Multimedia Journalist, Producer, Researcher

I’m an American journalist who lives in the desert at La Quinta, CA., with my two cats, Oliver and Roko.  I was born and raised in Los Angeles ,however as a teenager I lived at Palma de Majorca, Spain, surrounded by  the Mediterranean Sea  in a villa high on a hill, with my mother and three younger brothers. During the holidays we piled into the car and traveled throughout Europe, Egypt, and Jordan. Before returning stateside, I lived for 22 years in Tokyo, Japan.

Hiking is one of my favorite pastimes as is reading, animals, volunteering, meeting new people and writing articles.

I started journalism because I wanted to communicate what was happening and describe it through words and photos. My first story was about a young man who was killed by a gang member, I met his parents, went to the community vigil — it was a tragedy, their son’s life was sadly cut short. I wanted to let people know about it and hopefully effect change. Sometimes you do and sometimes you don’t, but I always keep trying. 

Open one of the listed specialties below to view Cat’s experience and samples of her work.

Makino writes concise and compelling pieces on political affairs, social issues, biotechnology, economics, and breaking news for local and international media outlets including San Francisco Chronicle, Thomson Reuters, Japan Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Voice of America Radio, NHK Broadcasting, and many more.

Desert Sun Magazine  2022-Present. Contributing featured writer covering the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley area arts, political and social scenes.

Palm Springs Post  2022-Present. A broad spectrum of articles featuring topics of interest throughout Palm Springs.

Press-Enterprise  2020. Human interest story about Joe Jennings, a Menifee high school teacher selected to be part of the 2020 NASA Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program.

Coachella Valley Independent, Contributing Reporter. Coachella Valley, California. 2019-Present.
-Unearthed, reported, and wrote a wide variety of articles from California’s desert communities, everything from the controversy over a multi-million dollar surf park to the pet-care crisis of pandemic-strained veterinarians.

Thomson Reuters’ BioWorld, Contributing Reporter. Tokyo, Japan. 2014-2018.
-Reported and wrote Tokyo-based articles on pharma, biotechnology, and the medical device industry for international business publications affiliated with Thomson Reuters.

Inter Press Service News Global Agency, Foreign Correspondent. Tokyo, Japan. 2007-2011.
-Filed breaking news stories, features, and interviews from Japan and Asia for the online media outlet headquartered in Rome, Italy. Topics of coverage included gender equality, government scandals, climate change, worker suicide.

Makino produces video packages for international broadcast networks, including managing production teams and project planning — scripting, reporting, editing and delivering video packages to specified technical and content standards while meeting exacting deadlines.

NHK World, Japan National Broadcasting. Reporter/Navigator. Tokyo, Japan. 2014-2019.
-Acted as on-camera talent to interview subjects on location of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster and its aftermath.

As a radio producer and host, Makino reported news from Japan. She wrote scripts, voiced segments, and tracked audio at her home studio.

Voice of America Radio, Producer/Reporter. Tokyo, Japan. 2006 to 2008.
-Produced recurring segments on news from Japan and hosted a weekly business show for the international media outlet. Booked guests, interviewed subject matter experts, recorded and gathered audio for broadcast.

Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Producer/Contributor. 2009-2011.
-Reported, produced, and voiced segments illuminating news in culture in Japan, including a memorable segment on musicians featuring some top Japanese acts.

Assisted major US investment firms with research on entering or navigating the Japan marketplace by providing business intel through interviews and reports on the various aspects of local industries.

Foreign Correspondents’ Club Japan. President, Vice President, Board of Director. 2002-2009.

Temple University in Tokyo. Adjunct Journalism Professor. 2005-2008.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Calif. B.A.

American College of Paris, Paris, France

Pet-Care Crisis: A Shortage of Workers, an Increase in Adoptions and Systemic Problems Have Led to Long Waits for Appointments at Local Animal Hospitals
Coachella Valley Independent

An employee shortage has caused many animal clinics to stop accepting new clients, despite frantic pleas from pet owners. And if a pet needs care from a specialist, there can be a wait of up to seven months.

Morongo Valley Artist Snake Jagger Is Part of October’s Highway 62 Open Studio Art Tours
Coachella Valley Independent

I loved meeting artist Snake Jagger who once lived in a desert commune as a “naked hippie” and now paints evocative landscapes of the Palm Desert

Teacher To Chase Childhood Dreams In NASA Program
The Press Enterprise

A high school teacher was selected by the SETI Institute as one of 28 teachers from around the country to be part of the Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program, which allows educators to fly with NASA on research flights.

Japan Criticized for Ignoring Child Sex Abuse, Exploitation
Women’s Enews

The country lags in protecting children from sexual exploitation, and critics say new laws don’t go far enough.

Japan Installs Caution Signal for Sex Traffic
Women’s Enews

I went to the homes where victims of human trafficking were kept and I learned about the extent of the practice.

Japan Gets Tough On Visa Violators: 1-day Overstay Can Bring Time In Cell, 5-year Banishment
SF Chronicle Foreign Service

When I first got to Japan, I filed a story on visa violators who were handcuffed, then thrown in a small holding cell and held incommunicado for several days before banishing them from Japan for five years.

Japan Takes Hand Washing To New Level
Los Angeles Times

I profiled a Japanese choreographer who made a video for World Handwashing Day. It was a nice piece of levity that highlighted an important issue.

Man Unable To Enter China Languishes In Tokyo Airport
Los Angeles Times

I went to the Japanese airport to interview a man caught between two countries, a political protester who stubbornly steeled himself inside the sterile purgatory of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport.

Toxic Dolphin Meat Served In School Lunches In Japan
Voice of America

Elected officials warned the Japanese public of dangerous levels of mercury in dolphin meat, and condemned its consumption, especially in school lunches.

Banish That Bug
How Japanese companies and other businesses were spying on their employees. I met a detective who installed the devices into offices.

Hidden Plight Of Detainees
Japan Times

I visited a Kurdish detainee in Japanese custody, who was wheelchair-bound from abuse. He maintained his innocence, and a week after the article was published they released him.