The Bangkok Post is Thailand's oldest and largest English-language newspaper. During the summer of 2017, I interned at Asia Focus, the weekly section of the newspaper that reports on ASEAN and regional news.
As part of my internship, I profiled individuals and carried out several exclusive interviews, covered two philanthropic conferences, and represented the newspaper at several events. I worked on two articles in India. I helped facilitate the creation of the section's Twitter account, and have produced visual profiles for two front-page leads.
Feature: Among the Adivasi
The Adivasis are a misunderstood, often misrepresented indigenous people in South Asia, particularly in parts of India. I worked on this story remotely when I was in Maharashtra for two weeks during my internship. To better understand how Adivasi communities live, I visited several villages and spent a few days with the people there. I talked to them about their struggles and livelihoods. I interviewed the leader of of the village council in one of the places I visited. I also spoke with two social activists throughout the Adivasi community.
Two-Part Feature: Beyond the Green Desert
I interviewed Jagannath Vartak, an award-winning author of a recently published memoir, Green Desert. I worked on this story remotely when I was in India for two weeks during my internship. This series comprises two articles- one is an author profile and the other is a book review.
A1 Lead: Mutual Optimism
In light of the 70th anniversary of India-Thailand relations and the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations, the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, the Royal Thai Government, and other partners from the public and private sectors organized an expo and forum to commemorate the milestone. I covered the two-day event, which included panels, roundtable discussions, and a couple of interviews, notable with the Ambassador of Thailand to India and the CEO of NITI Aayog. Because this was a news-worthy article, I didn't have as much time to write and it was a little stressful to have a tight deadline while writing a long-form piece. This article was also a challenge for me because I don't know much about trade and investment, and the event was very heavily focused on these two aspects. However, I learned a lot from the experience and feel a little more comfortable writing about this topic.
A1 Lead: Planet of the Apps
During my second week at Asia Focus, my editor asked me if I would be interested in writing a lead story on the recent rise of apps in Asia. I was quite intrigued by the topic because in my experience, Asia is one of the most interconnected places on the planet. Social media and service apps are widely-used and one's digital presence has become a key part of who they are. I wrote the story over three weeks, during which I interviewed various sources and worked on other stories. Writing this story, which went on the front page of Asia Focus that week, was a surreal experience because of the sense of responsibility I had as an intern. My photography was also published in print for the first time! Besides this leading story, I also wrote a supporting column, 'How One App is Making Social Ripples'.
A1 Lead: The Heat is On
Event: HIV battle slowly being won, but new fronts opening
I wrote this article as part of Bangkok Post's coverage of 'Connecting Asia', a regional HIV/AIDS awareness and campaign event, where change-makers from all over the continent come together to share their ideas on how to better combat the AIDS epidemic. In addition to writing the article, I produced two visual profiles where I interviewed prominent individuals at the event. This was the first event that I covered by myself for the Bangkok Post.
Feature: How One App is Making Social Ripples
I wrote this article as a supporting story for my lead story, 'Planet of the Apps'. This piece profiles Solve Education, an organization that has developed an app for children in Asian developing countries. The app is making "social ripples" because besides bringing an education to children who do not have easy access to it, the app also connects children with a job portal, helping them make a living all through a simple device. I chose to write on this topic because I think sometimes we focus too much on how B2C relations and consumer lifestyle are affected by technology, and less on how technology can be used to harness social good.
Event: Impact Investment & Roopa Kudva from Omidyar Network
This was my first article for the Bangkok Post, which I wrote as part of the section's coverage on the 2017 Asian Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) conference. I did an exclusive interview with Roopa Kudva, a managing director from impact investment company Omidyar Network. In addition to this article, I attended the conference on all three days, live-tweeted speakers and panels, and spoke with business leaders around Asia on what they are doing to make the world a better place. This article was a sidebar to the Asia Focus lead story of the week.