Shaping Futures

As a WKWSCI Alumni Advisory Board member, veteran journalist and editor Eugene Wee (CS’99) works closely with the school to help transform its curriculum and improve student experiences.

Twenty years after first joining SPH as an intern reporter, Eugene Wee (CS’99) is now Head of Media Strategy for the company, overseeing organisational development and business management. PHOTO: CALEB LAU

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Having spent two decades in the newsroom, Eugene Wee (CS’99) has seen it all – from being a green-eyed intern to an all-rounded journalist, then a news editor, and now in his current roles as Head of Media Strategy at Singapore Press Holdings and Supervising Editor at The New Paper

Beyond work, Wee has also taken up responsibilities of mentoring scholars, and giving back to his alma mater as a Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information Alumni Advisor. 

“It’s meaningful to be involved back in the school and to help build pipelines in the industry,” he shared, pointing out how a considerable number of SPH hires come from WKWSCI. 

“I already work closely with the school when it comes to interns, and when they graduate we also employ many students full-time.” 

Wee has sat on the Alumni Advisory Board since its inauguration three years ago. The board seeks to work closely with school management to shape and transform programmes, meeting every six months with the school Chair to exchange ideas. 

“The school comes to us with questions like how we can help tweak certain courses to suit what this industry needs, and how we can help produce graduates that the industry values,” said Wee, 45. 

“The school comes to us with questions like how we can help tweak certain courses to suit what this industry needs, and how we can help produce graduates that the industry values.”

Eugene Wee (CS’99), Head of Media Strategy at SPH and Supervising Editor at TNP

In addition to providing guidance on curriculum, the board also discusses how to “improve the internship experience for students”, he added. 

To Wee, who first joined SPH as an intern himself in 1999, internships are a crucial aspect of learning and he encourages students to explore as many opportunities as possible. 

He draws from his own mentoring experience in the company, where he has witnessed two ends of the spectrum – aspiring journalists who discover their calling, and overly-fatigued interns who are not suited for the reporting scene. 

Wee noted: “Two things happen during an internship. Ultimately, you just need to answer the question: do you like the job or not?” 

“If the answer is yes, good, you know this is something you want to do. If the answer is no, even better, so you can cross this off your list of things to do and focus on trying something else.” 

For Wee himself, he enjoys taking up new challenges. His latest role as Head of Media Strategy, which he took up in January, encompasses organisational development and business management, a far cry from the journalism work he first started with. 

He oversees three pillars of media strategy – first, coordinating strategy in terms of monetisation and circulation; secondly, research for pricing and content; and then thirdly, partnerships to build capabilities for the company. 

Wee’s shift from the content side of news to the business end of it started in 2014, back when he was News Editor for TNP. He went down a rather rare route of pursuing a master’s in business administration, while peers in the newsroom would often choose an area related to their beat. 

“The thought process was that most newspapers are run by editors, and usually editors are picked from the best journalists in the room. But the editor also has a business role, because apart from the content you have to make sure the business is viable,” said Wee. 

“The editor also has a business role, because apart from the content you have to make sure the business is viable.”

Eugene Wee (CS’99), Head of Media Strategy at SPH and Supervising Editor at TNP

“Then you notice most of the papers in the world are not doing too well in the disruption, and the common thing is that all the editors are journalists. So I thought, what can I do to equip myself to tackle this problem of newspapers? I already have the content brain, so I decided to pick up the business brain.” 

Across two years, Wee juggled between work as News Editor while attending an executive master’s course at INSEAD Singapore. Upon completion, he then progressed to become Editor at TNP in 2016, taking up more business-related responsibilities. 

“I was more involved in organisational and business development. It helped put the paper on a more financially viable path, and I enjoyed it because it's a new experience for me. Then that worked its way into the media strategy role,” he said. 

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