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By CHOO XIN ER
brats@thestar.com.my

BRATs Penang 2010 participant Keeshaanan Sundaresan is living the BRATs dream.

As the chief editor of local sports news website FourthOfficial.com, he’s managed to turn his passion for writing and football into a rewarding career.

Keeshaanan spoke to us about BRATs, the must-have qualities of a journalist, and his advice to young people considering journalism as a career.

Chief editor of FourthOfficial.com Keeshaanan credits BRATs for making him who he is today. — SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

Chief editor of FourthOfficial.com Keeshaanan credits BRATs for making him who he is today. — SHAARI CHEMAT/The Star

How has BRATs helped you in your career?

BRATs continues to influence me until today. It constantly reminds me of where I came from and helps me focus on my priority: quality journalism. That means I focus on informing and educating, shaping perspectives and mindsets, and not just on entertainment and website traffic.

What is the most important quality a journalist needs?

Curiosity. That’s what helps you get to the big stories, to unearth and question things. On a personal level, I think it is important to always set the bar really high, compare yourself to the best in the industry, and never look down on your own ability.

What’s the best part about being a journalist?

The best part is when you can help someone look at things from a different perspective.

For instance, we’re working on providing more coverage for female athletes in Malaysia.

That will slowly change the way people view female athletes and bridge the gender gap. And helping to create that paradigm shift is one of the best parts of the job.

What is your advice to young people interested in journalism?

Journalism can be a romanticized industry. Get as much experience beforehand, so you won’t enter the industry with an over-idealistic view and feel disillusioned later.

What would you say to young people thinking about joining BRATs?

Don’t even think. Just join! There is no better platform for aspiring journalists in Malaysia. It is the best investment you can make for any industry. To me, BRATs would benefit not only young journalists, but all young Malaysians.

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