AAJA 2013 Mentors Invest in Journalism’s Diverse Future

Meet some of the AAJA 2013 Mentors who are volunteering their time to invest in budding AAJA journalists.

CaryChow_webCary Chow (AAJA-San Diego) is an anchor/reporter for multiple platforms on ESPN and ESPN.com. He launched, hosted and produced a weekly show for FOX Sports in San Diego, CA. Chow has also worked as a news reporter and anchor at KGTV (San Diego, CA), WALA (Mobile/Pensacola, FL) and KCWY (Casper, WY). He has been awarded a Regional Murrow for Sports Reporting, an Alabama Associated Press Award for Best Sports Story, Wyoming Associated Press Award for Best Sports Story, Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Award for Best Sports Story and Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Award for Best News Story.

Why he is a 2013 Mentor: I’m volunteering to become a mentor because I want to pay it forward and see APA/API journalists succeed. While I’m still learning as I go, I feel my experiences can help future generations and want to share them. I also feel I have a solid base of contacts that could also help any interested young journalists in their careers.

Causey_webAdam Causey (AAJA-Florida) is an enterprise and investigative reporter at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  He previously worked at The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, most significantly covering an investigation into spending and leadership at a local college, the killing of Trayvon Martin and the Republican presidential primary.  Causey has been honored with a 2010 – Finalist, Watchdog Reporting, Gannett Awards of Excellence.

Why he is a 2013 Mentor: I’m volunteering as a mentor because that’s what other journalists have done for me since I got involved with AAJA. I wouldn’t be the reporter I am without the editing, teaching and career advice I’ve gotten from other AAJA members.



Paul Davis is a retired broadcast journalism veteran with a career that spans over 50 years in the business.  Most recently he assists others in developing their career, as a Talent Coach for Special Projects in Broadcast Journalism.   He was the News Director at WGN-TV in Chicago, IL, News Director/Anchor at WCIA-TV, Champaign-Springfield, IL and President of the Tribune Broadcasting News Network (Tribnet).  As a Producer of Annual Training Programs, he helped new Broadcast General Managers at the National Association of Broadcasters Educational Foundation (NABEF).  As a long-time member of AAJA, he has volunteered his time to critique talent at AAJA and UNITY conventions for nearly 20 years.

Why he is a 2013 mentor: I am a mentor because I love to do it and all mentees benefit greatly from it.

AnnyHong_webAnny Hong (AAJA-San Francisco Bay Area) is an anchor/reporter/meteorologist with KRON 4 News in San Francisco.  She has more than 10 years of experience as a broadcast journalist, working for WUSA (Washington, D.C.), KOVR (Sacramento, CA ) and KVAL (Eugene, OR). Hong’s involved herself with various chapters as she moved up in TV markets, including the Portland, Sacramento and Washington, DC chapters and took on a leadership role as Vice President of Broadcast for the Sacramento Chapter.

Why she is a 2013 Mentor: I have had the honor to have good mentors along the way in my career. Their guidance and support were invaluable. I’d like to help other aspiring young journalists in any way I can, whether it be deciding your next career move or just needing encouragement.

Ko Im_web

Ko Im (AAJA-Washington,D.C.) is a reporter & overnight anchor at WUSA-TV in Washington, D.C.  She has been awarded an RTDNA Michele Clark Fellowship and an Associated Press Chesapeake Multimedia, News Series Award. Im has served on the AAJA-Washington, D.C. Board and was the 2009 Boston AAJA National Convention Silent Auction Co-Chair.  She graduated from Columbia University with her MA in Broadcast Journalism.

Why she is a 2013 Mentor: AAJA has provided me with several mentors throughout the years – some solicited, others just constant forms of support.  It’s time to give back. I’ve doled out advice to aspiring TV journalists through the Columbia Journalism School, but having constant contact with one individual can make a world of a difference.  I hope my hard-learned lessons can make one young AAJAer’s career a little easier to maneuver. Coming from Guam, I could sometimes feel I had no one – but not through AAJA’s national network.

SylviaKomatsu_webSylvia Komatsu (AAJA-Texas) is executive vice president and chief content officer for North Texas public media stations KERA/KXT.  She started her career as a reporter and documentary producer, and now oversees a content division that includes radio, television, digital media and educational services. Komatsu and the KERA team have been recognized by numerous presenters, including the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (two national Emmy Awards), International Film and TV Festival of New York, Women in Communications and National Educational Media Network.  She is one of the AAJA-Texas founding members and is a past chapter treasurer.

Why she is a 2013 Mentor: I’m grateful for the help and support I’ve received along the way.  I look forward to giving back, and working with and learning from fellow journalists.

DavidOno_webDavid Ono (AAJA-Los Angeles) has been anchoring Los Angeles’ number one rated evening newscast for the past 14 years. During Ono’s tenure at ABC7, he has covered disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, traveled throughout Europe and Asia chronicling the brave acts of the Nisei soldier of World War II, tracked drug runners through Central America and trained with the F.B.I.  He has won two Edward R. Murrow awards, a National Unity award, two National AAJA awards and 13 Emmy awards.

