It’s not a job for everyone but for those who love people, writing and telling effective stories, being a journalist is a dream come true. Students from our Diploma in Creative Writing for Television and New Media (DTVM) learn journalism in Years 2 and 3. Some of them get to intern as a journalist and found that the world is an absolutely amazing place with so many stories to be told. Here’s their journey so far.
Real People, Real Stories
Gayathiri Chandramohan has met Lewis Hamilton, Lana Del Rey and Christopher Lambert. She covered the marathon ZoukOut party, the news conference where the former Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer confessed to an extra-marital affair and the illegal strike by the SMRT bus drivers. The Year 3 DTVM student is three months into the job as a Producer with MediaCorp’s Today newspaper.
She once worked for 25 consecutive days without a break but says, “I don't mind! It's fun and exciting and I've come to learn to never ever assume that it will be a slow day.”
Try Sutrisno Foo Abdul Rahman remembered the night before 12 December 2012 as a deceptively normal night. The next day, news broke of the Michael Palmer affair. It was all hands on deck and Try, who is working at Channel NewsAsia, was part of the team to get the story out.
Try at work
“I witnessed amazing communication to file the story, reporters depending on each other for contacts to do interviews and putting together the rest of the bulletin (Palmer wasn’t and cannot be the only story). I watched how resources have to be re-directed to deal with a ‘breaking news’ situation.”
At the Michael Palmer Press Conference
That’s My Name!
Despite the hard work which sometimes mean lack of sleep and missing meals, the students say nothing beats seeing your name in the byline of the story.
Gaya says “It's an amazing feeling. It's one of the most fulfilling things that make the blood, sweat and tears all worth it.”
Nathaniel Hong, who is a journalist with The New Paper, agrees.
“It's a bit of a heady feeling. You wrote something 90,000 people are going to read!”
Those readers would remember his article about the Standard Chartered Marathon 2012 where he wrote about meeting a marathon runner who was 101 years old!
Nathaniel Hong with the 101-year-old runner
Kerri Heng is also at The New Paper.
She recalls “When I was in secondary school, my English teacher said that if she one day saw our names in the 'forums' or 'letters' page of the newspaper, she'd be so proud of us. But now, my name isn't in the 'forums' pages, it's actually a byline for news stories!”
How They Applied What They Learnt
Working under tight deadlines is one of the skills DTVM students picked up in their many school assignments.
“I do not find much of the work a foreign idea. Being very ‘assignment heavy, the course makes working on assignments almost second nature to me,” adds Try.
Gaya says the school projects and commitments taught her how to multi-task and produce work while under pressure.
She says “DTVM has taught me to display poise under pressure too. “
Kerri says she has been able to use so many of the journalism skills taught in school.
“Although the reality is far from what we were exposed to in school, the interview tips, parts of a newspaper, coming up with headlines, quoting people and doing story summaries, etc., learned in school were a great help!“