Comm Student Reflects on Trip to Far East

Justin Hite, managing editor of The Pendulum student newspaper, was one of nine students nationwide to be selected for a Scripps Howard Foundation journalism study trip to Japan and South Korea.

Hite is a junior journalism and corporate communications major from Herndon, Va., who works as a sports reporter for the Burlington Times-News on the side.

The Scripps Howard Foundation awarded the 13-day journalism study trip to Japan and South Korea to nine finalists who entered its annual Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition.

The expenses-paid trip was led by Dr. Brad Hamm, formerly associate dean of Elon’s School of Communications and now dean of the School of Journalism at Indiana University.

Hite was nominated for the award by Dr. Glenn Scott, assistant professor of communications and faculty adviser to The Pendulum.

Hite has studied the Japanese language for years, with an ambition to work as a journalist in Japan.

The competition honors the memory of a journalist who led United Press International from 1912-1920 and Scripps Howard Newspapers from 1922-1953.

The nine winners were chosen for the quality of their published work and an essay about their interest in international affairs. Here is Hite's brief reflection of his trip:

There are few experiences in life that will change the course of your life. And this was exactly that for me. Winning the Roy W. Howard Scripps National Reporting contest, which included an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan and South Korea, was the opportunity to experience a culture that I have studied for many years. It was something that I may never forget. Being able to visit with newspaper and television studios in another country has given me insight into the world of journalism that I would not be able to experience in this country alone. The trips to the national newspapers of Japan and multiple Korean television stations were a chance for me to interact with reporters who have a completely different background than my own. The trips to in Korea and to Mainichi Broadcasting System proved to be the most influential for me. At we were able to observe how the Asian culture was dealing with media convergence, and at MBS the winners of the Roy W. Howard competition were able to speak with Japanese journalists for nearly an hour.

While I have always had dreams of working in Japan, they were long term goals. But after visiting the Far East, I will now work as hard as I can to make it to Japan directly out of college. It is a dream that has always been in the back of my mind, but winning the competition and experiencing the trip to Japan has moved it into the forefront.

The trip was designed in Howard’s image. He spent years during the mid-1900s revolutionizing journalism, mainly in East Asia. Howard served as a correspondent in Japan for many years and enjoyed the opportunity to interview Emperor Hirohito, the Japanese emperor during World War II. Howard’s audience with Hirohito was an unparalleled feat because the emperor was still believed by many in his country to be a God. Howard's lasting impact on journalism is one that all young journalists should try to study. They should attempt to follow his example. It was Howard’s dedication to journalism in Far East counties that spurred Indiana dean of journalism and former Elon associated dean Brad Hamm to approach the Scripps Foundation with the idea of developing this trip two years ago.


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