, and Seattle. These files, ranging in date from 1996 to 2009, include general information about ELP; workshop programs; letters to sponsors; resumes, statements and recommendations submitted by ELP applicants; information on trainers and speakers; photographs; notes Jeannie Park kept as a facilitator; speaker evaluations; worksheets used in the workshops; curriculum schedules; and other logistical information.
The remainder of the subject files document conventions and fundraisers AAJA has hosted in New York City, including their 1990 convention “AAJA: Challenges of the Nineties,” 2000 convention “Asian Americans Shaping the 21st Century,” and their silver anniversary gala in 2004. These files include programs, invitations, schedules, attendance lists, booklets on presenters, flyers for various events, email correspondence, budgets, press clippings, and AAJA news publications focusing on the conventions. There is also a subject file on AAJA NY’s media watch campaign against New York Newsday journalist Jimmy Breslin in 1990, which demanded that Newsday fire Breslin for his racist outburst against Mary Ji-Yeon Yuh, a fellow reporter. Documentation of the campaign includes a memo by Helen Zia, an internal memo from Newsday on how it dealt with the situation, AAJA’s press release about the incident, and clippings of press coverage.
Total Size: 1.0 linear foot
APA-related Size: 1.0 linear foot
Languages of materials: English
Location: Private residence
Bibliographic Control: inventory
Conditions Governing Access: Researchers interested in consulting these records should contact AAJA NY. Requests for access will be considered on a case-by-case basis.