Welcome to the Journalism Pathway. Whether you have known since you were a child that you have a passion for the news or have recently wondered whether journalism might be something of interest, CIPE can help you figure out your path. There is no one direct route to becoming a journalist but whatever one you take, your focus should be on building the relevant skills.

How do you develop those skills? One thing any journalist will tell you is you need to write. And write. And write some more. Your writing and your eye for a story improves the more you do it. Plus, when you apply for journalism internships or jobs, employers will expect you to have ‘clips’ or examples of your published work. On campus, there are publications like The Octant and others that will help you hone your skills. Get involved in those. Similarly, there are courses taught at Yale-NUS that are relevant for those with an interest in journalism and we’ve listed some of those below.

CIPE will also offer other training opportunities that can aid the budding journalist in you from on campus workshops to journalism fellowships. We also will offer LABs linked to skill building, including those related to journalism, so check for those. And we are happy to work with the Writers’ Centre, the Octant, and Arts & Humanities to co-sponsor talks on journalism or by journalists.

Consider also how you build your network. The Asian American Journalists Association is active in the region and part of its mission is to nurture the careers of young journalists. Consider joining their Young Professionals Network. There is also CIPE’s GPS Platform to link you to an external mentor and CIPE’s advisors are always happy to use their networks to introduce you to professionals who can offer wise advice and counsel.

The pathway to a career in journalism is varied. Embarking on it means finding your way. CIPE’s role is to act in partnership with you and help you as you forge your own path by providing advice and opportunities along the way. One good place to start is with the readings listed below where veteran journalists offer their wisdom and insights, honed over years in the profession, to those just starting out.

Indicate your interest

CIPE Programmes


Visual Anthropology and Journalism Masterclass: Obscura Festival 2019

and Location: Penang, Malaysia
Dates: 1 – 9 August 2019 (masterclass) and 16 – 18 August 2019 (festival)

Led by: Tom White, Ian Teh & Vignes Balasingam

Participants of this summer LAB will attend a 9-day photography masterclass in Penang, Malaysia, led by instructors Ian Teh and Tom White, in partnership with the Obscura Festival of Photography. Each student will produce a portfolio in the form of a photo essay as part of the intensive masterclass. This portfolio will be presented at the Obscura Festival of Photography in Penang in mid-August. At the festival, participants will receive feedback from industry professionals in photography, media and the arts.

This photography masterclass is both a visual anthropology and writing programme. The primary goal of the programme is to equip participants with technical approaches and practical experience using images and text to create sophisticated stories. The masterclass will allow each participant to bring their unique background and vision to the process of conceptualising, producing and editing their work. After the masterclass, participants will attend the Obscura Festival of Photography to showcase their work. Participants will be able to bring their work to portfolio reviews, attend presentations and talks as well as network with professional photographers, editors, curators, publishers and artists.

China’s Rise and the Future of ASEAN Summer LAB

Location: Singapore and Cambodia
Dates: 20 – 31 May 2019

Led by: Vincent Ni (Journalist and Yale Greenberg World Fellow)

This journalism LAB offers participants an opportunity to look at ASEAN’s future by reporting on Cambodia and China: what roles can Cambodia and ASEAN play in the US-China trade friction? How is technology shaping the young generation in Cambodia? What kind of competition is happening between China and the US? Is the current debate inflated by rhetoric? And more broadly, what does the role of Cambodia say about the future of this regional organisation? Students on this LAB will gain experience reporting, researching, interviewing, writing, and using geopolitical and economic analyses from the field.  The LAB will begin with several days in Singapore, discussing major literature and past reportage. Students will pitch story ideas and discuss them with the LAB facilitators. The group will then travel to Cambodia to visit businesses, factories, NGOs, intellectuals, and the local Chinese community. Upon return to Singapore, students will spend a few days debriefing with the LAB facilitators, as well as finalizing and submitting their stories. At the end of this LAB, students are required to submit one story from Cambodia and one story from Singapore. Both writings should draw upon the visits and the meetings in both countries.

Documentary Photography Masterclass with The Obscura Festival

Location: Penang, Malaysia
Dates: 6 – 10 August 2018 (Workshop) and 24 – 27 August 2018 (Festival)

Led by: Tom White and Ian Teh

In this LAB, participants will attend a 5 day workshop (August 6 – 10) in Penang, Malaysia, with instructor Ian Teh, working alongside Yale-NUS instructor Tom White in partnership with the Obscura Festival of Photography. Each student will produce a portfolio in the form of a photo essay under intensive masterclass conditions. This portfolio will be presented in August (24-27) in the form of a public slideshow during the Obscura Festival of Photography in Penang, Malaysia to an audience that includes photography, media and art industry professionals, with students in attendance over a weekend visit to the festival.

Notions of Identity Through Art, Writing And The Digital

Location: Northport, Maine, US
Dates: 30 June – 8 July 2018

Led by: Diana Chester and Heidi Stalla

This LAB invites students to participate in a series of creative writing and digital media workshops in a century-old summer “camp” in Northport, Maine.  Participants are invited to reflect on notions of identity while experiencing the local vibe of a small, artsy, seaside village during the week of July 4th, America’s Independence Day.  The LAB will provide an opportunity for students to experience small-town America at a moment in time when the country is steeped in heated debates about immigration policy, racial diversity, social identities, and ultimately what it means to be American. Besides intensive workshops, activities will include engaging with local artists; trips to museums; pulling traps on lobster boats; and hiking in the Camden Hills.

Student Organisations

Student organisations are a way to gain some of the skills related to journalism and to build a portfolio of ‘clips’ or published writing.

Consider writing for The Octant and getting involved in the publication process; student journalism is a common background for working journalists. Or look at tònes or The Mocktant.

An understanding of digital tools is necessary for those entering journalism today.  You can hone your photography skills with the Photography Society or Storytellers.  You might also consider taking on the social media outreach for any of the organizations you work with, as facility with social media and reaching target audiences is increasingly part of what journalists need to do.


Coursework can provide you with skills useful to journalism. Here is a sample of courses routinely offered at Yale-NUS but also consider courses at NUS and whilst on study abroad.

YHU2202 Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

YHU2222 Digital Narratives

YHU2223 Documentary Photography

YSC2249 Writing about Science, Nature and the Environment

YHU2286 Daily Themes

YHU2310 A Reporter’s Toolbox: The Practice of Daily Journalism

YSS3202 Ethnography

YHU3216 Introduction to Photojournalism

YHU3327 Social Practice Art

YHU4214 Advanced Creative Nonfiction


CIPE is offering up to 2 Summer Writing Fellowships at CUNY Newmark School of Journalism:

Application cycle for 2019 is closed.

Professional Associations

The Asian American Journalist Association is active in Asia and offers student memberships.  This gives you access to events, conferences, and mentors.

For more information: