The 2016 AAJA Awards were announced on Saturday, August 13 at the 27th Gala Scholarship & Awards Banquet during this year’s national convention in Las Vegas, NV. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
National Journalism Awards
Staff Writer, The Los Angeles Times
Writers, Associated Press
Carmen L. Vicencio,
Director/Series Producers, American Documentary, Inc.
“America Reframed: Cambodian Son”
Correspondents, CBS News/60 Minutes
Independent Journalist, “PRI’s The World”
Student, Baylor Lariat
John D. Sutter
Columnist, CNN Digital
Member of the Year 2016
Shawn Nicole Wong
ELP Outstanding Leadership Award
Chapter President of the Year 2016
Chapter of the Year 2016
Mentor of the Year Award
Mentee of the Year Award
Member of the Year2016 Shawn Nicole Wong 2015 Pamela Wu 2014 Bobby Calvan 2013 Richard Lui 2012 Julie Tam (Texas), Bobby Calvan (D.C.), Jam Sardar (Michigan) 2011 Frank Witsil
2010 Lisa Chung and Craig Gima
2009 Cynthia Wang
2008 Paul Cheung and Ivette Yee
2007 George Kiriyama
2006 Neal Justin
2005 Randall Yip
2004 Keith Kamisugi
2003 Pradnya Joshi
2002 Sandy Louey
2001 Amy Wang
2000 Anthony Ramirez
1999 Aki Soga
1998 Michael and Alix Quan
1997 Dalton Tanonaka
1996 Kimberly Moy
President of the Year2016 Anjana Schroeder (Michigan) 2015 Mai Hoang (Seattle) 2014 Ramy Inocencio (Asia) 2013 Sandy Louey (Sacramento) and Jocelyn “Joz” Wang (Los Angeles) 2012 Julie Shaw (Philadelphia) 2011 Sanjay Bhatt (Seattle)
2010 Ryan O. Kim (San Francisco/Bay Area)
2009 Vino Wong (Atlanta)
2008 Victoria Lim (Florida)
2007 Lorene Yue (Chicago)
2006 Henry Fuhrmann and Rachanee Srisavasdi(Los Angeles)
2005 Murali Balaji (Philadelphia)
2004 Ted Shen, posthumously (Chicago)
2003 Anh Do (Los Angeles)
2002 Cheryl Tan (Washington, D.C.)
2001 Denise L. Poon (Los Angeles)
2000 Lee Ann Kim (San Diego)
1999 Mi Young Hwang (Chicago)
1998 Bonnie Lee (San Francisco/Bay Area)
1997 Nancy Yoshihara (Los Angeles)
1996 Esther Wu (Texas)
Chapter of the Year2016 Asia 2015 Seattle 2014 New York 2013 Asia 2012 Asia 2011 Minnesota
2009 New England
2007 Los Angeles
2004 San Diego and Washington, D.C.
2002 San Francisco/Bay Area
2001 New York
1999 New England
Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism
SISI WEI, OLGA PIERCE, MARSHALL ALLEN, News Applications Developers, ProPublica “Surgeon Scorecard“
This award, from a partnership of AAJA and the Gannett Foundation, recognizes groundbreaking work by an individual or team of current AAJA full members in creatively using digital tools in community watchdog journalism. Special consideration is given to journalism that helps a community understand and address important issues. Criteria for evaluating innovation include interactivity, creation of new tools, adaptation of existing tools, and creative use of any digital medium.
Our judges hailed the piece as a groundbreaking effort that uses public health data to provide needed accountability and transparency to a critical issue that affects nearly everyone. The team tackled an incredibly complicated data set and managed to spark a national discussion about surgery complications. The scorecard itself is very innovative and useful for customers. Surgeon Scorecard is an impressive example of how journalists can find new ways to be watchdogs by using digital tools. Wei and her teammates managed to tackle a deeply contentious task without the kind of oversimplification that could have easily undermined the scorecard’s credibility, all while balancing the needs of consumers who need easy to use information. Obtaining access to data no one else had acquired was a major coup. The methodology they developed was rigorous, fair and transparent. What’s more, the scorecard’s interface is straightforward.
Lifetime Achievement Award
LONNIE WONG, Reporter, FOX40 News
This award honors an Asian American or Pacific Islander who has demonstrated courage and commitment to the principles of journalism over the course of a life’s work.
Lonnie Wong’s commitment to journalism and the Asian American community are unparalleled. For more than three decades, Lonnie has been one of Sacramento’s most trusted and respected journalists. As an anchor, reporter, and host at FOX 40, he has covered the issues that mattered the most to Northern Californians and the Asian American community. He is the longest tenured television journalist in Sacramento. His commitment to ethics, accuracy, and fair representation of all communities is second to none. Lonnie is deeply committed to the Asian American community in Sacramento, leading numerous Asian American Pacific Islander organizations including AAJA Sacramento, which he helped found in 1985. He has served on the AAJA Sacramento chapter board for the entire time.
A highly respected member of Sacramento’s API community in Sacramento, Lonnie has had a tremendous impact on ensuring the API voice is well represented in this region. Through his journalism and community involvement, Lonnie has made nothing less than an extraordinary contribution to the enrichment, understanding, and advancement of Asian American life, with balanced coverage of the Asian American community and society at large.
Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights & Social Justice
GERI ALUMIT ZELDES, Associate Professor & Journalism Graduate Director, Michigan State University “Imported From China“
This award recognizes excellence in coverage of Asian American Pacific Islander civil rights and social justice, causes the late doctor promoted for all Americans but especially women and Asian Americans.
Dr. Geri Zeldes’s submission’s strength is the documentary, That Strange Summer, which tells the story of two Asian American nurses, Filipina Narciso and Leonora Perez, who were charged with murder. The documentary makes a strong case that the nurses were unfairly targeted due to their ethnicity and were unable to voice themselves fully during the trial. By telling their story, this documentary gives them their voice. The documentary also highlights the role of the press during the trial and highlights their reporting about the motivations of the judge for vacating the original judgment, and the prosecutor’s subsequent decision to not re-try the women. In these ways, the documentary advances both the civil rights and social justice platforms for Asian Americans, and Dr. Zeldes is deserving of the 2016 Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award.
For questions about the AAJA awards, please contact Daniel Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.