When journalism student Emily Scott received an email calling for submissions to the Roy W. Howard National Collegiate Reporting Competition, she decided to apply in the hope of winning a nine-day study trip to Japan this spring.
Much to her surprise, she was one of just nine journalism students across America to be selected to go on the trip. The Scripps Howard Foundation chose the students based on the work they submitted in the areas of print, digital and broadcast journalism.
The student journalists will study and go on outings in Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe, and will visit Hiroshima, the first city to be decimated by a nuclear weapon. Tokyo is also on the itinerary. Former Associated Press bureau chief in Tokyo and current Indiana University media professor Joseph Coleman will take the students around Japan.
"I have no idea what to expect," Scott said. "I feel like the best way to learn about how media works in another culture is to go there."
Scott is a junior specializing in international communication and minoring in history. She is very active in the local journalism community -- she works as the features editor for the Temple News, teaches journalism in the Philadelphia School District and contributes to the social impact news site Generocity.
Scott's long-term goal is to work as a foreign correspondent, so the upcoming trip to Japan fits her interests perfectly. She interned in Dublin last summer at a multicultural newspaper, Metro Éireann, run by a Nigerian immigrant.
"The immigrant population in Ireland is just recently growing, so it was really cool working with him and covering news about immigrants in the city," Scott said.
As she helped to produce news on refugees, Scott quickly learned about Ireland's unaccepting stance on the situation, particularly the country's Direct Provision program, in which asylum seekers are placed in isolated housing where their basic rights are very limited.
"That was very eye-opening," Scott said. "The refugee crisis is something that's handled differently in so many countries. I'd love to be covering refugee and migrant news in continental Europe."
After she graduates, Scott plans to apply to fellowships abroad. She has also considered applying to graduate school to study international conflict or migratory patterns.