Journalism becomes an adventure in Asia for Samantha

Samantha Yap achieved her goal straight out of university of being a journalist living in Southeast Asia by working as a broadcast journalist with Channel NewsAsia in Singapore for two years.

Seeking an adventure, she then went on to freelance in Jakarta before returning to Melbourne to work in media relations.

Here is her profile…

Samantha Yap.

Name: Samantha Yap

Course: Bachelor of Journalism

Faculty/Division: Arts

Department: School of Media, Film and Journalism 

Campus: Caulfield

Year graduated: 2013

Current position: Former Producer & Journalist at Channel NewsAsia, currently Senior Account Executive at Media & Capital Partners

What was it like breaking into the industry? Was it more ‘who you know’ than ‘what you know’?

Persistence is key, don’t stop at no. If you get rejected from an application and you’re determined to land the job, try again the next round. It also helps to keep in close contact with the right people because you never know when they need to hire next. This method worked for me; I landed my first full-time job working as a journalist and producer at Channel NewsAsia in Singapore, second time lucky.

What is a ‘day in the life’ of your current role?

In my current role, I predominantly work with ‘fintech’ and technology startups to help them shape their stories and pitch it to media. My day consists of weekly catch ups with my clients, brainstorming sessions, media strategy planning, shaping stories and then pitching the stories to journalists.

What was a key lesson you learnt at Monash that translated into your workplace?

Applying Pierre Bourdieu’s philosophy in the context of journalism in ‘News, Media and Theory’ class has helped me approach stories and circumstances in a whole new light. I loved learning about Bourdieu’s ‘field theory’.

If you could go back and do your degree again, is there anything you’d change? Subject choice? Time management? Internships?

I would have loved to learn more about film and documentary making. I would also like to do more internships.

What skill (or skills) would you recommend aspiring journos acquire before getting into the industry?

Learn a widely spoken second language like Chinese. I think second languages give you that competitive edge and it will help you understand the cultural nuances of a country.

When you were a child, what was your dream job?

To be a foreign correspondent.

What is your dream job now?

To be an investigative filmmaker. 

Who do you look up to most in the industry?

I look up to a lot of people in the industry but currently I would have to say it’s Joseph Oppenheimer, the director of the Act of Killing and the Look of Silence.

Have you kept in touch with any of your fellow alumni?

Yes quite a few.

Do you follow any sports teams?

No, but I’m a fan of Lionel Messi and love watching the World Cup.

What’s your coffee order?

Cappuccino on a daily basis, but if I want less milk I order piccolo lattes.


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