Of journalism world and prospective career

By Puteri An Nur

Hakim Mahari has a clear vision of his prospective career as a prominent journalist in Malaysia’s media industry. 

That’s how a journalism student from Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Asyraf Malik, described him in a write-up published on the occasion of 2021 Journalism E-Colloquium conducted by the university on Monday (13 December).

Hakim, a third-year Communication student who hails from Terengganu, shares the principle that he holds by never giving up on acquiring knowledge on journalism in order to remain competitive in the face of stiff competition out there.

“As a prospective media practitioner, we will often wonder about what we can do to further improve our marketability value when setting foot into the industry,” Hakim said.

Along with that, he took the initiative to try his luck with IIUMToday in his first year as a Bachelor of Human Sciences (Communication) student.

“When I was in Foundation, I participated in a journalism workshop organised by IIUMToday, from there I started building contacts and then I was invited by the editorial board to visit their newsroom.

“Indeed, I was fascinated by the working and learning environment there, at the same time invigorated the existing spirit in me to be active in journalism assignments and projects,” said Hakim sharing his starting moments with IIUMToday a few years back.

Success will not come on its own as Hakim had indeed shown a deep interest towards journalism and broadcasting from a young age and he started with the right steps to achieve this ambition.

“When I was a child, I was a loyal viewer of Buletin Utama on TV3. I really admired the style of presentation by news presenters on the television station.

“I am also a fan of the reality television show, Macam Macam Aznil, which is hosted by the country’s leading host, Aznil Nawawi,” he explained.


IIUMToday is the official campus news portal for the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) operated by students under the supervision of the Department of Communication. IIUMToday was established in May 2014 with the objective to train students in news reporting, news writing and various practical aspects of journalism. 

Complete with a newsroom and workforce of nearly 60 journalists as well as an editorial board of caliber, IIUMToday is a necessary platform to help Communication students hone their journalistic skills.

“Learning the theory aspects in the classroom alone is not enough, what is needed is practical experience that is similar to industry standards, and this will not be demonstrated in the lecture room, instead students themselves must go out to experience it.

“With IIUMToday, a platform is available for students to do so, students can make the necessary preparations to face the reality in the industry later,” commented Hakim.

Hakim acquired his experience at IIUMToday by starting off as a regular student journalist, then in the second semester of his studies, he assumed the position of a news coordinator for which he was responsible for overseeing the news to be released.

In October 2021, he was entrusted to hold the position of a student managing editor at IIUMToday. Now he is the mainstay to navigate the journey of the campus portal.

With this trust borne, Hakim is determined to continue to strengthen the identity of IIUMToday among the IIUM community, forging closer relationships with the secretariat and the kulliyyah on campus.

“IIUMToday is a platform between the administrators and students, an entity of the Communication Department and a source of information to all,” he explained.

Mobile Journalism

Hakim also stressed the need for Communication students to adapt themselves to device journalism or mobile journalism as it is a necessary competency in the average media agency in the current digital age.

“If we look at ASTRO Awani for example, they convert complex information and data into a news format that is easily understood by the public and put it on social media.

“It is the same principle that is being applied in IIUMToday, we take the announcement by the management and extract it into a news summary to be displayed on the digital platform.

“For example, notices on campus elections or campus closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and official announcements are usually in long pages that make it difficult for accurate information to be conveyed quickly,” Hakim said.

While today’s news landscape allows almost everything to move in line with the digital circulation, traditional media should also not be forgotten as it is the foundation and basis to journalism itself, Hakim said.

“I would like to remind you of the importance for us to produce a versatile journalism school product that is balanced between digital and traditional media expertise because if thrown anywhere, you can definitely be competitive,” he said.

Asked about his future plans and career, Hakim said he has the desire to make a name for himself in ASTRO Awani, a brand that is no stranger to those who are involved in journalism.

“To be a journalist that is well prepared is not an easy task, it requires constant effort and commitment, but believe me where there is a will, there is definitely a way,” Hakim remarked.***

(This write-up is based on the original article written in Malay by Asyraf Malik from Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, UiTM)

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