Hunter Martin of Perry recently joined a group of U.S. journalist-delegates who visited China for a first-hand view of the Chinese perspective on journalism and the media.
Martin is a 2017 graduate of Iowa State University, where she studied public relations and women’s studies. She is now in a master’s program in global media at American University in Washington D.C. Martin was one of 11 graduate student delegates selected from participating U.S. universities to make the China trip.
The American student delegates were hosted by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and sponsored by the China-United States Exchange Foundation. The delegation spent 10 days visiting three cities in China: Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai.
“The trip was an amazing experience,” said Martin. “For the first time, I was emerged in a non-Western culture. Learning about journalism in China from the point of view of Chinese journalists made me reflect on my own perspectives and interpretations of the international community.”
The student delegates met with a variety of media figures on their tour, including meetings at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, international think tanks, Chinese non-profits, the state-sponsored media outlet China Daily and foreign correspondents from CNN, the New York Times and Buzzfeed.
The trip also included excursions to the Great Wall, the Terracotta-Army, the Shanghai Propaganda Poster Museum and visits to three unique religious sites, including a Taoist Temple, an Islamic Mosque and a Jewish Synagogue that is now part of the Jewish Refugee Museum in Shanghai.
Martin said her future plans include working in the field of cultural appreciation, historical preservation and religious tolerance by creating multimedia stories for audiences across the globe.
“I hope to share the stories of people who have been historically underrepresented or systematically marginalized and are currently unable to use the media as a tool to promote development,” she said. “Prior to taking part in this trip, I was unaware of how many Western biases I held. Visiting the country first hand facilitated personal introspection into my own perspectives in order for me to become better educated about China and other cultures.”
Putting her training as a journalist to work in the service cross-cultural understanding is Martin’s long-range aim.
“Ultimately,” she said, “my goal is to be a storyteller who brings to light untold or forgotten stories of underrepresented groups. My hope is to develop my ability to recount factual stories from an objective standpoint.”