Upcoming Events

Pitch Perfect: Making it as a Freelancer – May 13, 2021, at 6:00-7:30 pm CT

Join AAJA Chicago for a lively conversation on freelance journalism, featuring independent reporters and critics from around the city. We’ll talk about the state of the media industry, discuss the art and science of pitching, and share advice on managing your time and money.

This free panel will be moderated by our secretary-treasurer, Taylor Moore, and will feature freelance writers Ines Bellina, Britt Julious, and Kiran Misra. The event will be recorded and distributed afterward.

Ines Bellina 
is a freelance writer, storyteller, and bon vivant. She has bylines in Shondaland, The A.V. Club, The Takeout, Wine Enthusiast, Block Club Chicago, and more. She is also one of the co-authors of the photography book LNGSQ: Gentrification & Preservation in a Chicago Neighborhood.

Britt Julious is a writer, editor, essayist, and storyteller for publications like The New York Times, Vogue, Bon Appetit, Esquire, ELLE, Women’s Health, and others. She’s currently the music critic for the Chicago Tribune, serves as the editorial director of Cancer Wellness magazine, and previously edited for Vice’s THUMP. In 2019, she won the Studs Terkel award in journalism.

Kiran Misra is a reporter, policy researcher, and translator primarily covering criminalization, policing, and incarceration as well as the intersection of immigration and political identity. Her reporting focuses on demystifying the mechanisms behind systems of political power and spotlighting the stories of people who are most impacted by them. By day, she works as a Government Partnerships Officer for the United Nations World Food Programme and is a Longworth Media Fellow with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Taylor Moore is a freelance journalist who covers arts and culture, urban issues, and social justice. She has written for The Guardian, Vice, Columbia Journalism Review, Chicago Reader, and other outlets, and currently serves as a board member of AAJA Chicago and the Chicago Headline Club.

Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Past Events

Off the Record: A Conversation About Mental Health – April 21, 2021, at 7:30-8:30 pm CT

For the first time, AAJA Chicago will host a facilitated group discussion led by Olivia Yang, a licensed psychotherapist in Chicago. Olivia will share her thoughts on the trauma that anti-Asian racism can cause, and then open the floor to participants for an honest conversation about mental health. This discussion, open only to Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists in the Chicago area, will serve as a safe space for folks to share their feelings, experiences and thoughts — whether personal or professional.

Trivia Bowl Fundraiser – December 18, 2020, at 8-10 pm CT

Hosted by ESPN reporter and trivia expert Michele Steele, teams of six to eight people will compete in six rounds of trivia, focusing on topics like famous figures in journalism, current events and obscure Chicago history. Whether you’re a group of gumshoes or die-hard fans of razor-sharp trivia questions, put your brains to the test while contributing to a great cause.

First Thursdays Virtual Happy Hour – December 3, 2020, at 7-8 pm CT

We are hosting monthly virtual happy hours this fall and winter, each with a unique theme. This is a great opportunity to connect with some of your peers who you might not have had a chance to meet yet.

Navigating Objectivity in Journalism – October 21, 6-8 pm CT

Reporters examine how our world view shapes our reporting and how to craft balanced coverage while still telling it like it really is.

The news media should be looked to as truth-tellers, devoted to telling it like it is. But as the industry takes a deeper look at just what it means to be objective, each journalist must examine and acknowledge how their background and world view shapes their reporting. They must work out how to craft fair coverage without reducing a narrative to a “both sides” mindset, and how to navigate a job that finds them in gray areas more often than not. During this panel presented by the Chicago chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, respected journalists from legacy newsrooms and innovative outlets will discuss their takes on the issue.

Featuring: Nader Issa, Chicago Sun-Times; Alex Arriaga, City Bureau; Kim Bellware, Washington Post; Elvia Malagón, Chicago Sun-Times; Charles Preston, Injustice Watch; Dakarai Turner, television news journalist

Recording: https://youtu.be/oeYGlnAh3SI

First Thursdays Virtual Happy Hour – October 1, 2020, at 7-8 pm CT

We are hosting monthly virtual happy hours this fall and winter, each with a unique theme. This is a great opportunity to connect with some of your peers who you might not have had a chance to meet yet.

Data Driven: Using Public Information and Google Tools for Storytelling – September 17, 2020, at 6-8:30 pm CT

6-7:15 pm: Learn how to build interactive graphics and maps with Google Flourish and scrape data with Google Sheets with Mike Reilley.

7:15-8:30 pm: Learn how to explore data and craft pitches based on your beat in this hands-on data journalism workshop with Jasmine Mithani.

AAJA Fest – August 9-15, 2020

This year, AAJA is hosting the national convention virtually! Join us on August 9-15, 2020, for the first ever AAJA Fest! #AAJA2020

Official site: https://www.aaja20.org/

The Summer of Extremes: Racism, Health Inequity and Heat – June 23-25, 2020

COVID-19 Collides With Climate Crisis on 25th Anniversary of Chicago Heat Waves

Journalists are invited to dissect lessons on racism and health inequity learned from Chicago’s 1995 heatwave replayed during the pandemic. Hosted in partnership with Chicago Journalists Association, NABJ-Chicago, NAHJ-Chicago, The Headline Club, Kartemquin Films, the Macarthur Foundation, and others.

Reporting on Race Virtual Panel – April 9, 2020

How can we better cover communities of color? Please join the Chicago chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association for a virtual panel on Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 6:30 p.m.

Featuring:  Katie Kim, NBC 5 Chicago (moderator), Maudlyne Ihejirika, Chicago Sun-Times, Laura Rodríguez Presa, Chicago Tribune, Esther Yoon Ji-Kang, WBEZ

Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjU7YQsEyOo

Lunar New Year Mixer – January 30, 2020

AAJA Chicago is teaming up with AMEJA (Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association) for a Lunar New Year Mixer! Come by the downtown Lao Sze Chuan for free bites and a chance to get to know some fellow Chicago journalists.