Why he is a 2013 Mentor: In the early years of my career, mentors are what kept me afloat.  They helped me understand the subjectivity of the industry.  They showed me how one person’s opinion is not necessarily everyone’s, and how success in this industry is less about what you have to offer TODAY and more about what you WILL have to offer as you continue to grow and learn as a journalist.  They helped hone my skills as a writer, interviewer and editor.  They helped me understand the importance of constant innovation.  Most importantly, they helped me survive those very difficult early years so I could one day have a fruitful career and be a mentor myself.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStanton Tang (AAJA-Michigan) is the News and Information Director for WZZM 13, the ABC affiliate in Grand Rapids, MI.  Stanton has also worked for KLAS (Las Vegas, NV), KCRA (Sacramento, CA) and KPNX (Phoenix, AZ).  Tang is a Kneeland Fellow, an RTNDA Fellow and has been honored with an AAJA National Journalism Television Award, Michigan Emmy Award and Edward R. Murrow regional awards.  He is a former AAJA National Vice President for Broadcast, former member of the AAJA Michigan Chapter Board and former Sacramento Chapter President.

Why he is a 2013 Mentor: It has always been expected that senior journalists and members of AAJA would give back by being mentors.  But with the upheaval in our industry, there are fewer veterans who are still engaged.  It is vital for senior journalists to help provide the guidance that less experienced journalists need to make their way in our profession.  Our lives are all busy, but the time spent as a mentor is an investment that will turn dividends.

PamelaWu_webPamela Wu (AAJA-Sacramento) is Communications Director for University of  California Davis School of Law. Previously, she spent more than a decade as a television news anchor and reporter, most recently at KCRA-TV in Sacramento, CA. She has also been a contributor to NPR affiliate KXJZ, Capital Public Radio.  Wu has been awarded a 2012 Edward R. Murrow Award for Radio News Documentary and a 2005 Unity Award for Political Reporting, “The Minority Vote.”  She is the AAJA National Advisory Board Representative for the Sacramento Chapter and was previously chapter co-president.

Why she is a 2013 Mentor: My journalism career began as a student member of AAJA. It’s thanks to the mentorship and encouragement of veteran AAJA members that I was able to get my foot in the door of the ultra-competitive TV news business. I can honestly say that I directly attribute much of my career success to AAJA. From networking opportunities to ELP, AAJA provides its members with an endless supply of career skills and wisdom. I wish to become more involved the organization’s tradition of mentorship and make a contribution to the next generation of journalists.

PhilipYin_webPhilip Yin is the anchor for CCTV America, launching the first ever show back to Asia/China.  He was previously an anchor/reporter for Bloomberg Television and anchor/correspondent for CNBC Television in Singapore & Hong Kong. After more than a decade of learning the ropes and talking to experts, he completed over 1,000 interviews with individual citizens and world leaders.  His success in business reporting comes from his background as a Senior Portfolio Manager at Swiss-based Unifund, providing institutional strategy for private and public equity assets. Yin also served the U.S.-based Charles Schwab to lead and build their asset management business.

Why he is a 2013 Mentor: It’s great and necessary help more minorities, especially Asian Americans interested in media as a career.  As more international issues arise, it’s more important than ever to have a multicultural background.   I’m happy to be a mentor and help AAJA further its mission.

LoreneYue_webLorene Yue (AAJA-Chicago) is a reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business covering higher education, restaurants and consumer food companies. She has worked for the Chicago Tribune in Illinois, Detroit Free Press in Michigan, Kansas City Star in Missouri and Journal-News in Ohio. Yue has been recognized with two journalism awards this year for “Austin Business Owners in the Line of Fire” –  the Jesse H. Neal Award for best use of video from the Association of Business Information and Media Companies and best feature from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.  She is a longtime member of AAJA and has served as a VOICES editor, chapter president and board member. She was named Chapter President of the Year in 2007 and is currently a co-director for the JCamp high school journalism program.

Why she is a 2013 Mentor: I want to be a mentor because I think it’s important for young journalists to have a network to call upon early in their career. I’ve always been grateful for the support and connections that AAJA has created for me and I want to continue to provide that opportunity to younger journalists.

Barack Obama, Joe BidenHeidi Zhou-Castro (AAJA-Texas) is an evening anchor with YNN in Austin, TX and works with a team of reporters and producers weeknights, guiding editorial decisions and bringing viewers live, breaking news from a thoughtful, ethical perspective. She was a reporter for five years, winning numerous recognitions as a backpack journalist such as a 2010 Texas Associated Press Broadcast Award: Best Investigative, a 2010 Austin Mayor’s Committee on People with Disabilities Media Award, a 2009 Texas Associated Press Broadcast Award: Best General Assignment and a 2008 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.

Why she is a 2013 Mentor: I’m thrilled to work with young people just getting their feet wet in the business. Their passion for journalism is contagious, and I hope to offer the wisdom to make wise career choices and hone their craft. I was a mentee in the AAJA program. Now it’s time to pay it forward.

To volunteer to be a mentor, contact AAJA’s National Office.

Learn more about AAJA’s Mentoring Program.