Fairuz shares a story behind a career in IKIM.fm

By Farah Radzuan

Regardless of whether it is a bad or a good experience,  one would always treasure one’s experience. For Fairuz Haji Noordin, having worked as a DJ and a senior producer at IKIM.fm for almost 16 years as well as a columnist for Berita Harian, the experience she had gone through in the industry is definitely something worth to look at.

Fairuz said the most valuable experience that she will never forget is the chance to meet with famous scholars preaching in front of her eyes, the feeling is just the same with you sitting in the first row in their religious forum.

She said, “Usually people will get to meet these people when they go to the mosque to attend forums, or some of them have to attend religious classes, or read religious books during their leisure time.”

Working with IKIM.fm, she got to see scholars preaching right in front of her being person in charge to make the forum go smooth.

As a DJ, she is just too busy even to flip a book, not to mention the thick kitab. The working session with the preacher in the conti can also be considered as majlis al-ilm and this is one of her most exclusive experiences that she could not get anywhere else.

She shared a story where there was an ustaz who told her that he was envious of IKIM.fm DJs because he himself had never had the chance to be in front of the ustaz doing the teaching.

Asked about working environment in IKIM.fm which is expect to be different from working in other radio stations, Fairuz responded, “We were taught, not acting, but to be calm and composed at all times. Whatever we faced in the daily life like conflicts, other major responsibilities and so on, leave them outside the (broadcasting room) door, because we carry a large responsibility, although all we do is just talking, because we bring the image of IKIM and the image of a preacher throughout the country.”

In addition she said that even though she is working with IKIM it does not mean that she is pious like one who would have expected of her, but she is trying her best to shape her character in line with the job that she is doing.

Once she stepped into the conti to do her job, she will leave everything behind, because she said that “we have to be professional in doing our job and not to mix it with our personal life, or you will get into trouble.

“Once I enter the door to be on air, I will put behind my problems because the responsibility of spreading da’wah has just begun.”

Furthermore, she said as a DJ she never thought that in the broadcasting room there’s just going to be she alone, in her own world talking to herself, but she must think that she is conveying the information and knowledge to the public.

She said she does not have the Islamic or Arabic background. As such, she must be cautious of whatever she is saying, especially the terms and pronunciation of words. One mistake that she makes will create a huge impact because the audience will attack on point. In this context, she must be professional and understand that there will be some extreme listeners out there.

Even though she understands that the audiences expect the DJ to be an expert where in fact the DJ is just an ordinary human being who can make mistakes too. But as a media practitioner, she cannot totally blame the media, but to always prepare to bear this heavy responsibility. She said that she enjoys working and she is happy for the opportunity to learn new things every day.

She also stated that she must be careful especially when involved in citing Quranic verses or the hadith. This is because the audiences are aware of the background of the DJ who is speaking and they can create speculations about what is being said that may lead to controversies as we can see in the newspaper or social media nowadays.

She said before entering the conti to do her job, she will never read newspapers, comments, or communicate with people who will drag down her emotion. In fact, when talking about social media, the DJ interacts with the audiences directly, especially on Facebook after going on air.

Extreme audience will always leave bad comments on social media in which this will give bad impact on the image of IKIM.fm but Fairuz said so far the station has received a lot of encouraging and positive comments.

Asked about any chance of travelling while working she replied, “People will always ask that question because they thought all media practitioners will get that chance.” She said two years ago she had a chance to visit Palestine for Qurban programme.

Coincidentally, she always had a chance to go to places like Palestine and Turkey. Despite being all that busy, somehow, she got to visit places with historical (Islamic) values like Palestine and Turkey, and she knew that God had arranged her to find something there, and would draw memories from there.

Last July, she said that she was sponsored to perform the Hajj and being one of the representatives for live update on behalf of IKIM.fm. She is grateful that God has fulfilled her du’a to become one of the visitors of the holy place which every Muslim has dreamed of.

Even though while traveling she had to leave her family behind, she acknowledged that her responsibility as a Muslim to spread the da’wah is also important.

On students who wish to pursue their career in broadcasting, she has this to say:”First of all high passion is needed for this career.”

“This career is among the toughest even though some people always think that they only do easy job and gain popularity without knowing what really happened.

The media is a platform to shape a good society, it plays a vital role to determine the type of society we want to be.”

She said that patience is required to face public critics and there’s always the pressure of work you need to bear with. In addition, there is the need to build networking and she suggested that students should try to establish contacts while they are still studying. “You need not have to wait until you have graduated from the university to do that,” she advised.

She said in previous days, the qualification required to pursue this field, in this particular job, is only a Malaysian Certificate of Education (in Malay, Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia). Because back during those days, people do not take knowledge as an important in life, as long as you have the talent you will get the job.

Asked if there is anything that she would want to change in the media industry for the better in future, she stated that sometimes people who get involved in the  media forget that they are actually standing in a position where they play the role of influencing the people’s mind using media with what they watch, hear every day.

As a producer, it is a huge responsibility because she needs to think what she wants to produce, to be cautious with what she wants to produce and also to think of the impact of saying something for the benefit of the society. It may lead to a good society or otherwise.

She said gaining popularity of being a public figure is not supposed to be the main objective when one gets involved in this field. “You have to think a lot about how to build an excellent society physically, mentally and spiritually.”

Sometimes, public figures become the role models for society, she added. ***

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