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A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

News – A Way to Witness History in the Making: Kijin Higashibaba ’16 at WYSO and KCRA3 News in Yellow Springs, Ohio

Kijin Higashibaba headshotI’m a second year at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio but my home is in northeastern Massachusetts with my parents, three sisters, nieces, the family herd of goats and our dog. I am currently pursuing a degree in Political Economy, an interest that began as a desire to better understand the news media which often examines the fascinating relationship between politics and economics. For me, the news has always felt like a way to witness history in the making. If in the present I cannot have the perspective that only time can provide, I want to try and understand the implications of political and economic events.

My interest in journalism began with a love of writing, and an obsession with stories. Over time, the obsession with stories transformed into a fascination with the power of a story, the people whose stories are told, and the politics of whose stories get told, how, and why. I’m fascinated with the kind of power journalists wield, the opportunities to speak truth to power, to shape the discussion and conversation around issues in a community.

I spent my first year at Antioch College working at WYSO, our tiny, community radio station and the NPR affiliate for the area. WYSO is the place to be if you want to learn something, anything, about public and community radio. When I began in January I had absolutely no experience, but everyone there was willing to teach me what they know and help me if I asked for it. A year down the line and I’ve learned to record, how to interview and write, and how to edit audio. I founded and produced the Antioch Word, a podcast for the Antioch community, and I got to work with wonderful and warm people. My year at WYSO made the idea of new experiences less scary; I’ve learned it’s good to ask questions, and say you don’t understand. I’m so grateful for my time there; it helped prepare me for new experiences to come.

What came next was my co-op at KCRA 3 News, the local television news station for Sacramento, California. In this new environment, my experience and understanding of journalism, of the mechanics of the media, has expanded greatly. It’s given me a chance to ponder the relationship between media and those whose stories are told, and the power journalists wield to shape and carry conversation in a community. The function of a news organization in a community fascinates me, especially how media can play a role in the political sphere.

My time at KCRA has shown me that there is so much more to the news than just a bunch of stories lined in a row. News media is intricately intertwined with the community it serves and has a responsibility to that community, whether it’s a neighborhood or a nation. I want people in government to be accountable. I want them to trust the media, and know that if they have done something wrong, people need to and will know about it. The press has the amazing role of being a way by which democracy can function; it could be a way we know our politicians are really representing us. But I worry that the media seems increasingly to favor ratings, or making a splash over fulfilling that responsibility. A part of that responsibility is maintaining accountability in government. Every country’s political atmosphere is unique and the relationship between politics and the media is different in every country as well.

I want to be a journalist, but I want to be one that understands the field she is joining. That means understanding its many facets and aspects. That means working not just as the media but with it as well. I am ready to learn where ever and in whatever capacity I can.

Written by

<p> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Kijin Higashibaba ’16 came to Antioch after 13 years of Waldorf education, a year in Spain, and a year in the foodservice industry. Her first co-op was with WYSO Public Radio as a Community Voices intern. There she was was inspired by its dedication to community media and mentorship. She brought these values to her work at </span><a href=""><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Record</span></em></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Antioch’s student newspaper, where she worked as the Editor, the first to be hired since the paper was refounded in 2013. She was also the co-creator, writer, and editor of </span><em><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Antioch Scallion</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">,</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"> a satirical news blog and the first student publication since the college’s reopening. She is a writer, journalist, blogger, and wannabe photographer and humorist. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kijin deeply values humor as a way to discuss difficult and frustrating topics; it is her preferred method of speaking truth to power. Equally, she is sensitive to and fascinated by the particulars of cultural difference and the importance of context. Ever-learning and curious, Kijin strives to make familiar the unfamiliar and the unfamiliar familiar. She pushes back against norms, against certainty, and hopes to challenge the unchallenged. In a world that seems increasingly divided, serious, unjust, and hostile, Kijin hopes to find and foster connection, laughter, justice, and peace. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In her time at Antioch Kijin served on Diversity Committee, chaired </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Record Advisory Board</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, worked as a Resident Assistant, student worker for Academic Affairs, and dishwasher in Antioch Kitchens. You can follow her on her current co-op in Japan at her blog, </span><em><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">Portrait of a Young Nerd</span></a></em><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p>

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