Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang:’s Ben Fong-Torres and Suzanne Joe Kai to be honored at AAJA Opening Reception as Pioneering Journalists

Suzanne Joe Kai

Suzanne Joe Kai

I want to pay tribute to two very special pioneering journalists, Suzanne Joe Kai and Ben Fong-Torres. Since October 2000, I have been fortunate to have worked alongside them in cyberspace on, been nurtured by them, and have considered them family. Suzanne and Ben, along with many others will be honored on Wednesday, August 4, at The Highlands Hollywood, 6801 Hollywood Boulevard, from 7pm-9pm, as the Asian American Journalists Association kicks off this year’s “Back to the Future” themed convention, by remembering our roots: honoring the founders of AAJA and pioneering Asian American journalists.

Ben will serve as master of ceremonies. A former senior editor and writer with Rolling Stone magazine, who was portrayed in Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous, Ben is a virtual Renaissance Media Man who blazed trails both print and broadcast media during the revolutionary, counter-cultural civil rights-embattled 1960s. publisher and co-founder Suzanne Joe Kai, the AAJA-LA board and convention planners have a very special evening planned, including a video roll call of the founders of AAJA and pioneering journalists and exciting musical artists.

Suzanne was among the first Asian American female news broadcasters to “break the glass ceiling” in San Francisco. She was a TV news reporter, documentary producer, and public affairs show host for KRON-TV (when it was NBC-SF), and also worked as a journalist on-camera for KTVU-TV Oakland, and KGO-TV (ABC-SF). She is currently producing two documentaries. Suzanne is the founder of StudioLA.TV, a production company which produces news & entertainment programming for wireless, online and television outlets. Suzanne is a member & 2007, 2008, 2009 judge with the Emmys Interactive Peer Group in Hollywood. Suzanne earned a Masters degree in Communication from Stanford University.

Among the founders scheduled to attend are Tritia Toyota and Frank Kwan both formerly with KNBC-TV News; and Bill Sing, Nancy Yoshihara, and David Kishiyama all formerly with The Los Angeles Times.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Dinah Eng, founder and director of the Executive Leadership Program (ELP) for the Asian American Journalists Association, will step down in AugustChristine Toy Johnson, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Etsu Mineta Masaoka, Roxanna Saberi to be honored by JACL
Fox 5 News NY WNYW-TV’s Ti-Hua Chang Receives AAJA National Journalism Award – story on Asian American Poverty
Ti-Hua Chang reports on poverty among Asian Americans in New York
2009 Asian American Journalists Association Awards
Multimedia: Dinah Eng, Corky Lee, Jeannie Park and Steve Paulus honored by Asian American Journalists Association
Crafting a Career
Andre Dé Shields is having a Devilishly Good Time in Damn Yankees at The John W. Engeman Theater at Northport
Lia Chang as Nurse Lia on One Life to Live
Portrait of Secretary Norman Y. Mineta to Be Presented at the National Portrait Gallery
Making the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution Bill a Reality
Asian Women Donors Grant $82,000 to NYC Artists and Non-profits Committed to Activism Thru The Arts
Photos by Lia Chang at the Shanghai World Expo 2010’s USA Pavilion, Library of Congress and Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection in L.A.Hollywood Chinese: The Arthur Dong Collection Exhibition at the Chinese American Museum in Los Angeles, has been extended through November 7, 2010
Photo Call: BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.

Photo by Lia Chang

Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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.

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,,,,, 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 She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. In August, selections of Lia’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space will become part of THE LIA CHANG THEATER PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection.


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