Why you should register for the AAJA Convention today

TODAY, Friday, June 21, is the last day to get a discount on your registration to the AAJA convention in New York on 8/21-8/24. For instance, if you are a professional member and you register today, it will cost $300. If you register on-site, it will cost $375. You can register here: http://www.aaja.org/nyc2013/

Here is why I think it’s worth the investment. 

It’s in New York. It’s the media capital of the world. The newspaper chains and networks will be there. New York editors who normally wouldn’t make it to the convention in another city will be there. It will be like finding a blue-footed booby for a bird watcher. The last time the convention went to NY was 2000, which is 13 years ago. I don’t know how long it will take for the convention to get back to New York. To be safe, add 13 years to your current age.

The programming. There will be TED-like talks, Ignite-like sessions and the relentless focus on how to make you the most marketable journalist, whether in your own newsroom or across the industry. Here is the full convention schedule.

Inspiration. Here’s my favorite AAJA convention memory. At my first AAJA convention, I knew no one. Seriously. I had zero friends to hang out with. But I did meet NYT photographer Dith Pran in the hallway. He was just hanging out and happy to chat. Pran escaped Cambodia’s genocide (that part of his life was captured in the movie “The Killing Fields”). He died a few years ago, but I am so, so, so thankful I got the chance to talk to him.

imageYou know who always has time to give advice to young broadcast journalists at AAJA conventions? David Ono from ABC in L.A. Richard Lui from MSNBC/NBC. Tom Huang, Sunday editor for the Dallas Morning News. Henry Fuhrmann, AME at the LA Times. Shirley Leung, AME at the Boston Globe. And there are a host of digital leaders to tap: NYT’s Tom Giratikanon, WaPo’s Cory Haik, USC’s Robert Hernandez.

image Seattle Times SVP/executive editor David Boardman plans to go to the convention. He’s not Asian. He just loves NY and the AAJA convention.