Intern is First to Get New Joint SPH Scholarship (ST)

BackJul 17, 2012

New award jointly offered by SPH and Media Development Authority

AS A humanities student covering financial news, Ms Yunita Santoso Ong struggled when she first started her internship on The Straits Times Money Desk.

But the Victoria Junior College alumna persevered and, after six months, her efforts have paid off. The 19-year-old is the first and only recipient of a new scholarship jointly offered by Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and the Media Development Authority (MDA).

Ms Ong was presented with the scholarship yesterday at the SPH News Centre Auditorium, along with 32 others who were awarded various other scholarships by SPH and SPH Foundation.

The scholarship comes under the newly revised Media Education Scheme, in which MDA partners media organisations to co-sponsor students' tuition fees and living expenses.

The award, given to undergraduates studying locally or overseas, comes with a bond of between three and five years.

Nine people received SPH journalism scholarships; another nine were awarded the SPH Foundation Lim Kim San Memorial Scholarship.

The rest of the scholarships went to children of SPH staff and newspaper vendors.

"My interest in journalism began in junior college – I was attracted to ideals such as the search for truth in investigative journalism," said Ms Ong, who will be studying journalism at Northwestern University in the United States.

SPH journalism scholarship holder Jose Hong, 21, heads for the University College London in September to study European social and political studies.

He said: "Journalism is an amazing job that really lets you feel the pulse of what's happening in society."

Ms Ng Wen Hang, 21, who received the bond-free Lim Kim San Memorial Scholarship, hopes to become a researcher in psycholinguistics. "I am interested in helping those with special needs through my research," she said.

Dr Lee Boon Yang, chairman of SPH and SPH Foundation, presented the awards yesterday. He said the journalism scholarship holders were entering the media profession at an exciting time, with great changes taking place.

In highly wired Singapore, there are many alternative sources of information that people can turn to.

"It is imperative for our newspapers to report what is relevant and important to Singaporeans, while continuing to be factual, insightful and balanced," he said.

And journalists need to adapt to this era of rapid technological advancements and the proliferation of social media.

"Today's journalists have to be quick at capturing the essence of the news and deliver it to readers succinctly across multiple media platforms," said Dr Lee.