Now in its 27th year, AAJA Voices is a student program that provides aspiring journalists with career-ready skills to succeed in the continually-evolving media landscape. By nurturing relationships between students and professional volunteers, Voices also gives students the opportunity to tap into mentors’ networks and begin their own while also providing AAJA journalists leadership and management opportunities. 

A sneak peek of this year’s Voices projects

A sneak peek of this year’s Voices projects

Want to get the full story behind these projects? The 2018 class will present their projects on Friday, Aug. 10 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. at the AAJA National Convention in Houston at River Oaks AB. Not in Houston? Follow Voices on Twitter for a livestream.

BY EMMA STIEFEL

Voices students have spent the summer creating long-form pieces of journalism spanning a range of topics and mediums. Most students have now finished reporting and are beginning to assemble and edit their final products. Here are some sneak peeks into the issues these projects explore.

“We know from some members — and can’t speak for all of them, for sure — that merely seeing concrete evidence of the disparity was important because it made them feel like they weren’t imagining things, and armed them with data they could take directly to their immediate managers and seek a raise.”

— statement provided to Voices from the IAPE1096 union, which represents approximately 1,250 Dow Jones employees.

Voices participants Cecilia Lei, Elaine Chen, Annie Ma, and Jonathan Ng are working on a data-driven investigation into gender and racial pay disparities in newsrooms across the U.S.


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Voices participants Tsering Bista, Michelle Hanks, and Salgu Wissmath are working on a documentary film about the stigma surrounding mental health in Asian American Pacific Islander communities.


“Even to today, when we talking, I pronounce wrong because I can’t pronounce it, some letter and stuff, so it comes out sounding funny to you guys, because it’s a completely different sound you know, some people still laugh. They don’t mean to sometimes, I know they don’t mean to hurt me, anything like that, I know them they’re nice people, but they laugh, that simple laugh hurts me even to today.”

— Kayoko Hodges, who immigrated to the United States from Japan in the 1960s.

Voices students Violet Wang, Suhauna Hussain, Emma Stiefel are working on a podcast exploring what it’s like to live in the U.S. with an accent.


“For some LGBTQ AAPI, coming out isn't easy — parents have described it as a Western, not an Asian, phenomenon. In certain languages, there are literally no words for their identities.”

Voices students Gwendolyn Wu, Irena Fischer-Hwang, Lina Takahashi are working on a project about identifying as LGBTQ and coming out in the Asian American Pacific Islander community.


Join us on Friday, Aug. 10 from 3 – 4:30 p.m. at the AAJA National Convention in Houston at River Oaks AB as our 2018 class presents their projects. Not in Houston? Follow Voices on Twitter for a livestream.

Scholarships & grants for young journalists

Scholarships & grants for young journalists

Tackling diversity in student newsrooms

Tackling diversity in student newsrooms