Photo Caption: SPH Journalism scholar Ms Rei Kurohi enjoys covering different beats on the job, including health, politics and technology.
By Sanjay Surana
The largest global exhibition of all things electronic, CES was held in Las Vegas from Jan 5-8, 2022 and featured over 2,300 companies. Showcasing the latest in digital health, food tech, automotive tech, NFTs (non-fungible tokens), gaming, and smart homes, more than 1,800 global media representatives attended, including tech correspondent from The Straits Times, Rei Kurohi.
“I love learning about new developments in technology,” says the 28-year-old journalist at SPH Media (formerly Singapore Press Holdings). “Technology is so firmly woven into our everyday lives and will continue to be, so this is a subject I will never tire of.”
Ms Kurohi even uses technology first-hand in her reporting.
“The pandemic prompted me to learn new ways to do my work, such as programming simple bots and scripts to perform tasks like scraping publicly available Covid-19 data in order to make sense of trends and tell better stories,” she says.
She believes journalists play a crucial role in helping the public understand the slew of complicated – and sometimes confusing – information such as new government policies or the latest scientific findings on the coronavirus.
Since she was young, Ms Kurohi was interested in writing and loved conjuring up images and emotions using words.
History, another subject filled with stories, also piqued her interest. Journalism seemed to be the perfect career, as it combined her love of writing and history.
“Working for a newspaper made sense to me because it can also involve uncovering the deeper meanings behind events that have happened and what people say, as well as telling the stories myself,” says Ms Kurohi, who learnt about the SPH Journalism Scholarship from a friend.
At the National University of Singapore, she read Japanese studies and philosophy at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. She graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts.
HELPING READERS FIND CLARITY
The Japanese studies course gave her a “deep appreciation for the importance of having varied perspectives and the values of collaborative knowledge-making”.
Meanwhile, the philosophy component of her degree helped her stretch her intellectual muscles and hone her skills in rhetoric, logic and sound argument. These skills have been invaluable in her reporting, especially in an increasingly VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) world and in an era where fake news is rife.
Since graduating, Ms Kurohi has worked at a number of departments at The Straits Times. She started out with the digital team as a breaking news reporter and then spent time on operational aspects of running a digital-first newsroom such as social media and digital sub-editing.
“A journalist who is hired from the open market for a specific role may not necessarily get a chance to experience these different roles,” she says.
She feels that her understanding of the digital workflow has helped her to gauge the importance of certain decisions and practices since she returned to the Singapore desk to cover issues on health, politics and now technology.
In the three-plus years at The Straits Times, she has also written many stories that, in her words, have helped readers find clarity amid chaos and make sense of what is happening around them. This core mission of journalism makes the job both challenging and fulfilling.
“The mission of SPH was crystal clear amid the pandemic – to keep the public informed with reliable reporting. Covid-19 is, in many ways, the story of a lifetime, and it was my privilege to have a front-row seat to history in the making.”
View one of Ms Kurohi’s interactive infographics for The Straits Times here: https://www.straitstimes.com/multimedia/graphics/2020/07/singapore-general-election-ge2020-candidates-backgrounds/index.html?shell
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