Media Monday, Mai Hoang, Yakima Herald-Republic

Rosalind Brazel / November 12, 2013

Each Monday, we’re giving readers a chance to get to know the media a little better.

With a little flair.

Our goal is to give readers some insight into the work and work style of area journalists, and get to know a little bit about the person behind the byline. Start your week off with an online networking opportunity through our Media Monday blog post.

This Week: Mai Hoang, Yakima Herald-Republic

Mai HoangMai Hoang is a business reporter for the Yakima Herald-Republic in Yakima, Wash., covering a wide range of topics including economic development, real estate, aviation, retail and the wine industry. Her stories have been published in newspapers throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Mai loves reporting and loves to find new ways to share that information, be it by shooting video or writing code. Along with her reporting duties, Mai is also president of the Seattle chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, which aims to increase the number of Asian American journalists in the journalism industry and to promote fair and accurate coverage of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.

Mai is passionate about building up the next generation of journalists. For the last two years, she has served as coordinator of the Valley Workshop, a weekend-long workshop that provides high school students in the Yakima Valley a taste of what it takes to be a reporter, photographer and videographer.

When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Jerome Parmentier, running, cooking and watching Korean dramas.

Q: What’s your favorite story you’ve done in the last week?

A: I recently wrote a story about Diep Miller, a Yakima restaurant owner. In May, she purchased a restaurant that was to be run by her nephew, who recently arrived from Vietnam a few months ago and had agreed to take it over in two years.  But in July, the nephew and his family left suddenly. She was left with a five-year-lease and a bank loan to pay. The story talks about how she’s moving on from the heartbreak to make the restaurant work. I know it was difficult for Diep to share her story with me, but I’m glad she did – her story resonated with a lot of our readers.

Q: What skills do new journalists need?

A: Knowledge of journalism ethics, strong interviewing and good storytelling always need to be part of the equation. Learning how to shoot and edit video, using Twitter and other social media platforms and writing quick, but accurate updates to the web are just tools that help you do the three core skills above.

Q: If you weren’t working at your current job, what would you be doing?

A: Good question. I have been pursuing journalism since I was 16 (about 15 years), so I haven’t had a chance to think about other options. But while serving as treasurer for the Seattle Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, I realize I have a knack for bookkeeping, so perhaps accounting? (It’s not true that all journalists are bad at math).

Q: Finish this sentence: “A good PR person is …

A: ” …good at doing their homework, i.e. they do research on the publication and their coverage before pitching.

Q: What hidden talent or skill do you have that viewers/readers don’t know about you?

A: I make really good Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies.

PR Pro Takeaway: What sets this journalist apart is her dedication to giving back to her craft and community. She’s taken upon her self to serve as a mentor to other Asian journalists. Also, Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies …enough said! Connect with Mai on Twitter.