This is the view of Dr. Cherian George, a Singaporean writer and academic who is currently a visiting professor at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre, co-teaching an undergraduate course on Media in the Age of Globalization.
George’s advice to journalism students is to “make yourself indispensible.” “It’s exciting and reassuring that there is no one formula for success. Journalists succeed through different means,” he says. “These can be mastery of a narrow beat, deep knowledge of a society, including its language, or a high level of craft skill, such as editing and distilling dense copy in a short time. It’s a mistake to think there’s only one mold.”
George worked as a journalist himself early in his career, at Singapore’s national daily, The Straits Times. He is currently an Associate Professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Policy Studies at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.
His research interests are in media and politics, including censorship and alternative media, and his current focus is on “hate speech” or “extreme speech.” He is the author of three books on Singapore and journalism, the latest of which is Freedom From The Press: Journalism and State Power in Singapore, which deals with restrictions on the media in the country. He is the editor of the journal Media Asia, and writes a blog dedicated to Singapore media issues, Journalism.sg.