Hawaii hosting news convention
1,200 reporters and editors gather for the Asian-American journalists meeting
Some of the nation's top reporters and editors will be on hand for the Asian-American Journalists Association's national convention, which opens today at the Sheraton Waikiki with a theme of "Celebrating Diversity."
About 1,200 journalists from around the country are expected to attend the four-day conference featuring media training sessions and interactive workshops with top industry leaders and experts, tours of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the Filipino Community Center, and a town-hall-style meeting on native Hawaiian issues.
The association, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, encourages Asian-American and Pacific Islanders to enter journalism and promotes fair, accurate coverage of issues concerning those communities.
Hawaii was chosen for the annual gathering because it is the most diverse media market in the country, organizers said.
"It's a chance to show off a place where diversity works, where the news media has been diverse for 60 years, and to show that all journalism should reflect the community and that that's good for business," said convention co-chairman Craig Gima, reporter and assistant city editor of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
A number prominent journalists will be among the speakers and panelists. They include CNN correspondent and keynote speaker Dr. Sanjay Gupta; Lisa Ling, special correspondent for the Oprah Winfrey Show and National Geographic Channel; Paul Steiger, managing editor of the Wall Street Journal; Leonard Downie Jr., executive editor of the Washington Post, and others, including at least three Pulitzer Prize winners.
Registration is open for the duration of the convention. Registration fees start at $190 for student members of AAJA and include access to all events, including an awards luncheon Thursday and the keynote dinner Friday night.
More than 50 workshops and panels will cover topics in business, news and feature writing, newspaper design, the impact of online media, journalism ethics and landing journalism jobs.
"For the local journalism community, it's a chance to bring to Hawaii the kind of training that is usually only available on the mainland, and students have a chance to talk to some of the top journalists in the country," Gima said.
FREE PUBLIC EVENTS
The following events at the Asian-American Journalists Association's national convention at the Sheraton-Waikiki Hotel are free and open to the public.
» Public town-hall meeting on native Hawaiian issues. Speakers: Jon Osorio, chairman, University of Hawaii at Manoa Center for Hawaiian Studies; Toni Lee, president of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs; Clyde Namuo, administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs; Sandra Puanani Burgess of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii; and Poka Laenui, executive director of Hale Na'au Pono; 7-9 p.m.
» Media-access workshop for small, nonprofit Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations. Media professionals will train participants on how to get media coverage, including writing effective press releases and giving TV interviews. Pre-registration is advised due to limited space; 9:30-10:30 a.m.
» Screenings of the documentaries "The Slanted Screen," which analyzes how Asian-American men have been portrayed in film and TV, and "An Untold Triumph," which tells the story of the more than 7,000 Filipino immigrants and sons of immigrants who demanded the right to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II; noon-3 p.m.
Call the Sheraton Waikiki at 922-4422 or visit www.aaja.org
for more program and registration details.