The Los Angeles Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association

PANEL: “Life After Journalism” / July 20 @ 6:30 p.m.

Since January 2008, the news industry has shed more than 46,000 jobs, according to UNITY Journalists of Color. The most recent cuts were at Gannett, which announced 700 layoffs at its community newspapers last month.

Given the instability, journalists are considering other career options. Come hear from former Asian American journalists who have established successful careers outside of a newsroom. Former Los Angeles Times staffers Peter Hong, Evelyn Iritani and Daniel Yi, as well as former City News Service reporter and editor Richard Fruto will discuss the pros and cons of their career switch, as well as how much their journalism background aids them in their current professions. The panel will be moderated by Rachanee Srisavasdi, communications director for the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, a former Orange County Register journalist and AAJA Los Angeles co-president.

LOCATION: Asian Pacific American Legal Center

ADDRESS: 1145 Wilshire Blvd.

DATE: Wednesday, July 20 from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m.

To RSVP, or for more information:

AAJA-LA will provide refreshments.

Here are the panelists:

Peter Hong is a senior deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. Prior to his current position, he worked at the Los Angeles Times for 15 years of his 20-year journalism career.  As a reporter for the Times’ Metro staff, Hong’s work penetrated the complexity of race relations and the cultural identity of Los Angeles. He wrote op-eds on education, economics, foreign affairs, and environmental policy and was the lead Times reporter on the Phil Spector murder trial. He has also worked as a business reporter, covering the housing crash and the foreclosure crisis.

Richard Fruto is an attorney at Gianelli & Morris in Los Angeles, one of a few law firms in California specializing in insurance class action litigation on the plaintiffs’ side.  He attended Loyola Law School, where he was executive editor of the Entertainment Law Journal.  He is a former City News Service reporter and weekend editor and was chapter president when AAJA-LA received the first Chapter of the Year award in 1995.  He is married, a father of two, an avid cyclist, and captain of a two-time Trivia Bowl championship team.

Evelyn Iritani is a principal at Saylor Company, a Los Angeles public relations firm specializing in high-stakes and crisis communications.  Prior to joining Saylor, she worked as an international economics correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, where she was part of a four-person team whose series on Wal-Mart won numerous awards, including the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting and the George Polk Award for Economics Reporting. Prior to joining the Times, she worked as the Pacific Rim correspondent for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.  Evelyn also wrote an award-winning book on U.S.-Japan relations entitled “An Ocean Between Us: The Changing Relationship of Japan and the United States Told in Four Stories from the Life of an American Town.” She is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and former board member of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Daniel Yi handles strategic communications and media relations for the Port of Long Beach. He was a staff writer with the Los Angeles Times and an associate editor with the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and has written for various other publications including the Chicago Tribune, A. Magazine and KoreAm Journal. He has a Master’s in Journalism from USC, and has been in the communications field for nearly two decades. He was born in South Korea, but grew up in South America, and speaks Korean, Portuguese and Spanish.