This program is just available for final year students of the B.A.(Media & Communications)
The Media and Communications Program at the University of Sydney is delighted to offer 11 internships for final year students of the B.A.(Media & Communications) degree in 2013.
Fellowships are offered with an English-language media organsiation in one of the following locations - Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Seoul and Tokyo.
The Fellows will be expected to fly to their respective capital city in mid-January and undergo a one-week orientation program at the Australian Embassy or High Commission, followed by a four-week secondment at the media organisation.
At the media organisation the Fellows will be expected to work under an experienced local journalist on whatever beat they can negotiate with the senior editor. These may include city news, politics, economic affairs, social affairs, sports, and other areas of newspaper interest. Most Fellows can expect to work in more than one area during their secondments, and also to undertake sub-editing duties.
Each Fellowship will be worth $5000, from which the incumbent is expected to fund their travel, insurance, living expenses in country and all related costs. Students will be responsible for all travel arrangements, including, but not limited to, tickets, passport, visas, accommodation, inoculations, and travel insurance.
The Fellowships are only open to B.A.(Media & Communications) students at the University of Sydney who are
- eligible to enrol in MECO3671 Media & Communication Internship in Semester 1,2013 and
- Australian citizens.
The Philippines, Manila
Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur
Republic of Korea, Seoul
Please visit our blog Parallax for reports, reflections, photos and videos from 2010 to 2012 Fellows.
You must complete the application form (contact Adriana) and submit it by October 5, 2012 along with:
- Proof of Australian citizenship (Copies of birth certificate, passport or citizenship papers)
- An updated CV
- Samples of any published work
- Supporting statement addressing the selection criteria below (no more than 500 words)
- thoughtful reasons for wanting this placement
- demonstrated interest in and some knowledge of the country you wish to go to: its culture, politics, history and/or geography.
- demonstrated interest in making journalism your career
- demonstrated capability and self-reliance, to manage budget and arrangements with minimal support.
- Academic achievement may be used as a deciding criterion if the selection committee is unable to reach a decision on the basis of the above criteria..
A shortlist of applicants will be interviewed in mid October by the selection committee.
Up to eleven applicants will be offered Fellowships solely at the discretion of the selection committee. Successful applicants will be notified in writing, and must be ready to travel in the second or third week of January 2013 and return to university by March 2013.
Some of the host organisations require the Fellows to undertake a criminal record check before they will allow you to work in their premises.
You may wish to discuss the Fellowships further with Adriana (phone: 9351 6886) before applying.
TIPS FOR THE FELLOWSHIP PROCESS
(with thanks to previous Myer and AKF Fellows)
Malaysia,Kuala Lumpur: The Star - Alison Dunn in 2009
Malaysia,Kuala Lumpur: The Star - Camilla Ibrahim in 2009
Compile an impressive CV and portfolio: write for any publication possible, undertake work experience at a media company, compile a showreel if possible and gather some solid work/character references. You must demonstrate a genuine interest in journalism and intention to pursue this as a career path. You must also demonstrate interest and knowledge about the country you wish to be placed and explain how the context or issues may be aligned with your existing interests or studies. You can even show your initiative by running your ideas for potential stories by the judging panel. The interview process was not as intimidating as I thought it would be, but it is likely that you will be quizzed on specific historical and political events or issues so be sure that you are well read!
