Top student journalist wins Japan visit

Sarah-Tokyo-1-webMTSU award-winning student journalist Sarah Grace Taylor made her way to Japan in recent weeks after being chosen as one of nine winners of the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition.

The Old Hickory, Tennessee, native returned home May 20 from the eight-day journalism study tour to Japan, an expenses-paid trip that gave the students an opportunity to experience a different environment than they’re used to in the United States.

“I learned more about the Japanese culture, their news media and the nature of reporting abroad than I could have even imagined,” said Taylor, who is former editor-in-chief of the student news magazine MTSU Sidelines and a senior in the School of Journalism in the College of Media and Entertainment.

While in Japan, Taylor and the other winners toured the Tokyo office of Bloomberg, the international market and financial software and media company headquartered in New York, and the Mainichi Broadcasting Systems office in Osaka, Japan. She said that the cultural adventure allowed her to identify the importance of both studying abroad and a free press.

“We saw the similarities and differences between local and regional Japanese media outlets and international media outlets with foreign journalists covering the area,” she said.

Her views on American journalism involve use of the term “watchdog,” and she mentioned that American journalism is more transparency oriented and aggressive.

“I will certainly be more open to cultural and foreign reporting as I go forward with my careerand I am very thankful to Scripps Howard for the opportunity,” she said.

The group of winners mixed business and pleasure some of the days they were in Osaka. They toured several historical landmarks, including the Golden Pavilion, the Ryoan-ji Temple and rock gardens in Kyoto. One of the “most significant” landmarks they visited, Taylor said, was the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and World War II atomic bomb site.

Hiroshima was the first city in world history to be devastated by the atomic bomb.

“Hiroshima was a very solemn experience, but touring the museum and talking with the native volunteers was an amazing learning experience in peace, forgiveness and the relationship between our two nations,” she said.

This marks the 12th year that the Scripps Howard Foundation has sent its National Collegiate Reporting Competition winners on the study tour.


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Categories: News, Students

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