News and Events
Media and communications students showcase their skills in Korea
Producing breakfast news for Seoulâ€™s only all English radio station, Traffic Broadcasting Station (TBS), was a challenge and a thrill for University of Sydney media student Arghya Gupta during his recent Australian Korea Foundation (AKF) funded journalism internship.
Arghya, a final year student in the B.A. (Media and Communications), spent July in Seoul completing an AKF Fellowship, one of several annual scholarships funded by the Foundation. These grants allow motivated, passionate University of Sydney journalism students to extend their knowledge of North Asian regional politics, economics and culture and to showcase their media production skills in English language media organisations.
Until 2010, the Fellowships had been focused on print industry internships, with fellows working this year at the Korea Herald and Joong Ang Ilbo. But thanks to the enthusiastic support of TBS and the success of previous radio intern Rachel Mulholland, the AKF has agreed to extend the program. Rachel made her mark on TBS by encouraging a shift in program structure and securing nearly impossible interviews.
Arghya is the first Fellow to travel to Korea in July following the Department of Media and Communications successful application for a mid-year internship. He frequently did breakfast radio â€œas at this point in time, itâ€™s TBS Radioâ€™s only news program, and they wanted to use the journalism skills I had gained from the Media and Communications degree.â€
His TBS routine included conducting daily interviews and preparing news packages as well as more exciting assignments like sharing a dinner table with IMF Managing Director and possible future President of France, Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Arghya said he also had the chance to build local knowledge about trade relations, â€œinterviewing the head of the ABCâ€™s television department, Kim Dalton, about the Seoul International Cartoon and Animation Festival and its effect on Australia.â€
Arghya was selected for the internship due to his journalistic passion (demonstrated through previous radio experience with the ABC and University of Sydney), interest in Korea, and ability to thrive overseas in a work capacity. He says â€œbeing selected for the internship made me feel really flattered, not only because I was going overseas, but I was going overseas representing the University of Sydney. The business cards with the Universityâ€™s logo sealed the deal.â€
The Fellowship program, initiated by Adjunct Professor Richard Broinowski, is also designed to open studentâ€™s eyes to the cultural exchange that is possible between Korea and Australia. To be introduced to Korean cultural life fellows like Arghya spend time at the Australian Embassy in Seoul before starting their media placements.
This experience has greatly assisted previous fellows, some of whom now work as Fairfax journalists and SBS reporters, or are following innovative performance and research avenues. While fellows may not necessarily return to the region they retain an understanding of Koreaâ€™s social, political and economic situation while working in the Australian media. They can subsequently produce accurate and highly informed reports. Arghya agrees that the Fellowship experience will help shape his own media career and has already inspired some unique research ideas for an honours year or masters degree.
Arghya urges future students to apply for the AKF Fellowship. â€œIn a world that is becoming more globalised everyday, and which graduates with the calibre of Sydney alumni will no doubt experience, seeing how your industry works overseas is a necessity.â€
To find out more about Arghyaâ€™s experience visit the Myer and AKF Fellowship blog at http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/parallax.