Janet Cho for AAJA National President

Why AAJA is a personal passion for Janet

Janet’s Supporters

Peter Ortiz
National Association of Hispanic Journalists' representative to the UNITY Journalists Board of Directors; Reporter for Ignites, Money-Media, a Financial Times publication 

"Why I’m voting for Janet:

I have had the privilege of serving alongside Janet on the UNITY board and seeing her in action. As a UNITY board member you meet good people across the different alliance groups who share the same passion for diversity. This is especially true of Janet who has been a forceful voice as a UNITY representative for AAJA. She has demonstrated great wisdom, foresight and respect by understanding AAJA is stronger when all journalists of color stand together. And I can think of no better example where Janet lived up to these qualities as when she voted to keep the name UNITY: Journalists of Color. 

Janet was one of four board members, and the only one from the four AAJA members on the board, who voted to keep the name. She knew the importance of the name to UNITY’s founders and journalists of color who took great pride in an organization that represented their collective interests. And she knew this was too big an issue for her to make on behalf of AAJA members who had not had a chance to weigh in on the name change.

Prior to voting, Janet reached out to some UNITY and AAJA founders and read their statements to the board explaining why the name - journalists of color - was important. When it became clear the majority of the board was still intent on changing the name, Janet pushed for a compromise – arguing that the attendees at this year’s convention, as well as any of the alliance members, should have the chance to vote on the issue. She suggested putting the question on the same electronic ballots that would be used by all alliance members to vote in their respective elections. Janet also knew the importance of the name to NABJ, a UNITY founder, and for its members, and advocated for them to be part of the discussion.

Despite her efforts, a majority of the board voted to change the name to UNITY Journalists. Throughout all this and as heartbreaking as it was to see journalists of color be erased from UNITY’s name, Janet never stopped working hard to make the convention a success. It was a commitment she made when she joined the board and she realized how important this convention would be for attendees. And as AAJA president I know she will work just as hard on behalf of AAJA members and fight for UNITY to once again represent all journalists of color.”

Carolyn Lee
Journalist and social media consultant; board member of AAJA’s Hawai’i Chapter

"AAJA National Elections: Fellow AAJA’ers, please take a moment to go to www.aaja.org and familiarize yourself with the candidates. The only contested race is for National President. I am endorsing Janet Cho, whom I have known for years, ever since we were in the same ELP class. Janet is a hardworking, dedicated and visionary leader. She is the right person at the right time for AAJA National President. Absentee balloting opens June 1. Results will be announced at the AAJA banquet Aug. 3 at the UNITY convention in Las Vegas. Even one vote — YOUR vote — can make a difference. Balloting in AAJA national elections is traditionally a low percentage of eligible voters.The margin of victory for a previous, contested AAJA national office was exactly ONE VOTE. Mahalo!”

Mark Angeles
Revise editor, business desk of The National in United Arab Emirates; co-founder of AAJA’s multicultural J Camp for high school students exploring careers in journalism

"It came down to three things for me - commitment, competence and experience. After the speeches are delivered and the ballots counted, leadership of an organization must be entrusted to someone with a proven track record. I’m here to enthusiastically endorse Janet Cho for AAJA president. I have been described as an AAJA ‘stalwart,’ which I suspect is a code word for ‘old,’ but what’s been revealed to me during that time has been Janet’s long-term, unwavering commitment to our organization. Her years on the national board and as a vice president, and her tenure and courage as our Unity representative constitute invaluable, vital experience for which there is absolutely no substitution.

I have always voted for leaders who inspire me. Janet has earned my respect and inspiration quietly, but no less effectively, with hard work, dedication and results. Our industry and our organization are at a critical juncture, and Janet has what it takes to lead us forward with what Martin Luther King called the ‘urgency of now.’ The time for President Janet Cho is now. I will urge all of my AAJA colleagues to cast their votes for Janet. I ask you to do the same.”

Carol Reynolds-Srot
Freelance editor, writer and photographer; former News Editor at The Miami Herald; member of AAJA’s Florida Chapter 

"Please know I am backing you all the way. You are the best candidate for the job…this job…any job. Shoot, I’d even vote for you over Barack to run the country!…

"I am whole-heartedly endorsing Janet Cho for President of AAJA. She is a former member of the Florida chapter and one of its founders. I have known her for 17 years. Intelligent, dedicated, driven, knowledgeable, experienced, unselfish, caring … are all words that describe her as a journalist and as a person and why she is the best candidate for the job."

Corky Lee
"Undisputed, unofficial Asian American photographer laureate," 2009 winner of AAJA’s Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice, member of AAJA’s New York Chapter

"Janet understands the mind set of AAJA members because she has invested the time and energy that have in my mind is the mission and mandate of AAJA. She has paid her dues in the tenches of print journalism and knows from both an emotional and intellectual level what is happening in the industry, much like our current president. Her opponent maybe considered the ‘Linsanity’ portion of AAJA in the last couple of years, needs more notches under his belt. His time will come, this election will help him build character, which Janet already has."

