ITB Astronomy Alumni Share Experiences in the Journalism Realm

Oleh M. Naufal Hafizh

Editor M. Naufal Hafizh

BANDUNG, – The Astronomy Talk Webinar was once again hosted by the Astronomy Alumni Association of Institut Teknologi Bandung (IA Astronomy ITB) via Zoom platform on Saturday (9/3/2024). This webinar focuses on exploring career opportunities in journalism for astronomy alumni. Anton William (Astronomy, 2002), Chief Marketing Editor of Kumparan, and Nur Hasan Murtiaji (Astronomy, 1994), Operational Director of Republika, were speakers for the event who shared their experiences in this field.

The global economic crisis in 2008 led to cuts in science budgets, prompting Anton to contemplate his future after graduation. Among various alternative science careers, he chose to be a journalist because he had been an active member of the Indonesian Astronomy mailing list during his university years and had always kept up with the latest information through Astronomy Today.

For him, choosing journalism was a strategic option. "Whatever career I choose later, apart from aligning with my interests, I also want the potential to develop into other fields when I become a journalist," he said. He then applied for a job at Tempo and began his career as a reporter in 2010.

One positive aspect of working in the newsroom is the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds. However, on the flip side, one must be more versatile. "Journalists are required to know everything or quickly learn," he said. He often transitioned between different fields. Moreover, due to the media's shift from conventional to digital formats at that time, he had to adapt and write in various formats, including text, infographics, and video.

Anton emphasized his astronomy background to be beneficial. In the media industry, one must be adept at processing market information. "As an astronomy graduate, I have a better ability to analyze data than the rest of my peers," he noted.

Despite regretting not pursuing a career in astronomy, he takes pride in covering astronomical events, such as the total solar eclipse in 2016 and the launch of the Nusantara Satu satellite via a SpaceX rocket. He highlighted that seizing such rare opportunities is one of the perks of being a journalist.

Meanwhile, Nur Hasan provided insights into journalism from the company's perspective. A press company comprises various departments beyond editorial, including marketing, promotion, information technology, human resources, and finance. While company structures may vary, these divisions are generally common.

"What journalists do, anyone can do," he stated. He emphasized that the scope of competencies in journalism careers is broad, spanning from astronomy to sports.

He also touched on the topic of media transformation, which has prompted media outlets to diversify content across various platforms. He mentioned that it's becoming increasingly common for press companies to engage in activities such as trading NFTs, utilizing artificial intelligence, and creating motion graphics.

Astronomy Talk is a webinar series annually organized by the ITB Astronomy Alumni Association. Since its inception in March 2022, this activity has been held three times covering topics such as unifying the national Hijri calendar, the 2023 solar eclipse, and careers in journalism.

Reporter: Reza Pahlawan (Actuarial Science, 2020)
Translator: Hanifa Juliana (Urban and Regional Planning, 2020)
Editor: Kezia Hosana

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