The Australia-Japan Foundation has awarded travel scholarships to RMIT University journalism students to intern at The Japan Times in 2018.
The students, Benjamin Madden and Tessa Randello, are in their second year of a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) course and were selected in a competitive process.
They will work under the direction of 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.
“RMIT’s journalism program places students individually within foreign newsrooms so they grow in independence and confidence and are forced by circumstance to fully engage in the country and newsroom they work in,” Wake said.
“Japan is right in the middle of some important stories right now, and it’s an exciting time for students to be heading there to work at one of the world’s most prestigious news outlets.
“Not only will they work on professional journalism skills, they will also learn about the role culture plays in defining media.
Research shows that one of the best ways to learn about cultural impact is hands-on within a country and within a workplace.”
In his application, Madden wrote: “I’ve always wanted to write for foreign publications, and this will be a perfect step towards achieving that goal."
“With Australia and Japan being such close partners, and with these ties becoming ever-stronger, it makes sense for me to try to experience the culture first hand, as well as working closely alongside writers who live there, and thus, have an intimate knowledge of Japan,” Madden said.
I’ve always deeply appreciated Japanese culture, and have wanted to travel there.
I’ve travelled overseas before (to New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands), but never to Asia, and this would be the perfect opportunity to do so while gaining invaluable experience.”
Randello, who has already done an international internship in Indonesia, wrote: “I have already stumbled through the adjustment to a new culture and picked up the tips and tricks to overcoming a language barrier when writing stories.
My experience working overseas and my intrigue for Japanese culture are two of the many reasons I believe that I can represent Australia in Japan while being a valuable intern for the Japan Times,” Randello said.
Wake said previous RMIT journalism students who have won Australian Japan Foundation travel scholarships have gone on to work in the major news outlets in Australia and abroad.
The scholarships will take place in January 2018 for six weeks at The Japan Times.
Story: Wendy Little