Journalism, Meaning Over Money & Understanding Asia: Su-Lin Tan (SCMP)

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Su-Lin Tan (SCMP): Episode Themes

  • Losing a job during the GFC and pivoting careers. Advice for others in similar situations.
  • Diversity and racism in Australia.
  • The Australia-China relationship.
  • The lack of understanding about Asia.
  • The journalism industry in Australia, HK and advice for young journalists.
  • Pushing your comfort zone and being curious.

From Accounting to Journalism

Born in Malaysia, Su-Lin came to Australia in her early teens. After losing her finance job during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), Su-Lin embarked on a journey to pursue meaning over money.

Over 2 years, Su-Lin sampled a variety of potential careers such as law, child-care, chemistry and at one point, wanted to be a concert pianist. Eventually, she settled on journalism and hasn’t looked back. 

About Su-Lin Tan

“Su-Lin Tan joined the Post in 2020 after the Australian Financial Review where she covered housing and commercial property, Asian business and street talk and investigations. She is a qualified accountant and worked in investment banking and funds management both in London and Sydney before becoming a journalist.” Find out more here:

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1:20  Su-Lin’s introduction, life in Malaysia, moving to Australia.
3:45 – Why she chose accounting as a career.
4:40 – Losing her job during the 2008 Financial Crisis. How and why she pursued journalism.
7:40 – Advice for others who may be affected by COVID-19 and in similar positions as Su-Lin was.
1025 – how she got her break in journalism.
11:30 – her time at the Australian Financial Review.
13:00 – the bamboo ceiling in Australia, how her Asian background was an advantage in the newsroom.
14:25 – thoughts on the lack of diversity in journalism.
17:20 – how she got stories, what was her favourite piece?
20:25 – why she moved to the SCMP. Differences between journalism in HK and Australia.
22:15 – about her stories on racism in Australia.
27:20 – thoughts on the Aus-China relationship.
35:00 – Australia and its relationship with Asia. Lack of grassroots education about Asia in Australia.
38:25 – is Australia multicultural or multi-cultures?
39:50 – how do we build better relations between countries and within our own societies? Be curious, be uncomfortable, explore the world.
43:35 – thoughts on journalism in Australia, revenue models, the impact of social media, South China Morning Post & Alibaba.
50:20 – advice for young journalists.
51:50 – biggest challenges in Su-Lin’s career. How she pushed on.
54:30 – closing thoughts.