Here’s a column I wrote for the latest issue of JACL’s Pacific Citizen newspaper, which is undergoing a crisis with the loss of both its executive editor and assistant editors. The paper is also looking for a fulltime business manager.
I’m on the search committee, so if any of my readers is interested in applying, you should send me an email. I can send you the official job announcement as well as the requirements, which includes the salary ranges.
It’s a tough, demanding position but one with real potential for greatness.
The PC is at a crossroads
As a writer and editor, I’m not supposed to rely on clichés. But the current situation of the Pacific Citizen is best described by a cliché, that the Chinese character for “crisis” also means “opportunity.”
When I served as the PC Editorial Board’s chair for seven years, I defended the newspaper and its staff vigorously at national JACL board meetings. Because it’s expensive to run a news organization, even a super-lean one like this, the PC has always been an easy target when budgets tighten and money is scarce.
But I warned the national board every time someone didn’t understand the importance of the PC to the general membership, or the value it represented for its cost to the organization’s bottom line. I also warned that the staff, including Executive Editor Caroline Aoyagi and Assistant Editor Lynda Lin, were precariously underpaid and were working their butts off doing an excellent job primarily out of passion for their mission and pride in the quality of the PC.
I cautioned that both these fine journalists might flee for other media jobs. Finally, that’s what happened with Caroline, who was wooed away for another job. Lynda is moving because her husband was suddenly transferred overseas by his company.