Media Centre
Media Centre
Media Centre

Speech by Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Chairman of SPH Media Trust at the Joint SPH Media and SPH Foundation Scholarship Awards Ceremony on 25 August 2022

Scholarship recipients,

Family members,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

1. We are awarding 3 different scholarships today: SPH Media’s Journalism Scholarship, SPH Media’s Scholarships for Children of Serving Employees, and SPH Foundation’s Lim Kim San Memorial Scholarship. My warmest congratulations to all our scholarship recipients.

Scholarships for talent attraction 

2. We relaunched our scholarship programmes with a bigger budget for two good reasons.

3. First, we are in the business of producing quality journalism.  Without talent with the right values, there will be no good journalism, contents that Singaporeans find it worth paying for. Our business therefore depends on our ability to recruit and retain the talent to join us in our mission. Second, we want to send a strong signal to both our colleagues and our audience that we are serious in pursuing our mission.

4. The response is good. Both the number of applications and the quality of candidates have gone up. This year, we received 126 applications for the SPH Media Journalism Scholarship, three times the number in 2021 (of 44). Through a rigorous selection process, including writing tests, interviews, internships, and post-internship evaluations, 12 will receive the SPH Media Journalism Scholarship today.

5. Lee Huay Leng was especially thrilled with the quality of applications for the Chinese Media Group’s scholarship. After the interviews, she emailed me to say that there were several outstanding candidates, mostly local born and bred. They completed the newsroom internship with excellent ratings by their supervisors, and expressed wishes to pursue university education in China.

6. Huay Leng was concerned about whether we had the budget to take in all these students. I told her that I will get the money for her, so long as the quality of students is high.  We have been concerned about the Chinese language ability of our applicants for quite a number of years.  I told her not to miss out on any potential talent who has come our way.  That explains why there are more CMG scholars this year than for the other newsrooms. In any case, they are all bilingual, equally fluent in English. They are smart and flexible. In due course, they may rotate to other newsrooms or take on other functions. SPH Media is big enough to accommodate all talent.

Talent development 

7. We are continuously seeking out people who care about the future of journalism in Singapore; who want to work on challenging problem statements; and who want to experiment new ways of digital storytelling.

8. Besides relaunching the scholarship programme, we have the SPH Media Academy up and running to train our journalists and help them hone their digital skills. The Academy has signed an agreement with the Reuters Institute of Journalism at Oxford University, and for the first time, two fellowships will be awarded to our journalists this year. Ng Soon Kiat, Lianhe Zaobao’s Associate Digital Content Editor, and Tham Yuen-C, The Straits Times’ Senior Political Correspondent will be taking up the fellowships. Through hands-on experience with peers and newsroom leaders, such fellowship opportunities allow our journalists to gain new perspectives which will in turn benefit our newsrooms.

Lim Kim San Memorial scholarship

9. Separately, the SPH Foundation is sponsoring the Lim Kim San Memorial Scholarship to 12 deserving students. Despite challenging circumstances in their personal lives, these students have not only excelled academically, but have also demonstrated resilience and maturity in overcoming adversities. I trust the Lim Kim San Memorial Scholarship will help them to follow their dreams and ambitions.


10. Once again, my warmest congratulations to our scholarship recipients here today, and to your parents, family and friends who have supported you over the years. We look forward to welcoming you upon graduation, and to work with us to fulfil our purpose of being the trusted source of news on Singapore and Asia. Thank you.