Sonia Paul

I’m a mixed Indian-Filipina American and was raised with three different religions: Catholicism, Hinduism and Sikhism. I previously taught English in Japan for two years, where I produced “Shizuoka Speaks,” a grant-funded podcast series exploring how globalization is changing immigration and education in Asia. It looked specifically at how this manifested in racism and diversity issues in the city of Shizuoka, Japan, and currently lives on through its Facebook page.

I update that with relevant links as I come across them, but most of my cultural headspace these days goes to India, where I’ve been freelance reporting since 2013. I’m based in the city of Lucknow, a much more “typical” Indian city than the international destinations of say Delhi or Mumbai. Not too many foreigners live here, and it’s not really the kind of place where travelers or even Indians from bigger cities would like to stay for a long time because it doesn’t have the same offerings as larger metropolitan areas. That being said, it’s a much more immersive reporting experience. I’ve done a range of stories from here, and whereas last year I reported a lot of stories on politics, religion and the relationship between the two (a very volatile topic in northern India), this year I’ve been looking closer at stories concerning gender and sexuality, whether it relates to women, masculinity or LGBTQ issues, and trying to branch out of the state where I’m based.

My “day” job as a freelancer is being the editorial assistant for the website PBS MediaShift, where I produce and report stories on online publishing, media and digital culture.