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“ESPN, the Sports Task Force and AAJA helped me find that soul.”

Several ESPN employees reflect on participating in the recent virtual 2020 Asian American Journalists Association Convention

ESPN was well represented last week at the virtual Asian American Journalists Association Convention (AAJA), continuing its tradition of sponsoring the event.

A group of employees from across The Walt Disney Company participated on panels and played a critical role in developing sports-specific panels organized by the AAJA’s Sports Task Force.

SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi participated on a panel about the challenges of covering sports during COVID-19. Bao Nguyen, director of ESPN 30 for 30 film, “Be Water”, joined a panel on the impact of Bruce Lee. ESPN.com writer Joon Lee led a discussion on storytelling during times of disruption with Senior Vice President, Multiplatform Storytelling and Journalism, ESPN, Alison Overholt alongside colleagues from across The Walt Disney Company.

ESPN employees reflect on their experiences participating in the conference below and in the video above.

Carolyn Hong, coordinating producer:
“This was probably one of the most significant conferences for the AAJA Sports Task Force. At a time when sports franchises and athletes are making news headlines, the programming we offered at AAJA20 was important and impactful. From discussing athletes using their platforms for social justice to covering sports during the Covid-19 pandemic and Bruce Lee’s impact on Asian Americans today – we keyed in on relatable topics that reached an audience beyond sports journalists and fans.”

Michael Huang, ESPN.Com deputy editor:
“Being part of AAJA’s Sports Task Force has been something of a career awakening for me. I’ve been in sports media for more than 20 years. Early in my career, I never had other Asian American and Pacific Islanders in sports or journalism as role models, let alone advocate for or champion me. With the Sports Task Force, I realized I am now in a position to do that for others. I first attended AAJA and ASCEND back in 2015, and someone tasked me to ‘find the soul in my job.’ ESPN, the Sports Task Force and AAJA helped me find that soul.”

Jon McLeod produced the video.

(Photo: Carolyn Hong/ESPN/Illustration: Emily Archacki)
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