A Taste of Journalism Overseas

Putting their reporting skills to the test, 12 final-year WKWSCI journalism students made their way to Estonia in August to chase stories on the ground.

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With a camera in one hand and a notebook in the other, Ignatius Koh (CS’18) set off for Juminda, a rural town in Northern Estonia, this August, determined to find a new story angle for an assignment that was falling apart.

It did not help that it was also Koh’s first time doubling up as a reporter and photographer. But the 24-year-old persevered and managed to interview farmers and environmental experts in Juminda.

“There are actually a lot of avenues to search for stories but for a country like Estonia, where probably a lot of people wouldn’t have heard about, it was a bit difficult at first.”

IGNATIUS KOH (CS'18), CHIEF EDITOR OF GO-FAR ESTONIA

Koh eventually wrote a story about a growing number of Estonians who have been moving to the countryside during the summer to engage in a host of interesting activities such as herding sheeps.

This was just one of the many hurdles that 12 final-year students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information faced as part of the Going Overseas for Advanced Reporting (Go-Far) module.

The module, headed by journalism lecturer Hedwig Alfred, sends students to different parts of the world every year to get a taste of overseas reporting. Their stories and photographs would then be compiled into a book.

Past editions of Go-Far have seen students visit Iran, Sweden and Bhutan. This year, the students took their reporting to Estonia, a country in northern Europe that borders the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland.

The preparation started two months before the trip to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Koh, who is the chief editor of Go-Far this year, explained that each student had a role to play – some were in charge of food and research, while others were responsible for finance and transport.

Finding interesting story angles was a challenge that many students faced during the preparation, he added.

He said: “There are actually a lot of avenues to search for stories but for a country like Estonia, where probably a lot of people wouldn’t have heard about, it was a bit difficult at first.”

Even though Koh summed up his experience as “tiring,” he said the team members supported each other well and managed to put together a good book in the end

“If I were to go with the same team again, I would definitely do another Go-Far,” he said.

VIDEO: SHERYL CHUA

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