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  • I-Witness
Published 17 January 2024
4-min Read

An NUS student-turned-journalist explores the heart of journalism at the SPF.

By: Amanda Wong

A portrait shot of Amanda Wong. She is sitting on a chair with her hands neatly placed on a table.
PHOTO: Soh Ying Jie

I’m Amanda Wong, and I’ve been working at the Singapore Police Force (SPF) for nearly seven months now as part of a Communications and New Media internship module at the National University of Singapore. My passion for writing and storytelling inspired my decision to intern as a journalist.

My work primarily entails producing articles for Police Life. From conducting interviews and supplementary research to writing, editing, publishing and social-media sharing, I do it all!

A portrait shot of Amanda Wong. She is standing and has a camera strapped to her neck with a lanyard. Her left hand is supporting the camera.
The camera is my trusty work companion who follows me on assignments to capture events and portraits. PHOTO: Soh Ying Jie

Shooting Wide
Interning at the SPF has enabled me to develop my competencies both as a journalist and photographer. Shooting and editing photographs gives me greater control over the visual narrative of my articles. I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on 17 different photography assignments during my internship, all of which have allowed me to hone my skills in photography and Adobe Photoshop.

Looking Through the Lens
During my internship, I worked on a diverse range of articles. From event coverage and media features to profiles, these assignments offered me a unique window into the dedication of Police officers and the complexity of their work.

A compilation of Amanda Wong's favourite photos from her assignments. There are three photos in the collage. The photo on the left depicts her meeting past and current members of the SPF Band. The top-right photo depicts an event at the Singapore Traffic Games. The bottom-right photo depicts three officers who worked together to apprehend a drunk-driving suspect.
A compilation of my favourite photos from my assignments! Clockwise from left: Meeting past and current members of the SPF Band; at the Singapore Traffic Games; and three officers who worked together to apprehend a drunk-driving suspect. PHOTOS: Amanda Wong

Attending events and media features has been an eye-opener for me. Indeed, no two assignments have been the same. I especially enjoy shooting pictures that are full of action and that depict people working together. When officers come together in uniform and out-of-uniform to serve the community, I’m inspired to give it my best shot.

A compilation of four photos, each one depicting the profile shot of an IO. The four IOs represent the four 'IO's Diary' articles that Amanda Wong wrote.
Driven by a sense of duty and purpose, IOs work tirelessly to enforce justice. PHOTOS: Soh Ying Jie and Amanda Wong

Interviewing Our IOs
I also had the privilege of working on the “IO’s Diary” series, which gave me the opportunity to interview Investigation Officers (IOs) about their craft and experience. To my delight, I had the opportunity to speak to officers from various divisions, such as the Traffic Police, Police Coast Guard and Anti-Scam Command, and I ended off the series by interviewing Superintendent of Police Roy Lim, the highly regarded Head of the Special Investigation Section!

As a journalist, I was able to connect with and engage in open conversation with officers, which allowed me to learn about the nature of their work. However, I quickly learnt that interviewing is a skill in and of itself. One needs to ask the right questions, in the right manner, to be able to unearth a good story. Over time, I learnt that listening and observing are the keys to asking insightful questions.

A portrait shot of Amanda Wong shows her holding a pen and jotting down notes on her notepad. She is also intently listening to an interviewee.
I’ve learnt that treating an interview like a conversation builds rapport and allows interviewees to become more amenable to opening up. PHOTO: Soh Ying Jie

During my interview with Senior Staff Sergeant Muhammad Zamakhsyarii as part of the fourth article in the “IO’s Diary” series, he mentioned that it had been his childhood dream to become a Police officer. Intrigued, I asked him when his dream started. He proceeded to tell a touching story of his mother gifting him a Police costume set as his eighth birthday present, which sparked his ambition for policing. This was a pivotal lesson for me – displaying genuine curiosity allows us to uncover little-known stories and see situations from new perspectives.

Beyond Wor(l)ds on a Page
Though I had the privilege of engaging in other projects such as conducting a presentation on artificial intelligence and attending Crimewatch production sessions, I felt that my biggest achievement lay in cultivating strong interpersonal skills and a collaborative mindset.

A profile shot of Amanda Wong shows her listening to another person during a conversation.
Learning to communicate and embrace feedback has helped me to manage my work relationships more effectively. PHOTO: Soh Ying Jie

I recognised that collaboration requires active listening, clear communication and being open to constructive feedback. Through observing, interacting and improving, I’ve gained insights into how to better contribute to discussions, which has helped me to grow personally and professionally.

Lessons in Learning
Throughout my internship, I’ve sought to be an independent learner, a critical thinker and an intentional observer. My time at work has pushed me beyond my comfort zone and encouraged self-development. I’m grateful to have been able to learn and grow under the guidance of my supervisors. As I venture forward in my academic journey, I’ll be sure to keep these lessons in mind and continuously improve myself!

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