Working at The Star:
At The Star you will have an option to work in the multimedia department and print. Whatever you choose to do, you will be given a great deal of autonomy and you will have to be very assertive. Our supervisor told us we would be 'thrown into the deep end' and on the first day I was given a cameraman and sent out to cover a story on Barack Obama's inauguration. The bulk of my work was in multimedia which involved me writing the script, reporting, editing and partially directing every piece. As I was working during the Chinese New Year period and not many employees wanted to work over this holiday period, it meant that I was one of the only people in the office and was often editing until 3am. Due to the stringent media laws in Malaysia, and The Star's political affiliations (it is owned by the Malaysian Chinese Association), the media content is skewed and invariably reflects underlying political loyalities. I found that we were encouraged to steer clear of hard politics and pushed to cover stories of a more celebratory tone. This was a great way to start but I quickly began to feel very unsatisfied and I wanted to explore more serious and stories. When we had gained the trust of our supervisors, we were indeed able to delve deeper into topical and pressing issues and adopt an investigative approach (although our work was still always supervised). The media laws are extremely stringent in Malaysia and you will undoubtedly find that censorship encroaches on your journalistic practice in some way or another. It is important to be sensitive, frame your stories thoughtfully and trust that Malaysian readers can often 'read between the lines'. One tip I would stress is that it is extremely important that you see your work right through to its publication stage. Do not rely on anyone to upload your videos for you and make sure you check your articles before they go to print. I hardly recognised one of my articles after it had gone through the filters of editing and censorship and in the end, it was my name that was on the work. Malaysia has a diverse culture and a rich social tapestry. The population is comprised primarily of Malays, Indians and Chinese ethnicities. On a typical day, you will walk down a street draped with Chinese lanterns, beside women wearing saffron and tumeric coloured saris while the call to prayer resonates from the mosque mineret. The festivals are vibrant and unforgettable and we had a chance to join in on Chinese New Year celebrations and the Thaipusam festival. It should be noted however that the vast majority Malaysians are quite conservative so it is important to observe cultural sensitivity and be modest in your dress and comments. Religion is an integral part of Malay life, Islam being the official religion, so it is important that you are aware of the beliefs and codes of etiquette before your stay in Kuala Lumpur. While there were challenges along the way, towards the end of the internship I began to see these as opportunities rather than obstacles: I was able to cultivate vital journalistic skills to be assertive, resourceful and to think outside the square.
Where to Stay: Alison and I stayed at the Peninsula Residences at Damansara Heights. It is very plush, modern and has great facilities. We could have chosen cheaper options but the previous fellow, Rosie Lockhart, stayed here when she did her internship so we trusted her judgement. It was a five minute taxi drive from work (in good traffic) and ten minutes to Mid-Valley shopping mall. This hotel is between KL and Petaling Jaya (where The Star is located) so it is a perfect midway if you want to explore in KL as well. We stayed in very spacious rooms with kitchenettes for 3000 MYR per month (monthly internet access rate additional). I would definitely recommend this hotel to the next fellows.
The Philippines: The Philippine Daily Inquirer Krisanne Alcantara in 2008
What to bring:
Don't leave without a tape recorder, digital camera and USB stick. A laptop is useful, although not a must as long as you have a USB stick that you can save all your work onto, you shouldn't need to bring your laptop around as there are always spare computers at each beat you will be assigned to.
Also be prepared for any situation; bring at least one piece of clothing for every occasion on my very first week I was sent to the Malacanang Palace beat for Vin Honneur, the diplomat's ball, dresscode: semi-formal. Luckily, I brought black pants and a decent blouse. You can, of course, buy clothes there, but you'll often find the sizing system a bit funny (I did) and you don't really have a lot of time to shop. T-shirts are a must (it's a furnace outside), but always carry a light cardigan in your bag because the air-conditioning is always on full-blast wherever you go.
Where to stay:
I highly recommend a serviced apartment Charter House behind Glorietta 5 has low rates for long stays, and is in an ideal position right next to 3 major shopping centres, eateries, internet cafes and nightlife all within walking distance.
Transport: It's important to be wary of cab drivers in the Philippines while most are honest people, some (due to desperation and poverty) will try to take advantage of foreigners. Always remember that a cab fare will not cost more than P150 (150 pesos) when traveling within Metro Manila Makati area, no matter how heavy the traffic. Make sure as soon as you get into the cab that the meter is running, and always text the number of the cab (written on the inside of the door) and company to either a workmate, your trainer or someone you're staying with. It's always better to be cautious. I'd strongly suggest to learn how to hail a tuk-tuk or jeepney (it's only P7.50, which is like, 2 cents) not only are they really fun to ride, but once you learn how to use them you can pretty much get anywhere.
