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.
Penang, Malaysia (2019)
Led by: Tom White, Ian Teh & Vignes Balasingam
Participants of this summer LAB attended a 9-day photography masterclass, in partnership with the Obscura Festival of Photography. Each student produced a portfolio in the form of a photo essay as part of the intensive masterclass. This portfolio was presented at the Obscura Festival of Photography in Penang. At the festival, participants received feedback from industry professionals in photography, media and the arts.
Singapore and Cambodia (2019)
Led by: Vincent Ni (Journalist and Yale Greenberg World Fellow)
This journalism LAB offered participants an opportunity to look at ASEAN’s future by reporting on Cambodia and China. The LAB involved discussing major literature and past reportage in Singapore, and visits to businesses, factories, NGOs, intellectuals, and the local Chinese community in Cambodia. Students on this LAB gained experience reporting, researching, interviewing, writing, and using geopolitical and economic analyses from the field, culminating in their own story submissions.
Penang, Malaysia (2018)
Led by: Tom White and Ian Teh
In this LAB, participants attended a 5 day workshop in partnership with the Obscura Festival of Photography. Each student produced a portfolio in the form of a photo essay under intensive masterclass conditions. This portfolio was presented in the form of a public slideshow during the Obscura Festival of Photography in Penang, Malaysia to an audience that included photography, media and art industry professionals.
Northport, Maine, US (2018)
Led by: Diana Chester and Heidi Stalla
In this LAB, students participated in a series of creative writing and digital media workshops in a century-old summer “camp” in Northport, Maine. It provided an opportunity for students to experience small-town America at a moment in time when the country was steeped in heated debates about immigration policy, racial diversity, social identities, and ultimately what it means to be American.
Examples of past internships in journalism and related fields by Yale-NUS students include:
To search for current options, visit Symplicity and search for “journalism,” “media” and/or “communications.”
CIPE offers up to 2 Summer Writing Fellowships in journalism each year: https://cipe.yale-nus.edu.sg/summer-opportunities/writing-fellowship/
Semester 1, AY20-21
Journalism Pathway: Alumni Panel
Harini V (’18), Singapore International Mediation Centre
Ng Qi Siang (’19), Business Writer, The Edge Singapore
Rachel Quek (’18), Video Journalist, Straits Times
Covering Covid: Photojournalism in a Pandemic
Neo Xiaobin & Kevin Lim, Photojournalists, The Straits Times
Semester 2, AY19-20
Fireside Chat on Financial Journalism
Joyce Koh, Singapore Bureau Chief, Bloomberg LP
Liza Lin, Technology Reporter, Wall Street Journal
The Perils of Being First: Pitching Big Stories Before They’re “Big Stories”
Bob Reiss, bestselling author of 23 b0oks of fiction and non-fiction
Multimedia Journalism for Social Change
Paterno Esmaquel II, Multimedia Reporter, Rappler
Pathways in Journalism Tea
Yale-NUS faculty, staff and students
How to Write a Successful Op-Ed: Views as an editor and column writer
Jose Ignacio Torreblanca, Professor of Political Science, UNED University and Head of ECFR Madrid
Semester 1, AY19-20
Women’s Work: A Life in Foreign Correspondence
Megan K. Stack, author and foreign correspondent
Student organisations are a way to gain some of the skills related to journalism and to build a portfolio of ‘clips’ or published writing.
Coursework can support the development of your technical and narrative skills. Here is a sample of courses that have been offered at Yale-NUS. You can also consider courses at NUS and while 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
YHU3216 Introduction to Photojournalism
YHU3217 Forms of Nonfiction: Literary Journalism from Print to Sound
YHU3327 Social Practice Art
YHU4214 Advanced Creative Nonfiction
The Asian American Journalist Association is active in Asia and offers student memberships. This gives you access to events, conferences, and mentors.
Here are some pieces of good advice to young, aspiring journalists: