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After: China is forever on my mind

By 4 July 2009 No Comment

My story ideas changed as soon as I arrived in China. There were so many people! The streets were overwhelmed by loud voices, car horns honking, and people walking.

What did people want out of life? Ferreting out the aspirations of youth would give me insight to what the future holds for China. So I developed a theme that would link all my stories: people’s dreams. It went like that until I hit Xi’an. I knew martial arts were very popular so I went in search of the martial arts dream in China.

As I stood in a gym interviewing the children that practiced their martial arts routines, I was suddenly hit with an epiphany. I don’t think I ever fully understood my role as a journalist until that moment. I had always believed that one of the responsibilities of a journalist is to give a voice to those who go unheard. At that instant, I knew these children’s stories needed to be heard. In a single school in the suburbs of an ancient city were hundreds of stories to be told. For the first time, I felt a responsibility to write. I was guided by the advice of my journalism director and peers.

Even though I didn’t produce many stories, I hope I succeeded in making a connection between the people of my stories and the readers. I learned that each person, no matter how complex the country, has a dream. I will never forget the friendships I made, the conversations I had, the taxi rides I took, and the people I interviewed. The children’s faces are forever etched in my heart. Until I can no longer trek the world, I will continue to report with my reporter’s notebook and pen by my side. Xie xie China.

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