Travel: The Philippines is a beautiful country and the flights are so cheap! The island provinces are unbelievable, and a flight from Manila to world-famous Boracay is only about $60 AUD on average. Make the most of your experience there by travelling on the weekends or before/after your internship. Your trainers will most probably show you around and don't be shy to ask them to take you to places like Subic or Baguio, a couple of hours out of Manila.
Sightsee: Malacanang Palace and Senate beats don't usually get exciting until the afternoon (12-1), so use the mornings to explore Manila, Makati and Quezon City, or even the amazing Palace grounds (you'll need a pass, but it's easy to arrange with the Palace's Media Relations Office).
Read: This is probably a given, but read the Inquirer every single day. You will meet everyone from Congressman, Senators to the media on each beat, and it's always nice to be informed and have something to discuss.
- Come to the Philippines without ideas of what to write about. On your first day, you will most probably meet the Inquirer's publisher, Isagani Yambot, who will ask you what you're interested in and this is an ideal time to pitch some stories so you can get his OK and get started straight away, and he can issue you a press badge immediately.
Have fun! This is an amazing opportunity you've been given. Make the most of it. Sightsee, take pictures, talk to locals (practically everyone speaks English, which is a plus) - all of this will give you great material for your stories.
Cambodia: The Phnom Penh Post Sarah Whyte 2009, Gemma Deavin 2008, Kate Evans 2006 and Leesha McKenny 2005
Seoul, Republic of Korea
- Definitely bring the Lonely Planet guide - it really helps with planning your sightseeing and finding good places to eat and interesting things to do.
- Australian mobile phones don't work in Korea, so you can either rent one here in Australia (from Korean-run mobile phone providers in Strathfield, Eastwood, Campsie, etc.) or at the airport.
- Time your week at the Australian embassy for Australia Day, as the Australia Day function is fantastic!
- Keep in touch with the Australian embassy as they may be useful for contacts during your internship placement.
- Keep up to date with the newspapers so you know what issues are topical and so you can start coming up with story ideas.
Working at the paper - The Korea Herald
- It may seem a bit intimidating at first, but you'll find it's a great place to work with lovely people. You can choose to structure your own experience as you like, as everybody in different sections are pretty much sitting next to each other.
- Definitely come prepared with ideas for articles, as you'll find the editors will have a hard time finding stories to assign you that don't require knowledge of Korean.
- Get to know the subeditors (all foreigners) as they can really help you out, plus they're very friendly!
- The hardest thing about being an intern in Korea is that your social network is drastically reduced so finding interview subjects may be difficult. Mine everybody you know the Embassy and the Korea Herald for
contacts. Your interview subjects themselves may be able to forward you onto others.
Joong Ang Daily
JoongAng is a great place with so many nice people looking to help you out. The best advice is to just say yes to whatever opportunity is thrown your way and run with it. As you work primarily as a copy editor, you will spend most of your time editing for the next day's paper. What's more, a lack of Korean language skills also makes it hard to do any major works, particularly with the lack of time you have. So I find I could get a lot of stuff published through review writing and the like, as well as sometimes asking one of the nice staff writers to help me translate a press conference transcript or press release.
It was an amazing insight for me into a number of things. Actually being in a newsroom will teach you more than anything and seeing how people get articles together as well as how the paper functions and where articles come from is a real eye opener. I now know what I like to write about and how I like to write. I also feel confident in my ability to pursue more work overseas, as well as being happy to tackle the Australian media industry. The people you meet also all have an interesting story to tell and will be happy to talk to you about why they are where they are. So the chance to meet people in the industry, in another country was also invaluable.
