Exploring the wonders of Tokyo, Japan can lead to various different itinerary options and experiences. While in Tokyo, the Spring 2015 Journalism and Globalization class had the rare opportunity to visit Thomson Reuters, a multinational mass media and information firm. Lead by professor Jessica Roberts, the class took the train system from the port in Yokohama to Tokyo, in hopes of learning ‚Äúabout the perspective of a global news organization and its employees‚Äù during the one-day field lab. Upon arrival, students scanned their badges to enter into the building and took a surprisingly short elevator ride to the 30th floor. Greeted by the receptionist, students marveled, as Reuters was clean, professional, quiet and abnormally peaceful.
First up, a tour of the newsroom. The harmony quickly dissipated as the newsroom doors opened. The peace interrupted by the hustle and bustle of journalist working, lines of televisions monitoring the news activity, phone calls occurring in a mix of languages, and detailed papers scattered amongst the large, open room
After absorbing the entirety of the newsroom, students had the remarkable chance to sit down with a panel of seven Reuters journalists and quite simply, ask them questions regarding the industry. Questions ranged from life norms while living in Japan, to abnormal defense field training. With a continuous stream of questions from the Semester at Sea students, the journalist answered honestly and thoroughly.
Kelcie Kempenich, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, explained, ‚Äúour class was¬†lucky to have such an exclusive opportunity to visit Reuters and meet with a panel of some of the world’s leading journalists. ¬†It was definitely an experience I will remember, and I learned about what the real world of reporting and journalism is all about.‚Äù
Conversation between the SAS students and the professional global journalist continued for a couple of hours. Understanding the magnitude of this experience, Kathryn Loewenstein, from the University of Colorado, described her experience, ‚ÄúIt was so awesome to be able to talk to international journalists and get a feel for not only what working international can look like, but what a career in the journalism world entails. The journalists were so welcoming and honest about their jobs, it was such a worth while experience that I‚Äôm so happy I was a part of.‚Äù
These matchless international professional ‚Äúreal-world‚Äù experiences are what help make a semester spent at sea innately a Voyage of Discovery.