Archith-Narendhra Seshadri
Reporter/Anchor for WJBF News Channel 6 in Augusta, Ga.; co-president of the Asian American Small Broadcast Journalists; vice president of AAJA’s Atlanta Chapter

"I am endorsing Janet Cho who has helped me with my career, been extremely supportive with the AAJA Men’s Calendar through countless donations, and always willing to help some of the younger members of AAJA! She introduced me to John Yang at the Boston conference! Thanks for all your help Janet and wish you the very best! You have my vote! I hope others will come out and vote this year! Good luck, Janet!"

Richard Chang, 18-year member of AAJA; current vice president for print for the Los Angeles Chapter

"I wholeheartedly endorse Janet Cho for President of AAJA. She has spent most of her professional career as a dedicated member of AAJA, and she is one of the best Vice Presidents of Print our organization has ever had. She has brilliant ideas and is 100 percent dedicated to AAJA’s cause and mission. I urge all members of AAJA to vote for her as president now!"

Esther Wu
Former AAJA National President; member of AAJA’s Texas Chapter

"Janet Cho is the ONLY candidate for AAJA National President. She understands the core values upon which this organization was founded. She has a clear vision of where this organization should be headed and why. She not only has the institutional memory, she has a forward vision AAJA NEEDS NOW. Get AAJA back on track! ELECT JANET!!"

Toan Lam
Chief Inspirator of GoInspireGo; “Mr. January” in AAJA’s 2012 Men of Broadcast fundraising calendar; member of AAJA’s San Francisco Bay Area chapter

"Janet Cho for AAJA National Prez! JCho is as enthusiastic as she is inspiring. Professional, diligent, hard working and she has a big heart to boot! I know we’ll be in great hands under your dedication and leadership. Onward! Go JCho Go!"

Joe Newman
Director of communications for the Project On Government Oversight; co-founder of AAJA’s Florida Chapter; a member of AAJA’s Washington, D.C., Chapter

"I’ve known Janet for more than 15 years and continue to be impressed with her commitment and vision for this organization. I met Janet when we were starting the Florida Chapter back in the 90s. Truly, we wouldn’t have made it without her wisdom, hard work and, most of all, her calming presence. Janet embodies all the principles and qualities you want in a leader (I’d run through a wall for her). I can’t think of anyone I’d trust more to lead AAJA than Janet."

Belinda Long-Ivey
AAJA-Florida Chapter treasurer, 2009-2012 and former 2008 chapter president

"It is my pleasure to give my personal endorsement of Janet Cho for AAJA’s next president.

I love her 30 practical and refreshing ideas to transform AAJA from within — a critical step in securing the organization’s future. 

She embraces future technology and has a sensible approach to growing AAJA’s finances and memberships. She has a great rapport with past leadership, is a fair and honest individual and has demonstrated a willingness to listen and act on behalf of members.

She is a great leader and I believe she will work hard with AAJA’s members and partners and lead us in the right path for the future.”

Rene Astudillo 
Current AAJA National Treasurer; Executive Director, Lupus Foundation of Northern California 

"Even as elected national treasurer, I am not eligible to vote because I am an associate member. It is my hope that sometime soon, AAJA will reconsider this regulation and give associate members, and perhaps even student members, the opportunity to select who their leaders would be.

In the past few months, I have hesitated to publicly endorse any candidate for AAJA’s next national president, not only because I am an ineligible voter but also because I thought it would be inappropriate for a sitting national officer and board member to endorse any candidate for national office.

But I love AAJA so much and am deeply concerned about its future and that of its members that I felt I have to share my thoughts and feelings about the contested race for national president. (There were not that many contested races during my tenure as executive director, and I am so glad each time there is one!)

I am now making an endorsement on who I feel will be a great president for the next two years — JANET CHO!

I have worked with Janet in my capacity both as AAJA E.D. and Board Member. I will be the first to admit that we didn’t always agree on everything, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. On the contrary, I think that ‘s healthy.

Over the last many weeks, I have followed Janet’s 31 ideas on how to make AAJA extraordinary (in honor of AAJA’s 31st anniversry - how cool is that?) and I must say, I was greatly impressed that Janet took the time to come up with these ideas which demonstrate her deep understanding of the mission and history of AAJA as well as the need for the organization to keep up with the times without sacrificing the principles upon which this organization was formed in the first place. 

I am also very impressed about Janet’s independence when formulating her stance about issues important to AAJA and the UNITY alliance. She is one lady with principle!

If you haven’t done so, I encourage you to read Janet’s concrete ideas and vote for her as our next National President!

BTW, Janet tells me that it is wrong that I am ineligible to vote!”