Melissa Ludtke


Melissa 1In her four-decade, award-winning career as a journalist, Touching Home in China’s producer Melissa Ludtke reported at Sports Illustrated, was a correspondent Time, and editor of Nieman Reports at Harvard University’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism. She pairs storytelling skills she honed as a national reporter with her lifelong engagement with girls and women’s issues in undertaking a first-of-its-kind story about girls’ lives in China, told interactively as a transmedia iBook and across various social media platforms. The story of Touching Home in China: in search of missing girlhoods emerges out of the rare cross-cultural journey that two teen adoptees — one, her daughter Maya, the other, Jennie, who was Maya’s orphanage crib neighbor in Changzhou, China — took back to the rural towns in China where each had been abandoned as a newborn due to China’s One-Child Policy. There, girls their age showed and told the Americans what it’s been like to grow up as a girl in 21st century rural China. Prior to embarking on this iBook, she wrote “On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America,” published by Random House in 1997, and Melissa will be writing a narrative social history of the 2nd wave of the American women’s movement told through her perspective in being the plaintiff in the then-world-famous federal legal case, Ludtke v. Kuhn (1977-78). This case secured the right for women reporters covering Major League Baseball to have the same access to the team locker rooms that male reporters did.