Arielle’s world-desk post in Jakarta

Monash University journalism student Arielle Milecki won selection to participate  in ACICIS’s Journalism Practicum Placement in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is her story on her experiences in Jakarta.

The ACICIS journalism program was an excellent learning experience in which I picked up an array of skills that will definitely prove invaluable to my future as a journalist. 

Arielle Milecki (front) in Jakarta with ACICIS students.
Arielle Milecki (front) in Jakarta with ACICIS students.

Leading up to ACICIS I had never worked in a newsroom before. Aside from a studying a subject ‘Islam in the Malay World’ and plenty of travel abroad, my knowledge of Indonesia and Asia relations was insignificant.

My placement in Indonesia helped me gain insight into the many issues occurring daily, across the Asian region from a different, non-Australian perspective.

My time at an Asian newspaper gave new perspectives on the value of news from different countries, to the paper you are writing for.

I was posted to The Jakarta Post on the World Desk. The Post does not employ any international reporters but takes all their articles from international agencies. Initially I was hesitant that this would negatively affect my experience.

I was wrong. This turned out to be totally beneficial as there were no other journalists to compete against for story ideas.

I was sent to embassy events, (two being on the second day) on my own, and told, with very little guidance, to produce articles on a topic I knew little about, in a very short period of time. I attended an economics talk on my second day.

The American expert spoke mostly in acronyms I had never heard of about a topic I had little to no knowledge about and I had 30 minutes to produce an piece and send it through to my editors.

Through these experiences, I learnt valuable lessons on time management, working on deadlines and choosing angle’s that are important for specific readership.

I produced work on various world events such as Tunisia’s new constitution and Japan’s commitments to Indonesia. I was also given the opportunity to explore the Australia-Indonesia relationship in a 1000-word feature, a highlight of my time at The Post.

All of my articles were published in print and online.

The first two weeks of the program were spent at Atma Jaya University where we engaged in a Indonesian language program and lectures on various topics helpful for our placements in Jakarta.

The teachers were great and despite only a short amount of time in the classroom I was able to learn enough to get around Jakarta easily.

The ACICIS Journalism Practicum is a fantastic program.

Despite the flooding, traffic jams and belly aches, all experiences were enjoyed and I recommend it for all students looking to broaden their knowledge in a new and exciting environment.