I don't know why the word rolled off my tongue, but I do remember saying I want to be a journalist at the age of ten. In fact, I had never stood back to consider what the job of a journalist might involve. All I knew is I had an overwhelming passion to write, so journalism became a prominent ambition.
In the beginning I only saw the glamorous side of the vocation. Watching journalists such as Christine Amanpour, Rosemary Church and Tom Clancy on CNN held me spellbound. I thought their job was terrific. Then the big dream became to work for CNN as a broadcaster.
It was a dream I held on to even after secondary school. But it wasn't until my undergraduate years that I began to think more deeply about why I wanted to become a journalist.
I thought more deeply about it because I went for an interview with a national daily. There were about ten of us battling for a two-week placement. And it was at that moment, round the conference table, that I began to think more deeply.
Everyone else had a clear, crisp idea of why they wanted to be a journalist. My reason was more of an instinctual desire. It wasn't so clear-cut in my head.
The instinctual desire remains. But now I have a greater awareness of the clout journalists possess. Journalists are a conduit for information and entertainment. They have the ability and opportunity to shape people's opinions and even lives. They can effect changes for the greater good of society.
Having listened to former journalists in my class, I know there are a lot of factors involved. Many times journalists are obliged to patronise the viewpoint of their organisation. It's not easy for journalists to cut themselves free from their organisations reins and act independently.
In addition economics plays a huge part these days. The key to survival for many media organisations is to stay in the competition. And this may have an adverse effect on their news values because they need to think about what will sell. There's more to it than promoting moral values.
Still I believe journalists do have a chance, even if slender, to make a difference. Not many professions have the indulgence of an audience directly and consciously patronising their products daily. I guess that's why I'm in it. I want to help people broaden their horizons - let the West see good things happening in the East and vice versa. Let's find practical solutions to problems such as binge-drinking. Let's talk change.
Probably I'm still viewing journalism through rose tinted glasses. As they say, the taste of the pudding is in the eating. Maybe a few years from now I wouldn't be sounding as idealistic.
I know there will be challenges every step of the way. A man reminded me of that when I was out on my patch news hunting. I tried to engage him in some small talk, but the moment he found out I was a student journalist he switched off. 'There are no seedy stories here', he insisted. The truth is, I felt very disappointed he should view me in such a light. Not every journalist chases after yellow stories.
All the same, I still believe journalism is a unique vocation (some people argue it is not a profession). Only time will tell what tune I'll be singing years down the line, and if this childhood dream of mine will live up to expectations...
A big thank you to everyone who has read this blog. Thank you so much for your contributions and comments, you've made my efforts worthwhile.