Konnichiwa! NewsWire desu. Hi Obama – this is NewsWire
But luckily the news team includes journalism student Sophie Jackman, who majored in Japanese language at Victoria University.
Ms Jackman contacted Obama city hall and spoke to commerce and tourism staff member Hirokazu Yomo to ask about the city’s plans to celebrate this year.
They then exchanged emails in Japanese, and NewsWire got its story about the citizens of Obama, who are passionate about President Obama after his success in the 2008 election.
The “Obama for Obama” support group was formed, as were the Obama Girls, a group of Japanese housewives who perform hula dances in honour of President Obama’s childhood home of Hawaii.
Ms Jackman learned that the support group is certainly celebrating again this year at their town hall on Wednesday night (Japanese standard time).
She says she “enjoyed [the chance to speak Japanese] as it’s good practice for me.”
She believes it is important for journalists to be able to speak a second language.
“It is important for two reasons – clarity and putting people at ease.
“In an ever-globalising media environment, it’s useful to be able to cross language barriers. More than ever our stories involve multiple countries and multiple voices.”
Ms Jackman is excited about her journalism career choice, especially digging deep into the big issues in business and politics.
”This century is an exciting time to be a reporter,” she says. “Technology is shrinking the world but readers’ appetite for news is stronger than ever.”
Note – Taren Stevens has also studied Japanese at university.
The Obama Obama story.