The Australian Japan Foundation has awarded two travel scholarships to Journalism students to intern at The Japan Times in 2017.
The students, Shannon Schubert and Rochelle Kirkham, currently in their second year of the Bachelor of Communication (Journalism), were selected in a competitive process by the Deputy Managing Editor; Senior Web Editor (news division) at The Japan Times, Mark Thompson.
The RMIT international internship program is supported by the Commonwealth through the Australia-Japan Foundation, which is part of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The students will receive funds to assist with their airfares, accommodation and food.
Coordinator of the RMIT Journalism Professional Placement program, Dr Alex Wake, praised the Australia Japan Foundation for providing funds to support the placement of students on internships in Japan.
“It has never been more important for journalism students to understand the importance that culture plays in defining the media.
“Research shows that one of the best ways to learn is hands-on within a country and within a workplace,” Wake said.
In her application, Schubert wrote that she had a strong passion for all things Japanese since visiting the country and staying with a host family in 2013.
“I studied Japanese in high school and have recently recommenced formal lessons to deepen my understanding of Japanese language and culture.
“I am aware of many unique aspects of Japanese culture and business etiquette and wish to expand my knowledge to the industry I wish to work in and form a career,” Schubert said.
Kirkham wrote that she believed a broad knowledge of the world is important to the journalist’s role.
“A six week work placement in Japan will give me the opportunity to immerse myself in Japanese culture and open my eyes to a side of the world I have never experienced before.
“I have a burning desire for new knowledge and experiences which makes working in Japan so exciting and appealing to me. A work placement in Japan would develop my skills as a journalist exponentially.”
Wake said previous RMIT journalism students who have won Australian Japan Foundation travel scholarships have found that the experience has provided a valuable addition to their CVs, and many have gone on to work in other countries.
Schubert and Kirkham will intern at The Japan Times for up to six weeks over one of the semester breaks, January-February or June-July 2017.
Story: Wendy Little and Dr Alex Wake