Interview with Izwan Azir Saleh (@izwanazirsaleh)

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path? 

I always wanted to be a journalist. For me, a journalist is an exciting career. The job requires me to meet new people with new stories every single day. From these stories, I can learn many things to improve my life. I got the chance to really understand the need of people around me, their concerns and I can try to help them in any possible ways. That’s the uniqueness of becoming a journalist. You learn new things, every day throughout your career. Furthermore, I was once a news presenter on national TV. This is a perfect combination. I went out to search for the news and I have the chance to present it to viewers!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this? 

As a news journalist, I used to be given challenging tasks to cover important events. Among the most crucial task given was during the mystery of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which happened in March 2014. I held the responsibility of carrying out the first live broadcast throughout the day to bring the latest developments in that unprecedented incident. I believe that I did not only help unveiled the shocking news to everyone across the country but also to dig for a simple answer about that flight. I was then sent to Australia to hunt for the latest news and to get in touch with officials on the updates of the searching efforts. After that, the excruciating incident of Malaysia Airlines MH17 which follows four months after again has brought me as a major broadcaster who reported the incident live throughout the night. Pleased to carry out the duty as a professional, I also managed to successfully cover stories for both visits to Malaysia by President of the United States, Barack Obama in 2014 and 2015. When “Arab Spring” strikes in 2011, I immediately flew to Cairo, Egypt to espy the uprising. Apart from this, i was also assigned to the Darfur region of Sudan in 2010, where extreme poverty and tribal clang causing a serious humanitarian crisis.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”? 

I always a believer in work-life balance. Working hard is ok but most importantly, working smart as well. Look at the deeper impact of what you do every day; how does your work make life better for other people? How could you add more meaning to what you do every day? These are important questions, so spend time thinking deeply about them. If you feel that your boss is assigning more work than you can handle, then schedule a private meeting to discuss the issue. Let the management know that your excessive workload is leading to burnout. Come prepared with some options that could be considered for shifting certain tasks or projects to someone else.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story? 

My late father. He was the one who supported all he can offers for me to achieve my dream to become a successful journalist. I still remember in 1989, when I was still in my 3rd grade of elementary school, I got selected to represent my school in the inter-district storytelling competition. Of course at that age, I have less confidence to face other competitor’s various schools. But no matter how tired he is from his hectic office matters, he will summoned me to stand in front of him every single night and listen to my script of the story. He would then offered his advice and corrected my presentation. That year, I was the champion for the inter-district storytelling competition.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? 

Keep striving and giving your very best. I will forbid myself to easily feel satisfied with my achievement, but I keep telling myself that there are lots of other things I can do for the betterment of my community and the rest of the world. Maybe minimal, but that’s a good start to achieve greater success.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life? 

‘Challenge what the future holds’ This came from a song lyric by Desree, ‘You Gotta Be’. As we know how challenging the world nowadays, we can’t be stuck at a point and feel good about it. We must keep challenging ourselves to reach beyond our imagination and routine.

How can our readers follow you on social media? 

Instagram: izwanazirsaleh

Twitter: Izwan Azir Saleh

Facebook: Mohd Izwan Azir (this platform is a more personal and selective audience)

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