Sonya Gee 2007
I hadn't considered travelling to South Korea before the Myer Fellowships and knew very little about it. I was amazed by what I found and experienced there, it is a city rich in historic (and sometimes strange) traditions, obsessed with shopping, new technology and with an energetic art-scene.
The newspaper Joong-Ang Daily
The Joong-Ang Daily is the South Korean partner of the International Herald Tribune, and is published as a national daily supplement. The internship was fairly flexible, I sub-edited every night between 6-10pm and as one of three English speaking sub-editors was in high demand, proofing everything from national, business and culture pages. During the day I negotiated work with the Lifestyle & Culture department and produced stories for the front-page Glimpse of Seoul column, the Foreign Perspective section and worked alongside the Fashion editor. The language barrier was a definite challenge, especially as I was often working in a freelance capacity but I found ways around it, often working with translators or interviewing expatriates.
History, art and fellow Australian interns
The South Korean fellowship is great because there are 3 places for Australian interns. It was comforting to travel and live with two other people and share the experience of living and working in a foreign country.
The subway system is incredibly efficient and although we lived halfway up a mountain, we spent our weekends exploring the art galleries and museums of Seoul (there are many), temples and gardens. We also travelled down to the Demilitarised Zone that separates North and South Korea and visited the war memorial. We were surprised to find a vibrant youth-art scene in the university area of Hongdae, where we found tiny cafes, experimental collaborative art spaces, markets and Korean indie-rock.
The fellowship was not just about working in a media environment but about being immersed in a different culture and lifestyle. I am grateful for the experience. Back at home, I have found that the fellowship has often been a decisive factor in getting work in the media industry, which is always a bonus.
Bangkok: The Nation - Karina May in 2006
Comments: The paper is located approx 20mins out of the main city on a highway so accommodation was difficult. This place was extremely close to the offices (about 7mins in a taxi) and really nice. However, I would suggest staying somewhere on Sukhumvit Rd near a skytrain stop (like Phrom Phong) that way you are still in the center of the action and can go out at night, stay at a cheaper hotel/hostel and meet fellow travelers. You would get the skytrain a couple of stops to the end of the line (On Nut) and then it is about 20min taxi ride to the paper. A lot of the time I would attend a press conference etc and write and send my story from there so I would finish in the city and would then have to travel back to my hotel.
The key to this city is the skytrain (BTS) as long as you are near the skytrain you can get basically anywhere comfortably without having to deal with the traffic. However, taxis are extremely cheap and won't put too much of a dent in the finances. Make sure you get a metered taxi and you can travel somewhere upto 20mins away for only $2!
Newsroom/Getting articles published :
Chances are most people in the newsroom will not know who you are or why you are there so you have to make yourself known- even the person assigned to look after you may leave you to your own devices (as happened to me!). I would suggest befriending some of the western sub-editors (there are about 30) to help you identify the people to talk to about possible stories e.g. feature, travel, education. From my experience chances are (unless you speak Thai) you will not be on the news desk so you will probably spend time writing features. They are pretty open to suggestions or may have something in mind e.g. restaurant, theatre review etc. Basically if you offer your services they will most likely be happy for this new resource. I found writing more ground- breaking hardcore stories not as successful as more often than not you need an interpreter to translate for you. You will also probably be sent to English press conferences and events (as I did for the business section) which I found hard at first because I didn't have much knowledge/background information about the company etc and this made it difficult to identify the important people to speak to. However, the journos from the other papers are extremely friendly once you explain your situation they will undoubtedly help you along.
Places to visit :
As accommodation/food/transport is so cheap you will most definitely be left with some extra spending money for shopping and weekend trips. Aside from all the markets, temples and the Palace in Bangkok I strongly suggest visiting Kanchanaburi (River Kwai) and the island of Koh Samet (about 4hrs drive from Bangkok). The Embassy staff were extremely helpful with suggesting places to go and helping arrange accommodation.
To meet other journos/hear speakers visit the Foreign Correspondents Club (in the same building as the ABC Bureau-Phloen Chit skytrain stop)