Seven awarded SPH's journalism scholarships

Seven awarded SPH's journalism scholarships

ASKING someone delicate questions about where a python had bitten them was not what Ms Goh Yan Han expected to do as an intern at The New Paper.

But her scoop won a "Story of the Month" award and the 19-year-old is now set to become a full-fledged reporter, as one of seven recipients of this year's Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) Journalism Scholarship.

In May, two months into her internship, Ms Goh was pursuing a tip-off about a housewife who was bitten by a python which emerged from a toilet.

At first, the family was hesitant to talk about it, but Ms Goh won them over - and found out that the bite was on the back of the woman's right thigh.

"It's about being personable and letting them understand that you just want to tell their story, not make it scandalous or sensational," said Ms Goh, whose father Goh Sin Teck is editor of Chinese paper Lianhe Zaobao.

She will begin a degree in psychology at Britain's University of Warwick in September. "If you're able to better understand the person you're interviewing, it helps you to get the story," she said.

Ms Goh is one of six journalism scholarship recipients who will join SPH's English newspapers after university.

The others are Mr Tee Zhuo, 21, Mr Timothy Goh, 21, Mr Toh Ting Wei, 21, Ms Choo Yun Ting, 19, and Mr Kurohi Rei, 21. Mr Bian He, 23, will join one of SPH's Chinese newspapers.

As SPH's newspaper business evolves in the digital world, talent remains at the heart of its strategy, chairman Lee Boon Yang said at yesterday's awards ceremony.

SPH set up a digital division this year and publishes on print, online, mobile, video and social media platforms.

"We offer all our news and media products to consumers digitally anywhere, any time and on any device," said Dr Lee.

"We need talented people to come up with creative solutions and undertake new initiatives to meet digital competition."

Ten university students also received the SPH Foundation Lim Kim San Memorial Scholarship yesterday.

It was launched in 2006 for students of modest means who pursued full-time language studies.

Last year, it was extended to undergraduates in humanities courses.

Scholarships were also given to 14 children of employees and newspaper vendors, to help fund their studies at junior college, polytechnic or university level.

They include both sons of Mr Abdul Rahman Basrun, chief sub-editor of Malay daily Berita Harian.

Abdul Musawwir Abdul Rahman, 17, is in his first year at Raffles Institution (Junior College).

His brother Abdul Muhaiman, 20, is in his second year of a medical degree at the National University of Singapore. The pair paid tribute to their father for his support.

Mr Abdul Muhaiman said: "His hours are very long, so it's hard for him to be at home, but he always spends time with us when he can."

This article was first published on July 22, 2014.
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