A newsworthy job like no other

Tung Soo Hua is an award-winning journalist with MediaCorp. Joined in 1997, she has grown from a rookie reporter to a seasoned news anchor and current affairs presenter on MediaCorp. Covering major news events and hosting prime programmes, Soo Hua shares her journey with The Star.

“Why did you choose to work in MediaCorp?”

I was born in Johor Bahru. There, my dad influenced my interest in news and current affairs. He was a die-hard fan of MediaCorp Chinese language radio and TV channel. No sooner, I too found myself immersed in news bulletins.

During my last year in the National University of Singapore, MediaCorp conducted a recruitment drive there. I decided to give it a try. I went for the aptitude test and interview. The outcome proved successful; I was selected as a broadcast journalist.

“How has your work experience been in MediaCorp?”

In my first two years with MediaCorp, I worked as a news producer. Despite a steep learning curve, I managed to organize and translate wire reports into TV scripts and edit video footages. Besides daily news bulletins, I also produced World This Week (世界一周), a magazine style info-ed series.

I was blessed with an opportunity to visit Taiwan in 2000. During my 3-month stint, I gained valuable hands-on experience in reporting from overseas.

Gradually, I became involved in line-producing for the 1pm and 6.30pm news bulletins. As a line producer, I decided on the stories to be featured and how stories should be presented in a particular bulletin.

Currently, I am co-hosting the Evening News (晚间新闻) on Channel 8. I also present weekly financial topics on Channel U’s Money Week (财经追击).

As a business presenter, I have interviewed over 80 Chief Executives. Most of them are executives from listed companies in Singapore. They include Mr Sim Wong Hoo of Creative Technology, Ms Olivia Lum of Hyflux and Thailand's Mr Dhanin Chearavanont who is Forbes Asia’s 2011 Businessman of the Year.

“Do you have any memorable moments to share?”

Certainly! The Singapore General Election 2011 and the subsequent two by-elections are highlights to share. For GE2011, also popularly termed the “Watershed election”, I was one of the presenters for the 6-hour “live” coverage on polling night; for the Hougang and Punggol East by-elections, I was also involved from nomination day to polling night. As a journalist, these events were especially meaningful. And I felt proud to be one as I was able to closely witness history unfold.

The Roving News Project in 2004 also left a deep impression on me. This was a ground breaking three-month project that involved the entire studio and news team producing weekend news at different outdoor locations. As presenter and producer, I was tasked to report “live” on location with “live” audience and activities happening around me. For me, the energy and excitement of the “live” production was a total new experience from presenting in the studio.

“What does it take to succeed in your current role?”

As a journalist, we need good analytical skills to make logical sense of the information receive. This way, we can deliver it to the public in a meaningful manner. Graduating with Math Honours, I felt I needed to put in my double-best by reading vigorously and learning intensely from with my seniors. In essence, I believe that the need to be humble, learn from the right persons and constant readiness and adaptability is key to be a successful reporter.