Alumni of ACFJ programs have formally organized into an association in order to address their needs for networking and research, promote the work of ACFJ, and serve as a dynamic advocate for an independent and credible voice in Asia.
In a meeting in Beijing on 16 August 2011, they formed the Society of Asian Journalists (SAJ) and set up the Council of Representatives to serve for two years. They have also elected a seven-man board headed by its president, Ed Utama from Indonesia for a one-year term.
Getting SAJ officially registered is its priority. Part of their action plan is to identify and implement specific projects to achieve their objectives, including the setting up of a website and a proposed publication on social media. The alumni also discussed the proposal for the SAJ president to take a lead as host in organizing the 2012 Forum of Emerging Leaders on Asian Journalism in Jakarta.
The 6th Forum of Emerging Leaders in Asian Journalism held at the Beijing Foreign Studies University in Beijing, China from 15-18 August 2011 served as the venue for the organizational meeting. Its theme, ‘Changing Media, Changing Journalists” covered topics on credibility, audience engagement, workflow, and new business models.
Members of the Council of Representatives elected were Serath Nguon from Cambodia, Anisha Bhaduri from India, Edi Utama from Indonesia, KY Pung from Malaysia, Sherrie Ann Torres from the Philippines, Trixia Carungcong from Singapore and Brush Avasadanond from Thailand.
Aside from Utama, other board officers elected were KY Pung as vice president, Josh Villanueva from the Philippines as chief information officer, Susan Tam from Malaysia as secretary and Bert Apostol from the Philippines as treasurer.