AAJA San Diego’s Member of the Month for April.
Chris Soriano rises up to any challenge.
Ambitious is a word that can describe this Communications student at San Diego State University. As a first generation Filipino American, Soriano was born and raised in San Diego.
Soriano, currently a reporter for CNN iReport, likes to keep his assignments original by incorporating his creative mind and clever dialogue, â€œI wanted to convince CNN that Iâ€™ve got what it takes to be on their network.â€
Soriano has been featured on â€œShowbiz Tonightâ€ and has also gone on to interview actor Don Cheadle and softball player and Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch.
Aside from being an iReporter, Soriano has a pretty lengthy resume. At 16, Soriano wrote his first novel, â€œKiss Me in the Rain,â€ and at 17, went on to become a motivational speaker, traveling to cities across the United States.
Since then heâ€™s interned for The San Diego Union Tribune and KUSI News. While at KUSI News, Soriano worked for KUSIâ€™s Prep Pigskin Report, where he interviewed professional boxer Manny Pacquiao and offensive lineman for the Tennessee Titans Eugene Amano. Soriano was also voted one of the 30 under 30 San Diego County Leaders by AOL Patch.
Last summer, Soriano was awarded the AAJA Ford Foundation Fellowship and attended the AAJA National Convention in Detroit, where he listened in on workshops and received professional guidance.
This summer Soriano will be in Las Vegas as part of Student Projects at Unity â€™12, a program that allows students to â€œwork side by side with professionals to produce solid and innovative journalism across media platforms in a â€˜convergenceâ€™ newsroom.â€
What other things does Soriano like to do besides reporting? You can find Soriano reading literary fiction novels, such as his favorite, â€œCannery Row,â€ or writing short-stories.
We asked Soriano questions about his life as a student journalist and being a part of AAJA via email:
How did you get started in journalism/communications?
This all started about a year ago when a good friend of mine suggested that I pursue a career in Journalism. I knew that the news was something I’d love to be apart of, but when this person believed in me and strongly suggested I pursue it, I did. I ended up loving it ever since.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I love that a reporter can support the community by being a strong voice that the world could hear. I saw this for the first time when I was assisting KUSI reporter John Soderman at a pipe bombing in Rancho San Diego.
What experiences in journalism have been most valuable to you and why?
My internship with the Union Tribune has been the best internship I’ve ever had. I learned the print side of journalism before I decided to pursue the broadcast side and that was what aided in my storytelling process.
What do you like about being a CNN iReporter?I like that my clip proves that anyone has the potential to get on CNN, all it takes is creativity, dedication and a little bit of hope.
What do you think are some of the benefits of being in AAJA?
Learning. You can never learn enough. In this organization, I’ve learned so much from CBS reporter Angie Lee and KGTV Robert Santos that if I had to set a cost value on the information I’ve learned it would probably be around $28,000.00 â€“ equivalent to four semesters of Journalism classes at a university. I’ve learned everything from how to project your voice, to how to write your packages and simple things like how to make my tie.
Looking ahead 5 years, where do you see yourself?
I see my self as a public servant delivering the news anywhere I can and working hard to put Asian American’s on the map.
Do you have any advice for those just starting in journalism/communications?
Never take “no” for an answer. If someone tells you that you can’t intern for a news company this semester, ask someone else, and if that person says no too, ask another and another until eventually one door opens up for you. And run through that door and work hard.