GradSeason | Siew Tong En: Make impact while you can


Siew Tong En, a Xiamen University Malaysia student majoring in Journalism, has played various roles during her university time: A research assistant for lecturers, a recipient of the ambassador scholarship, a member of a fact-checking organization, and an intern in the investigative journalism industry. 

“I want to contribute to society with all my capabilities,” Siew Tong En summarized.

Siew Tong En’s chose the Journalism programme with the purpose of fulfilling her very original aspirations. With a passion for reading and writing since childhood, she believes journalism is an opportunity to know the world, allowing her to delve into unfamiliar areas such as global politics, the economy, environmental conditions, media industry development, and social issues. 

“Through platforms provided by Xiamen University Malaysia, I gained many memorable practical experiences, ” she said.

During her freshman year, Siew Tong En joined a student organization in collaboration with several other universities to fact-check online news during the pandemic. She and other fact-checkers verified the authenticity of the news, investigated its dissemination, and published the results on their team's official website. This experience, as she recalled, was meaningful and “taught her the importance of journalism”.

Apart from doing fact-checking, Siew Tong En has strived to apply her knowledge into practice by all means. As a student journalist for the Student Council of Journalism Department, she independently wrote and edited news articles, and published them on the project's official Instagram account. 

“I learned not only about knowledge beyond classes, but also how to manage time efficiently,” she talked about her gains."

"I think being a journalist is a great profession, being the voice of the voiceless."


Siew Tong En with classmates

In her final year, Siew Tong En became an intern journalist for The Fourth, an investigative news platform she had long aspired to join. Over four months, she completed reports and documentary editing, interviewing experts and patients to explore the long-term effects of COVID-19, shedding light on the discrimination faced by single mothers and the societal pressures on ordinary women.

“What impressed me most was what my boss once told me - ‘Make impact while you can’, ” said Siew Tong En, "This experience made me want to be someone who can try my best to contribute to society.”


Siew Tong En with colleagues at The Fourth

After finishing her undergraduate courses, Siew Tong En chose to continue her academic path and plans to go to Germany this September for postgraduate studies. 

"Human rights, social advocacy, media literacy...... For me, there are still a lot of areas to explore," she said with a smile.

(Contributed by Yuan Yunyi)

News & Events

A Glance at XMUM