I’ve given talks on motorsports to large audiences of youths before, but today was the first time I gave a sharing session on journalism as a career.
It was a cosy session of just 12 students from Bedok Green Secondary School who signed up to learn more about journalism.
Keeping it casual, I touched briefly on what journalism is and how I got into this line. Rounding off the one-hour session was the Q&A segment where some of the questions connected with my heart and reminded me of how much I really love my work.
I thought I would share some of my slides from today’s presentation and also some of their questions…
A Peek into the World of Journalism
> What is Journalism?
> Why be a Journalist?
> Qualities of a Journalist
> Types of Journalism
> Journalism Scene in Singapore
> Related Academic Courses in Singapore
> The “Accidental Discovery”
> The Lucky One
> Pursuing My Passion
Tips to Get Started
Q: How has journalism changed your life?
A: Journalism has definitely changed my life in many ways. Firstly, it wasn’t something that I considered as a career when I was younger. “Accidentally” discovering my passion in writing was a great blessing for me as I am now able to pursue my passion and make a living out of it. On a personal development level, journalism has helped to widen the horizons of my mind and it has taught me to be more responsible for my words. Accountability and credibility, as well as the weight of my words being able to influence and make a difference in others’ lives taught me to grow up beyond my age.
Q: What is your goal in journalism?
A: To create a multimedia platform in a specialised field (in my case it would be cars and motorsports) and be like Oprah Winfrey.
Q: Parents want us to be doctors and lawyers, how plausible is a career in journalism?
A: My parents wanted me to be a doctor or lawyer too, but as I grew up they realised those areas weren’t where strengths and interests are. When I discovered how much I liked writing and reporting on events/news to the greater audience, they were very supportive and in fact, are very proud of me. When they see my byline in the newspapers, they get excited and keep it aside for me, sometimes even getting more copies for me.
Q: What’s the best thing about journalism for you?
A: Seeing my byline. Till this day, I still feel excited when I see “BY CHERYL TAY” in the papers, magazines, websites and various avenues that I write for. I check the shelves to see if the magazines are out, I flip the papers to find my article; and it gives me great self-satisfaction when I see the articles that I wrote.
Q: What’s the worst thing about journalism for you?
A: When others don’t agree with what you wrote. That’s perfectly normal as you cannot please everyone and each individual has his/her own opinion. Learn to take criticism, take the constructive comments and improve yourself, learn to be persistent but polite, be objective, be alert and keep having that curiosity and interest in the world around you.
A: Don’t take up journalism because you want to be “famous”.
Thank you Bedok Green Secondary School, the pleasure was mine too!