Masashi Kato, '09
This post was first published on August 29, 2016.
Masashi Kato, ’09, came to Muskingum from Yokohama, Japan. Kato was looking for a small university that would allow him to interact with professors in class, as well as get to know his fellow American students. The fact that Muskingum had its own newspaper, television and radio stations were an additional draw for the journalism major.
As a student journalist, Kato made the most of the opportunities available to him on campus, working as a deejay at WMCO, joining the camera crew for MCTV, and serving as chief photographer on staff for the Black and Magenta student newspaper. He covered the 2008 presidential election as a staff writer and photographer for the Black and Magenta. Kato also covered the New Concord Fire Department, riding along with firefighters to cover fires and incidents to report. He explains that those experiences “pushed [me] to pursue my ideal professional career and never give up.”
In addition to his journalism experience, Kato also gained leadership experience by acting as president of the International Student Club, house manager for the Spanish House and, later, the International House, and co-founder and president of the Magazine Club.
Kato founded the Magazine Club with some of his friends to write about “international issues such as arms trade, war, human rights, immigration and global warming.” Kato shared what he learned from his journalism classes with his fellow writers. The students raised funds by selling advertising space in the magazine, and they recruited other students to serve as editors and graphic designers. For Kato, his experience with the Magazine Club embodied the “Muskie Spirit: ‘If it does not exist, we shall create one.’” He adds, “The experiences gave [us] a sense of true journalism, that…sharing opinions and truth could be done by a group of individuals, not just by mainstream media.”
Although Kato enjoyed his four years at Muskingum, they were also a challenge. As an international student, he had to not only learn English, but adapt himself to American culture to survive. He worked hard (and admits to sleeping little!).
Since graduating, his hard work has begun to pay off; Kato has seen many professional successes in the last seven years. He first worked as a cameraman with Jiji Press in Tokyo, covering entertainment news. However, after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan, Kato explains, “I volunteered to work at one of the destroyed cities, Kamaishi.” In 2012, he began working as a business news producer at NHK World TV, which broadcasts news from Japan in English.
Kato also works as a freelance photographer; he has covered political unrest in Cairo, Egypt and student protests in Hong Kong. He also enjoys climbing and has hiked in the Himalayas. In 2015, he scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro. Kato also works as a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of Yokohama.