The next generation of Asian media leaders has Zoomed into focus with the second annual round of the Young Media Leaders Fellowship.
Some 28 news editors and journalists from 19 publications in 11 countries are taking part in the World Editors Forum Asia Chapter and WAN-Ifra initiative.
It was first suggested by WEF president Warren Fernandez – who is editor-in-chief of the Straits Times and SPH’s English/Malay/Tamil Media Group – and is supported by Singapore’s Temasek Foundation.
Leadership and professional development and networking opportunities are offered through the dedicated online and physical platforms, with the aim for YMLF fellows to contribute effectively to the pursuit of good journalism, foster dialogue and greater connectedness among one another, and build up newsrooms to meet the needs of their societies in these uncertain times.
They will gather online over the next six months to share experiences, exchange ideas, amplify the impact of news reporting, and learn to lead in an industry transformed by technology – especially relevant as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to threaten the news publishing industry.
"These are challenging times for the media all around the world, and our young newsroom leaders have many big issues to grapple with ahead of them,” says Fernandez.
“We want to help equip them with the leadership skills to face those challenges, from the need to transform our newsroom for digital-first operations to inspiring teams with a sense of purpose for public service journalism.
“Through this programme, we also hope they will build bridges and form their own networks for collaboration across our region.”
WAN-Ifra chief operating officer Thomas Jacob says the news industry is counting on young, dynamic changemakers to create a strong, vibrant media ecosystem which can continue to serve society with timely, accurate news, information and analysis. “Thanks to generous support of Temasek Foundation, we are able to help groom the next generation of industry leaders at a region-wide level.”
Temasek Foundation International chief executive Benedict Cheong hopes participants will be “able to share with one another from their wealth of experience so as to strengthen the role of the media in supporting and advancing our respective communities”.
The YMLF programme will take place mostly online, with participants taking part in a tailored week-long executive leadership programme. They will also attend the virtual Digital Media Asia conference in August, plan events, activities and stories to mark World News Day on September 28, and will gather in Singapore next January for the Fellowship finale, conditions permitting.
Fellows will also continue to deepen their engagement with one another during and beyond the programme by establishing an alumni community on social media and through future speaking opportunities.
Taking part, by country, are:
Bangladesh: Al Kamal Md Ziaul Haq, chief news editor, and Muhammed Naimul Haque, news editor, The Daily Star;
Bhutan: Jigme Wangchuk, features editor, Kuensel Bhutan, and Phurpa Lhamo, bureau correspondent, Kuensel;
Cambodia Leang Phannara, digital editor, and Voun Dara, reporter, The Phnom Penh Post;
Fiji: Ivamere Nataro, Investigative reporter & editor, and Adi Kelera Sovasiga, climate journalist, Fiji Sun;
Hong Kong: Melissa Zhu, China news editor, and Jun Mai Beijing, correspondent, South China Morning Post;
Indonesia: Afut Syafril, podcast news coordinator, and Yuni Arisandy, international news coordinator, ANTARA News Agency; Hadijah Alaydrus, content manager, Bisnis Indonesia; and M Yogi Eka Fadila, QC editor, IDN Times;
Malaysia: Tan Yong Seng, senior multimedia journalist, Pocketimes; Shalini Ravindran, journalist, Star Media Group; and Chester Chin Zhao Liang, journalist, Star Media Group;
Philippines: Ma. Theresa Torres-Tupas, assignment editor, Inquirer.net, and Neil Arwin Mercado, multimedia reporter, Inquirer.net; Ellson Quismorio, senior reporter, Manila Bulletin; and Betheena Unite, reporter, Manila Bulletin;
Singapore: Atiyyah Mohd Said, correspondent, Berita Harian; Lim Yan Liang, assistant news editor, the Straits Times; Tamilavel, news editor/digital editor, Tamil Murasu; Ho Shuxian Ben, editor, CAN; and Ng Jun, senior correspondent, Today Online;
South Korea: Jae Min Ryoo, staff writer, the Chosun Daily; and
Vietnam: Nguyen Khanh Duong, news desk reporter/sub-editor, Viet Nam News.