Samuel He spent the early years of his career as a photojournalist with The Straits Times. While Samuel is no longer a practising journalist, his connection to journalism remains very strong. He continues to tell stories now through his work at WEAVE, a video and photo production house. His connection to journalism still exists through education, as he currently teaches courses in photojournalism and documentary production at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Wee Kim Wee School of Communication.
Samuel: Journalism allowed me to experience life in the shoes of others in a strange, transient way. I spent a month each living in a foreign workers’ dormitory and a nursing home to tell stories about the residents there.
Another oft-cited highlight of journalism is, of course, being allowed into places where people normally don’t get to go. For example, I’ll never forget wading knee-deep in floodwaters in Bangkok and living on a Navy ship for two weeks during a search and rescue operation for a crashed airliner in the Java Sea.
Samuel: Adaptability, Negotiation as access is not always granted to a journalist, so this is an important skill to have, and building trust with readers and interviewees or profiles: often, it is the long-term relationships built on trust that yield the best stories.