Jan. 20, 2022
The Portland chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is looking forward to expanding its paid internship program for underrepresented student journalists with the help of a $10,000 grant from the Fred W. Fields Fund of Oregon Community Foundation (OCF).
“We couldn’t be more grateful to Oregon Community Foundation for this vote of confidence in our work to diversify local newsrooms and news coverage,” said Amy Wang, chapter president. “We’re also really excited to be able to launch new efforts locally toward carrying out AAJA’s overall mission of advancing diversity in newsrooms and ensuring fair and accurate coverage of communities of color.”
The AAJA-SPJ Emerging Northwest Journalists Internship, sponsored in partnership with the Society of Professional Journalists Greater Oregon Pro Chapter, is intended to provide opportunities for students and emerging journalists from racial and ethnic minority groups that are underrepresented in Pacific Northwest newsrooms. The summer program is open to college students with ties to Oregon or southwest Washington who aspire to a career in journalism. Since 2019, the program has placed newsroom interns at OPB, The Oregonian/OregonLive and KGW.
The one-year OCF grant, awarded in November 2021, will also be used for recognition of outstanding local coverage of issues of diversity, inclusion and equity; professional development for journalists of color; and community engagement and outreach.
AAJA Portland is the only formal organization in Oregon specifically for journalists of color.
During 2021, AAJA Portland:
Organized three virtual events open to the public and free to attend: a panel on COVID-19 vaccine equity, a panel on coverage of AAPI issues, and a conversation with Oregon’s lone AAPI legislator, Rep. Khanh Pham (the latter two events can be viewed at AAJA Portland’s website, aaja-pdx.org)
Placed its third summer intern
Held a successful doughnut fundraiser for its internship program
Expanded its website
Launched an online merchandise store
“We are looking forward to an active 2022, and we invite anyone interested in AAJA Portland’s work to sign up for our free mailing list by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org,” Wang said. “We have some exciting plans for bringing together journalists of color and engaging with the community, and we welcome anyone who’d like to help out. Anyone can also become an AAJA member at any time by signing up at aaja.org.”
The 2022 AAJA Portland board also includes Elliot Njus, treasurer; Marty Patail, vice president, digital; Arya Surowidjojo, secretary; Celina Tebor, vice president, social media; Peter Wong, national board representative; and Myers Reece, member at large.
About Oregon Community Foundation:
Oregon Community Foundation puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. Since 1973, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving – time, talent, and resources from many generous Oregonians – creates measurable change. Throughout 2020, OCF responded quickly and urgently – distributing a record-setting $220 million in charitable dollars to more than 3,000 nonprofits throughout Oregon working to address urgent needs, stabilize communities and prepare for long-term recovery in Oregon. OCF donors responded to the magnitude of need, as reflected in a 44% increase in donor advised fund grantmaking from the previous year. For more information, please visit: oregoncf.org.