Q & A With The New AAJA...ED That Is

Monday, January 26, 2009

For anyone that's interested (and I know some of you are), here's a little bit of the Q & A with the new AAJA's Executive Director Ellen Endo:

Q: What are some of the other challenges you think AAJA will face?

A: Fundraising. Just like every other non-profit organization in America, we rely on contributions from private and corporate sources and we want to make sure that our mission really aligns with people who are in a position to donate to us and we want to be thought of as an organization that actually fulfills its promises and is really cognizant of the mission in a practical as well as a philosophical way.

Q: On the press release, the AAJA National President talks about your “fundraising expertise.” Could you tell us about some of your previous experiences?

A: I actually worked with several organizations including the Go For Broke National Education Center. I worked with them in raising funds. I’ve also received training from Indiana University School of Fundraising and I worked with the USC Asian-American Alumni Association and their fundraising efforts and I guess a number of organizations as a consultant, including the Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation. Heart Mountain was the site of one of the Japanese internment sites. I’m working as an advisor to their fundraising effort. A lot of that is volunteer, but I’ve also been a consultant specifically to raise money. [I] identify funding sources and create the materials.

Q: I know AAJA recently issued a statement on the importance of diversity in the newsroom. How does AAJA hope to maintain and even further the progress made in recent years?

A: I think, number one, we have to be constantly vigilant. We want to make sure that we speak for those, not just for those who are affected, but for those who might be affected. I think one way is to make certain that the decision makers are aware that AAJA exists, that it is going to be very assertive in its efforts to maintain diversity in the newsroom and in the diversity of news coverage. I think, two, we want quality not just quantity. We want people in writing in the ranks, we want diversity in the decision-making levels as well.
Finish it up at the AAJA's Website.