In case you missed my presidential candidate’s speech yesterday at AAJA at UNITY…
Thank you, each and every one of you, for coming to this year’s UNITY convention, and for investing your precious time and money in the success of UNITY and AAJA.
For those of you I haven’t spoken to one-on-one, my name is Janet Cho. In addition to being your former AAJA National Vice President for Print and your current representative to the UNITY Board, I’m also a business reporter for The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.
Here are three key reasons why you should #VoteCho for your next AAJA National President:
No. 1: AAJA needs a leader whose experience is both extensive and significant.
My experience – five years as your AAJA National Vice President for Print, four years as your National Secretary, and 15 years on the AAJA National Board – not only demonstrates my deep commitment to AAJA, but gives me a deep and meaningful understanding of AAJA’s vision and history.
Together we’ve celebrated our 30th anniversary, awarded more than $1.25 million in scholarships, and held media companies accountable for their offensive and unacceptable coverage of Asian Americans.
But we’ve also seen AAJA struggle with budget deficits, watched our membership numbers decline, and seen our streams of revenue from longtime sponsors dry up. I’ve seen AAJA in good times and bad, and know what kind of leadership AAJA needs now.
No. 2: AAJA needs a leader who will answer to our members. Here’s how I would be accountable to you:
First, I would listen to all AAJA members and would always put AAJA’s best interests above my own.
When other UNITY Board members voted to change our name from “UNITY Journalists of Color” to “UNITY Journalists,” I argued that we shouldn’t – and couldn’t – make such a significant decision without hearing from our members and letting you have a voice in that vote. As an AAJA representative to the UNITY Board, I wanted you to have a choice – just as you have a choice in this year’s AAJA Presidential race.
Second, I would be financially accountable.
Like many of you, I have invested thousands of dollars of my own money in AAJA. I know firsthand the kinds of sacrifices many of our members make to attend our conventions – and I vow to help this organization be worthy of that sacrifice.
As a veteran business reporter, I want to help AAJA become stronger financially and help us operate more like a publicly traded company. One that brings in revenue throughout the year, issues quarterly financial reports and answers to its shareholders.
No. 3: Finally, AAJA needs a leader with the vision to make us more nationally prominent, more influential in industry conversations about the future of media, and more top-of-mind as THE place to find smart, savvy, multitalented, multimedia journalists.
The goals I’ve outlined in my “31 Ideas for AAJA” aren’t going to be easy or superficial.
As your AAJA president, I’m going to be asking – and expecting – more of you as members, as chapters and as leaders of this great organization.
I’m going to be asking you:
- To step up your involvement in AAJA and your local community.
- To contribute and raise money collectively and individually through programs like Power of One.
- And to take a more active role as AAJA ambassadors in your newsrooms, your media companies and in the media landscape as a whole.
That’s asking a lot. And in return, I promise that you’ll be able to ask – and expect – more of me as well.
Thank you for your consideration. I’m Janet Cho, and I approved this message.