Director of Audience

Mother Jones

San Francisco – June 2017 - Present

Julia is finding new ways for Mother Jones to build, engage and inspire audiences.

Her goals:

  • Make readers and communities an important part of the journalism
  • Run user-centric experiments using real stories and products
  • Identify trends/opportunities for testing and assessing ideas
  • Leverage analytics and data for best results
  • Cultivate partnerships to reach new audiences
  • Determine collaborative projects to develop
  • Optimize the execution and presentation of journalism across platforms

Digital Editor

Reveal, The Center for Investigative Reporting

Emeryville, Calif. – July 2014 - June 2017

Julia develops and oversees editorial projects that shape how stories and investigations are published across platforms. Her job combines reporting with technology, web and audio production.

She’s led the production of digital content for 95 Reveal episodes and counting. She works collaboratively with teams across the organization to make decisions on publishing and engagement strategies for stories, shows and Reveal’s larger investigations. Some of this work is then packaged for and distributed to 402 stations across the country in an effort to share assets, reporting and data for local stories, and serves as a general digital lift for stations.

Julia works with other editors to identify new ways to tell stories and engage the audience on the investigations Reveal produces. In 2016, she used JuxtaposeJS in an offbeat way to “Decode the language of discrimination;” she learned key lessons from publishing Reveal’s first Instagram investigation; found compelling ways to use audio, collected or produced during the radio reporting process, online (Examples 1, 2 and 3); and created a holistic campaign to engage audience members across platforms (radio/podcast, social video and website) about Super Pacs.

Reveal’s radio show is broadcast by all of the 10 major markets.

In November, Reveal’s podcast hit one million downloads a month and in April, it reached more than 1.6 million downloads. Two-thirds of Reveal podcast listeners are between the ages of 18 to 34 – this is almost twice the national average.

Communications Manager

The Center for Investigative Reporting

Emeryville, Calif. – July 2013 - July 2014

In this role, Julia created systems to manage internal and external communications for the organization as a whole. She created the workflow for weekly newsletter production and worked closely with the copydesk to streamline website processes.

With a small team, she created and executed social media and community engagement strategies for major investigations. She followed up with lead reporters after initial story rollouts to keep the conversation going with readers online.

Julia led community engagement projects such as StoryWorks, the UN|PUBLISHED film festival and Dialed In to better connect CIR stories and projects to different audiences. She nurtured and cultivated strategic partnerships – with organizations like Soundcloud and Google – for collaborations and events. She also provided support and consultation to the Director of Events for Techraking, CIR’s mini-conference series dedicated to pairing journalists with innovators.

She also helped to develop “Reveal Radio” when it was just a glimmer in Joaquin’s eye.

Online Engagement Coordinator, The I Files

The Center for Investigative Reporting

Berkeley, Calif. – June 2012 - July 2013

Julia managed the social media activities, online community development, communications and marketing of The I Files, YouTube’s first investigative news channel. She designed strategies that were measured efficiently and created multimedia content that was widely shared.

Her efforts in distribution, promotion and curation for The I Files could be found on Hulu, Salon.com and the Huffington Post.

In one year, she grew The I Files’ Facebook audience from 0 to over 80,000 likes and its Tumblr page to over 18,000 followers.

YouTube channel subscribers totaled over 14,000, with almost 5 million views logged, by the end of the yearlong project.

The team worked with major contributors including The New York Times, ABC, BBC, Al-Jazeera, ProPublica, Vice, NPR, PBS and the Investigative News Network, to thoughtfully curate and showcase the best investigative news videos and documentaries from around the world.

Fun fact: Its animated video “In Jennifer’s Room” won a national Emmy for “New Approaches: Current News Coverage” – it’s considered the first video that premiered on YouTube to win an Emmy.

Web Editor

The San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco – September 2006 - May 2012

Julia managed sfexaminer.com – this included writing breaking news stories, editing copy, updating the site, setting up photo galleries, overseeing all online blogs and working with the Executive Editor to curate content.

She also …

  • Helped develop editorial style guidelines, establish online procedures and enforce content standards through many incarnations of the website.

  • Planned and actualized effective SEO strategies.

  • Launched the Examiner’s first foray into social media and online engagement.

  • Managed multiple social media accounts — Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Tumblr — in order to break news and seed stories, as well as to interact with readers. Successfully procured placement of exclusive content on Fark, Reddit and Drudge.

  • Oversaw reporters and freelance writers during late hours and weekends.

  • Served as primary liaison between staff and companies operating the sfexaminer.com back end and providing CMS interface. Ensured colleagues’ awareness of changes to standards and practices, implementation of new features, and system status. Led staff training sessions on digital products.

  • Edited major fashion and other Arts &Entertainments packages, including photo spreads and copy for annual Oscars coverage that were featured in print and online – known as go-to photo editor.

  • Contributed to the print production of the newspaper by designing pages, creating graphics, proofreading, writing and editing display copy, and selecting art.


2017-20 National Board Member, AAJA

Asian American Journalist Association

2017-20 President, AAJA-SF Chapter

Asian American Journalist Association

2017-19 Advisor

The Coral Project

2017 Fellow, Women’s Leadership Accelerator

The Online News Association

Diversity and Inclusion Leader

The Center for Investigative Reporting

Julia is an integral member of CIR’s Diversity Committee which spurred initiatives such as the Investigative Fellows program. She suggested and helped to implement hire-by-committee – a new practice that provides support to hiring managers and brings employees from around the newsroom, and with different backgrounds, to the table.


Bay Area Video Coalition

Julia teaches social media and digital strategy workshops.


2018 RTDNA Regional Murrow Award, Excellence in Innovation

  • Amplify, an SMS texting feature, wins in the Small Digital News Organization category for Region 2.

2018 RTDNA Regional Murrow Award, Best News Documentary

2017 Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism

  • Julia B. Chan and Scott Pham won for their Reveal piece, “Portraits of A Trump Supporter.” Producing a multimedia project that would publish 10 months before the 2016 presidential election, the pair “nailed the big story that the rest of America would be talking about,” according to judges.

2017 Online Journalism Award, Audio Digital Storytelling

  • The Wall” multimedia package wins for Excellence in Audio Digital Storytelling in the Large Newsroom category.

2017 Online Journalism Award, Topical Reporting

2016 News & Documentary Emmy Award

  • Reveal won in the New Approaches: Current News Coverage category for “The Dead Unknown,” a multimedia project and investigation.

2016 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence

2016 National Edward R. Murrow Award for Website

2015 Finalist for Online Journalism Award – General Excellence

2015 Finalist for Online Journalism Award – Pro-am Student Projects

2015 Finalist for National Awards for Education Reporting

2014 Finalist for IRE Award – Multiplatform

2013 Peabody Award

  • Reveal won for its radio investigation of overdose deaths at Veterans Administration hospitals: “The VA’s Opiate Overload.”

2013 News & Information Webby Honoree

2012 News & Information Webby Honoree



Adobe: Photoshop, InDesign, InCopy, Premiere, Audition; Pro Tools, Wordpress


English (fluent), Cantonese (conversational), German (basic), Spanish (basic), HTML/CSS


San Francisco State University - B.A. Broadcasting and Electronic Communication Arts, 2006