The ASEAN Youth Social Journalism programme aims to engage youth as “social journalists,” who will provide compelling media products to express their critical thinking and allow them to raise their voices on issues affecting their local communities.
Visal Chourn, an aspiring youth from Cambodia who joined the programme in 2019, said that the programme allowed him to discover journalism and learn how to promote fact-based and compelling messages, and raise issues he cares about.
The ASEAN Youth Social Journalism experience has taught me many things about journalism that I never knew before: from news cycle to media perception, as well as the importance of transparency in the role that media plays in society. During the short period of time, I got to meet and bond with many promising future young leaders in the region. The organizers did an amazing job in organising the event as we learned so much through the process. Today, I am using the skills I gained in my job as an editor, in my academic life as a scholar, and in other areas of my professional career. Furthermore, I also learned how to network more effectively.
After the programme, I have led a couple of initiatives and joined youth-led organisations that promote ASEAN ideals, gender equality, women empowerment, diplomatic engagement, and international relations. I have also written several major articles in leading international journals in the Southeast Asia region. I would like to personally thank our coach, Mr. Horea Salajan, who made me realise the important role that media plays in good governance. Providing checks and balances for many injustices and exposing them in a scholarly matter was my major achievement from the workshop. In the end, I encourage future young scholars who are passionate about a vibrant civil society and good governance in their societies to apply to raise awareness about their role in ASEAN as well as a wonderful opportunity to meet other promising youth leaders.