From 31 July to 4 August 2022, 19 journalists from Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam participated in a Study Visit to Singapore organised by the SIF.
The Study Visit was part of the SIF’s Impact Media Fellowship (IMF) which seeks to build capacity and promote exchange among media professionals who want to use their platform for social change. The online programme focuses on professional training and knowledge-sharing through workshops, panel discussions, and cross-cultural exchanges to equip participants with the necessary skills and resources. The participating journalists on the Study Visit were Fellows from IMF 2021 and 2022.
Themed “Heart and Soul of Singapore”, the itinerary was curated to showcase Singapore’s efforts in social innovation and sustainability and introduce Singapore as a compassionate and future-ready society.
As part of the visit, the Fellows attended the World Cities Summit1, gained insights into Singapore’s move towards building a more compassionate and inclusive society at the Enabling Village, and learnt about the various impact-driven initiatives by Social Innovation Park.
The programme also included an exclusive visit to the Keppel Marina East Desalination Plant for insights into Singapore’s sustainability efforts and a guided tour at the interactive Smart Nation CityScape exhibition to learn how Singapore leverages digital technology to improve lives.
One of the Fellows was Bharat Kumar Nayak from The Logical Indian in India. He said: “It was interesting to learn about the workings of a city – from Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives to sustainability efforts – and learn from it. As a city state with limited natural resources, Singapore is also doing very well to provide a life with dignity for every citizen.”
Thai Sothea from Cambonomist in Cambodia said: “The study visit was an eye-opening experience. I enjoyed hearing stories and learning about the work of the Citizen Ambassadors from Singapore, especially those who have contributed a great deal to my country through SIF’s projects. I am inspired to amplify their efforts through my news articles so that more Cambodians are aware of such collaborations.”
The Fellows also had the chance to collaborate and brainstorm cross-border stories ideas for social impact. They pitched their ideas and received feedback from IMF Advisors former journalist and producer Augustine Anthuvan and Jeremy Heng, Head of SIF’s digital story telling initiative, Our Better World.
The Fellows enjoyed meeting their peers in person, having previously connected virtually during the Fellowship programme.
Indonesian Fellow Kristian Erdianto from Kompas.com said: “The networking and team building activities gave me a chance to build and foster cross-border friendships and connections. It was insightful to learn about the different newsrooms and practices around the region from the other Fellows.”
Malaysian Fellow Fabian Mark Peter from New Straits Times shared: “The Study Visit has provided a valuable opportunity for us Fellows to bond and build enduring connections. I look forward to expanding our friendships beyond the programme and explore ways that we can collaborate.”
Equipped with ideas and inspiration from the visit, the Fellows were ready to head back to their respective newsrooms and work on their stories.
Vietnamese Fellow Dinh Vu Nhat Hong from Viet Nam News said: “I am keen to pen a story on social inclusion and how we can spur conversations and actions within the community. I was inspired by our visit to the Enabling Village and the sharing session at the Smart Nation Cityscape exhibition about Singapore’s efforts in digital inclusion.”
1Jointly organised by Singapore’s Centre for Liveable Cities and the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the biennial World Cities Summit is an exclusive platform for government leaders and industry experts to address liveable and sustainable city challenges, share integrated urban solutions and forge new partnerships.