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Read Her Work!

Haidee Chu

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My parents always thought I’d grow up to become a prosecutor — mostly because they were annoyed by the fact that I was, like many, a cheeky teenager who couldn’t seem to walk away from a conversation satisfied with banal answers, or without posing skeptical questions. But, at 20 years old, it’s becoming increasingly obvious to my parents and I that my tendency to challenge the status quo is fueled not by surging teenage hormones (although I’m sure they played a role), but rather by an insatiable craving for understanding diverse perspectives and the underlying experiences that inform them. I believe that, just as humans grow only when challenged by discomfort, society, too, grows only when confronted by inconvenient truths. The New Republic (TNR) has never been one to submit to or conform with popular opinion throughout its century-old history. Even when it concurs with the mainstream, it seeks ways to contemplate and inform solutions to address its shortcomings. TNR’s progressive mission and analytical, thoughtful approach to news made it a natural fit for me this summer.

 

I was born and raised in the newly post-colonial Hong Kong. I have found my experience at TNR to be particularly valuable as I continue to grapple with Hong Kong’s future as its socio-economic, political structure that is gradually returning Chinese rule, with the transition set to be completed just three decades from now. In addition to pitching and writing short takes, I’m in charge of archiving TNR pieces from more than a century ago — I’m “the guardian of TNR’s legacy,” as my supervisor calls it. Reading, interpreting, and curating historic pieces has shown me the ways in which TNR foresaw and criticized issues that continue to permeate American politics and society today; It’s inspired me to use journalism to help Hong Kong navigate its political future, preserve its authentic identity, and realize its unique place in Chinese politics.

 

I’m currently studying journalism, sociology, political science, and studio art at the University of Wisconsin, where I am the features editor for a student-run newspaper and the culture editor for a student magazine. I have previously interned at Time Out Hong Kong and Madison Magazine.