February Newsletter: N3Con Magazine Recruiting — Fact-Checking Workshop in SG — A New Mall In Insadong Says Hello

Welcome to 2020, the Year of the Rat, and the first issue of AAJA-Asia’s monthly newsletter! Inside, you’ll find updates from each subchapter, upcoming events, and more.

The full version of this newsletter will be sent monthly to current AAJA-Asia members. Member-only news includes job listings and career updates. To renew your membership, go to aaja.org, sign in to your member account, and then click “JOIN”.

If you have a story or a career update you want to share with our #AAJAFamily, let us know at aajaasia@gmail.com!

Chapter Announcements

The Asia chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA-Asia) is excited to announce Gilles Demptos as its first Director of Asia Pacific.

Demptos has worked over 15 years in the news media industry, from both a business and public policy perspective. He was formerly Asia Director of the World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), where he implemented industry initiatives, events, media development and training programs in the region.

He joins AAJA-Asia most recently from Google APAC in Singapore, where he served as Senior Manager of Public Policy and Government Relations for the news, media and telco industries.

“AAJA has grown as one of Asia’s largest and most active journalist associations, helping media professionals from across the region to upgrade their skills, expand their networks and enhance their careers,” Demptos said. “I am excited to join this dynamic organization as Director of Asia Pacific in order to further develop its services, activities and membership and help spread its values of diversity and inclusiveness across Asia’s newsrooms.”

Demptos added, “AAJA’s members, whether they are students or experienced journalists, are passionate about the crucial role quality journalism can play in Asian societies. They are enthusiastic about the possibilities that new technologies open up for improving their reporting. They are eager to learn, share, collaborate, give back. It is a privilege for me to join a community driven by such positive journalistic values.”

Demptos is currently based in Singapore and can be contacted at gilles.demptos@gmail.com.

Join the N3Con Magazine Team!

The Asian American Journalists Association’s Asia chapter is kicking off the fifth issue of its annual magazine for this year’s N3Con media conference to be hosted in Hong Kong.

N3Magazine will feature critical content related to the conference’s theme, insights on journalism issues around the region, features on keynote speakers, information on each panel, and more. To browse our archive of N3 articles, check out our Medium page.

To join this year’s team, go to: https://tinyurl.com/n3conmag2020

Subchapter Updates

SEOUL — Our new subchapter board met on January 31 at Tap Public in Gwanghwamun to map out this year’s programming. Led by Carina Lee and Jihye Lee, the board welcomes new members Grace Moon, Sumin Yoo, Hakyung Lee, Dasl Yoon, Jake Kwon, Paul Kerry, and Suh-yoon Lee; as well as returning members Bryan Betts, Brolley Genster, Haeryun Kang, and Jihyoung Son.

HONG KONG — The AAJA-Asia Training Network powered by Google News Initiative held a training session on Jan 18 at Google’s Offices in Causeway Bay. The session focused on tools to cover and fact-check protest situations, including photo and video forensics, and more.

TOKYO — The Tokyo subchapter held its New Years dinner, with journalists from NHK, Yomiuri, Bloomberg, Japan Times, and freelance reporters coming together to kick off the year.

Upcoming Events

SINGAPORE — Fact-Checking and Source Verification Workshop for Coronavirus Coverage, presented by the AAJA-Asia Training Network Powered by Google News Initiative. Register here: https://bit.ly/AAJA2020CORONA

SEOUL — Mixer, Friday, February 28, 7 pm. Location: Magpie Itaewon, 244-1, Noksapyeong-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. Open to all!

Member News

Current members, check your inbox for the newsletter version of this section, with career updates from our members!

Member Bylines

“The young Koreans pushing back on a culture of endurance”

MOKPO, South Korea — Freelancer Grace Moon (@gracesoyeonmoon) wrote for BBC Worklife about how young people cope with the worst of Korea’s work culture:

“Rather than obsessing over big milestones, younger Koreans are searching for sohwakhaeng,” said Park. “Whether that be indulging in a slice of cheesecake at your local bakery, writing a song or a book. Something that is small but wholly yours.”

Read more…

“Japanese Women Face a Future of Poverty”

TOKYO — Bloomberg’s Marika Katanuma (@marikakatanuma) reports on the confluence of factors behind a stark reality for Japanese women: on average, “They will run out of money 20 years before they die.” Read more…

“Parasite: The real people living in Seoul’s basement apartments”

SEOUL — Photographer and writer Julie Yoon chronicled the lives of people who live in semi-basement (banjiha) units in a revealing photo essay for the BBC.

“You know, I’m genuinely OK with my apartment,” says [one banjiha dweller]. “I chose this place to save money and I’m saving a lot from it. But I’ve noticed I can’t stop people pitying me.”

Click here to read Julie’s story and see her incredible pictures.

“What Happens When a Virus Runs Rampant on a Cruise Ship”

By Bloomberg’s Oanh Ha (@oanhha) in Hong Kong. One disturbing detail:

Onboard the Diamond Princess, Kent Frasure of Oregon said his wife tested positive for the coronavirus and remained in their room for another five to six hours until she was transported to a hospital north of Tokyo on Feb. 6. His test came back negative, and he has remained in the same room, which hasn’t been cleaned since Feb. 3.“I wish they would at least give me Clorox wipes or something,” Frasure said.

Read more…

Letters of Recommendation

SEOUL — At 12 stories, the new Annyeong Insadong shopping complex towers over the many traditional Korean buildings in Seoul’s popular Insadong neighborhood. The sleek glass structure is home to dozens of restaurants and stores, from major brands like Line Friends to specialty shops selling work by local artists. You can grab lunch after looking around — I really liked the spicy stir-fried chicken (dakgalbi) at Ogeunnae — then duck down an alley for refreshments at one of the quaint teahouses nearby. (Address: 49 Insadong-gil, Jongro-gu, Seoul)
— Bryan Betts (@BryanBetts21), Seoul Membership Director

N3Mag: From the Archives

Parasite wasn’t the only Asian film that made international waves in 2019—Chinese sci-fi blockbuster The Wandering Earth set box office records in China and was snapped up by Netflix for global distribution. In last year’s N3Con Magazine, Wendy Tang (@wwtang) explored the film’s political dimension, and its role in China’s push to project its scientific accomplishments. Click here to read her essay and discover the N3 Mag archives on Medium.

Job Board

Available to dues-paying members via email newsletter.

That’s all for this month. I’d love to get your feedback on this newsletter—what you liked, hated, and what you’d like to see to stay connected to your fellow chapter members. And if you have a byline or career update to share, or just want to write something for your fellow members, please let me know at aajaasia@gmail.com.

Stay safe and healthy, and happy reporting!

Mark Zastrow, AAJA-Asia secretary