Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Multimedia: Dinah Eng, Corky Lee, Jeannie Park and Steve Paulus honored by Asian American Journalists Association

AAJA Special Award recipients Dinah Eng, Steve Paulus, Jeannie Park and Corky Lee © Lia Chang

AAJA Special Award recipients Dinah Eng, Steve Paulus, Jeannie Park and Corky Lee © Lia Chang


Congratulations to Dinah Eng, columnist for Scripps Howard News Service; Corky Lee, freelance photojournalist; Jeannie Park, former editor, Time Inc.; and Steve Paulus, senior vice president/general manager of NY1 News, who were honored by the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) last night in Boston.
John Yang (Photo by Lia Chang)

John Yang (Photo by Lia Chang)


On a balmy August evening at the Boston World Trade Center, Arthur Chi’en, reporter/host with WPIX-TV/New York and Frances Rivera, anchor, 7News and CW56 in Boston, emceed AAJA’s Gala Scholarship and Awards banquet, which capped the end of four days for the 650 attendees of AAJA’s 20th Annual National Convention this year. NBC News correspondent John Yang was inspiring as keynote speaker.

AAJA is the nation’s largest non-profit educational and professional organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) journalists.

Frances Rivera, anchor, 7News and CW56 in Boston and Arthur Chi’en reporter/host with WPIX-TV/New York, emcee’d the banquet. © Lia Chang

Frances Rivera, anchor, 7News and CW56 in Boston and Arthur Chi’en reporter/host with WPIX-TV/New York, emcee’d the banquet. © Lia Chang


Representing approximately 2,000 members, AAJA promotes fair and accurate news coverage, develops managers in the media industry and encourages young people to consider journalism as a career.

Dinah Eng, a columnist for Scripps Howard News Service, was this year’s recipient of AAJA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Her leadership and dedication to the journalism community includes stints as past national president of AAJA and past national president of UNITY: Journalists of Color, and over 20 years of service to AAJA. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated courage and commitment to the principles of journalism over the course of a life’s work, as well as dedication to issues important to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Foster Hays, son of Dr. Suzanne Ahn, congratulates Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dinah Eng. © Lia Chang

Foster Hays, son of Dr. Suzanne Ahn, congratulates Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Dinah Eng. © Lia Chang


Dinah Eng’s founding of The Executive Leadership Program has developed 381 Asian American and Pacific Islander newsroom leaders who have propelled AAJA to national prominence. Tirelessly working to promote diversity by training, mentoring and encouraging promotions of journalists to reach their highest potential, Eng’s influence with media executives has made it possible for the program to exist year after year.

New York City based photojournalist Corky Lee, was the recipient of AAJA’s Dr. Suzanne Ahn Award for Civil Rights and Social Justice for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Ahn, a Korean American who was raised in Arkansas and Texas who devoted her life to promoting civil rights and social justice for all Americans, especially women and Asian Americans. For over 35 years, Lee has used his camera to ensure that the faces of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and their experiences be included in American history. At once intensely personal and socially conscious, he has a style of photojournalism that crosses the divides of different Asian American and Pacific Islander nationalities.

Jeannie Park (Photo by Lia Chang)

Jeannie Park (Photo by Lia Chang)

Leadership in Diversity award recipient Jeannie Park, a former editor of Time, Inc. has increased the diversity among the staffs of every publication she’s headed from InStyle to People magazine. She has mentored and advised countless young members of AAJA, who aspire to executive offices.

In addition to her own generous contributions to AAJA, the New York Chapter, and the Executive Leadership Program, Jeannie Park has also encouraged her employers to give. At ELP, she helps guide class participants with her experiences as a magazine executive and with her knowledge of the industry, encouraging participants to grow and become stronger leaders themselves while balancing work and life.

Steve Paulus (Photo by Lia Chang)

Steve Paulus (Photo by Lia Chang)


This year’s recipient for AAJA’s Special Recognition Award was Steve Paulus, regional vice president/general manager, NY1 News.
Steve Paulus, senior vice president/general manager of NY1 News and his sister "Hair" director Diane Paulus (Photo by Lia Chang)
(Steve Paulus and his sister “Hair” director Diane Paulus © Lia Chang)
Instrumental in hiring at least 35 Asian American and Pacific Islanders over 20 years at NY1 News and WCBS-TV, Paulus has also hired dozens more at Time Warner’s upstate New York channels. He has ensured, for nearly 30 years, that Asian Americans in the New York City area are covered in television news in a fair and just way. He has quietly supported AAJA programs by mentoring members and promoting their leadership development.
Special Recognition Award recipient Steve Paulus, senior vice president/general manager of NY1 News is flanked by his NY1 family and sister "Hair" director Diane Paulus (right) at the AAJA Scholarship and Awards banquet at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on August 15, 2009. (Photo by Lia Chang)
Special Recognition Award recipient Steve Paulus, senior vice president/general manager of NY1 News is flanked by his NY1 family and sister "Hair" director Diane Paulus (right) at the AAJA Scholarship and Awards banquet at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston on August 15, 2009. © Lia Chang
Watch excerpts of speeches by John Yang, Jeannie Park and Steve Paulus on video

AAJA Website

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Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer and an award-winning multimedia journalist. Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. As a photographer and videographer, Lia is frequently tapped to collaborate with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.

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