AAJA13 session: Ten Ways to Make Your Story More Engaging

AAJA convention attendees: You’re invited to a session at the Asian American Journalists Association Convention on "Ten Ways to Make Your Story More Engaging" at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 23, 2013 in Nassau West. 

How many of you groan at the thought of responding to emails and phone calls from readers, viewers and listeners? 

Reader engagement is more than a buzz word, it’s key to the survival of journalism in a cutthroat competitive landscape for online readers. 

It’s about more than responding to trolls in anonymous online comments. 

Let’s talk about 10 proven ways to engage your readers digitally, in print, on television on the radio and in person. Learn from our mistakes and successes. Pick up the best practices across platforms. We are here to help you build your relationship with readers, whether you’re a reporter, a producer, photographer in print, broadcast or online. 

I’ll be moderating a quick-fire run down of 10 ways to engage your reader, viewer and listener featuring these distinguished speakers:

Mandy Jenkins, interactives editor, Digital First Media

George Kiriyama, news reporter, NBC Bay Area News

Jamshid Mousavinezhad, editor in chief, Newsday.com

Ruth Spencer, community coordinator, Guardian U.S.

Here is a replay of our slideshow:

During the Q&A portion, George launched a Google Hangout with two readers, one of whom was based in Trinidad. Here is a video of George’s hangout captured by AAJA member Sean Carlson.

Seattle Times opening for a one-year community-engagement editor

The Seattle Times is hiring for a one-year community-engagement editor to work on an innovative digital and community journalism project on education. I would get to work with this editor! We encourage serious candidates to apply by Friday, Aug. 16, 2013.

Seattle Times one-year community engagement editor

Job description:

The community engagement editor for the Seattle Times-Solutions Journalism Project will bring a startup mentality and passion and tenacity for seeking solutions to the big questions facing education. In this one-year position, the editor will develop and manage a blog for the project that will become the region’s destination for education conversations. This editor will edit and curate staff and community contributions and conversations, making the blog a destination for the latest news and most innovative thinking on education advances and policies.

The hallmark of this editor’s efforts will be developing and executing on a successful in-person and digital engagement strategy that connects with all facets of the community, reaching beyond the education experts and journalists to include parents, teachers and community members – particularly from underserved neighborhoods throughout the Puget Sound region.

Duties will vary depending on our needs and your strengths but may include:

Start up, edit and curate a blog 

Engage community members in person, on social media and via online interaction 

Recruit community members to contribute to the blog

Identify and cultivate partnerships with community organizations and media partners

Drive readership and community engagement

Conduct outreach for and participate in community forums

Read More

A video tribute from Seattle to AAJA President Paul Cheung on his 40th birthday. We did the (faux) Harlem Shake. 

Huge props to Akiko Oda, field editor for AOL Patch, who produced it. The video stars Lori Matsukawa, Larry Blackstock, Candace Barron, Nigel Barron, Danny O’Neil, Caroline Li, Samantha Pak, Thanh Tan, Wendy Tang, Devon Bacon and two random guys we met at Kerry Park in Seattle. 

It’s Paul Cheung’s 40th birthday. Let the bombing on social media begin #pcheungis40

Dearly beloved, we have gathered here to get through this thing called… Paul Cheung’s 40th birthday.

Let the bombing on social media begin. Paul’s fans can do more than type “happy birthday” on his Facebook wall. After all, he is our global-interactives-managing, Instagram-bombing, data-loving, responsive-designing AAJA president.


1. Ceate an innovative, visual social-media birthday post. (Note: Typing “happy birthday” on his Facebook wall is neither innovative nor visual.)

2. Include in your post the hashtag #pcheungis40 

3. Tag Paul on Facebook or on Twitter (@pcheung630) or stick the post on his Facebook wall.

Here are some ideas, from the very easy (<1 minute) to the very difficult (many hours):

Photo: Of you with a sign that says “40,” uploaded to Facebook

Vine: A Vine video of you saying, “Happy Birthday” with a “40” somewhere in the shot uploaded to Facebook and Twitter

GIF: An animation with a “40” in it posted to Facebook. (Example of a simple, very sweet GIF made by Seattle Times producers: http://laurenrabaino.com/bye-sharon/)

Video: A crazy crowdsourced video a cappella song tribute like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYtYCNkR1Yo