During her St. Louis Public Radio Race, Culture and Diversity Fellowship, Emanuele Berry has reported in this city at a dynamic and critical time. As her year-long fellowship comes to a close, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh spoke with Berry about her work in St. Louis and her next steps.
Reporting on Ferguson
Only a few weeks after she began her fellowship, Berry was thrust into the starkest possible illustration of her work on race, culture, and diversity. She reported on the systems and structures that keep St. Louisans apart, and which were exposed following the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
“It was at times really hard, it was at times very exciting, it was at times emotionally and physically draining,” Berry said. “But it was also a wonderful opportunity to get to cover such an important story.”
Her work with the We Live Here podcast was especially meaningful. “I spent a lot of time in that community and talking to this community, and I think as a journalist that I’ll always carry that with me.”
Things in St. Louis are moving forward, Berry believes, and she holds hope with the small, positive changes the city has seen so far. Most notable, she said, is the fact that the media has since been forced to confront these local and national issues more directly. And most exciting for her was watching young people become involved in a long-standing structural issue. “It was amazing to see young people stand up and demand a space at the table, and demand a voice.”
Overall, Berry believes in the people of Ferguson—and elsewhere—who push for change. “I think you could see Ferguson in a lot of different cities, and a lot of different spaces,” she said. “I think more and more people are realizing that Ferguson is not as far away as they think.”
St. Louis to Macau
Berry won a Fulbright scholarship for an English Teaching Assistantship in Macau, China. Her desire to go to China began with work on a documentary film in which she talked at length with Chinese students. “I met kindred spirits, I think, in these students,” she said. “I found so much in common with [them] and a wonderful exchange in that process.”
Berry also hopes to do research on cultural interaction and exchange in Macau, a peninsular state which was once a Portuguese colony and, as one of the two special administrative regions of China, has important cultural and political differences from the mainland. She will stay in Macau for a year to complete her assistantship .
“St. Louis on the Air” and St. Louis Public Radio wish her all the best.
St. Louis on the Air discusses issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh. Follow us on Twitter: @STLonAir.