Career Spotlight: Reading News For A Living

By June Ramli

Rosli Mohd Nordin never expected a career as a television reporter.

It was rather unplanned how it came about when he was offered the opportunity to be apart of the country’s pioneering television station.

“A college mate from University Malaya told me of an opening, ” he told in a recent interview. 

Looking back, Rosli strongly believes that it was pure luck that got him the role.

“I joined the company not knowing anything about the job as my background was in publishing and advertising.

“There were many male broadcasters that were cast for the job but many of them left as they felt that it wasn’t a suitable role for them.

Rosli (right) interviewing the former Prime Minister of Malaysia Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Supplied

“I was the only one who stuck it out and the editor finally told me, why don’t you try out the role for two weeks and if you like it, we will proceed by giving you a contract,” he said. 

That was how Rosli got his sudden start in the broadcast journalism sphere in late 2001 which lasted up till 2018.

Looking back, the current Assistant Manager for Traxx FM said everything fell into place paving the way for him to take the role.

“I was offered another full-time job with a magazine but I went with RTM instead because the office was closer to my house,’’ he recalled.

Rosli said he learned the ropes of the job while in the company itself.

“I didn’t have proper training. My daily exposure to the job was my training. To be a good broadcast journalist, one has to be street smart.

Rosli (left) being presented with the Best TV journalist award by former PM of Malaysia Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Supplied.

“Look at how other anchors present the news and I always look up to CNN anchors.

“At first it was a struggle, learning how to write scripts for your live coverage and speaking live on camera but I managed to learn quickly and worked for 17 years before moving on to an assistant managerial role in an English radio station,” he said.

Looking back, Rosli said the job was contractual for the first few years before the company decided to absorb him as a full-time staff.

RTM or Radio Television Malaysia is a government owned broadcasting agency much like the ABC in Australia.

Rosli said his work as a broadcast journalist has taken him to some of the world’s best destinations where he had rubbed shoulders with the creme de la creme and he has visited over 40 countries to date.

“To be a great broadcast journalist you have to be able to gel with everyone, from the man on the street right up to the billionaires,” he said.

On reading the news, Rosli said the job was not an easy one to do as one has to be prepared mentally and physically when reading the news. 

“You have to know a lot about the political and global situations around the world.

“You must also understand what you are reading,” he said.

On the stand-ups, Rosli said they were divided into two, live and pre-recorded. 

“You need to know what you are saying during the live broadcast and be mindful of your words. 

“Don’t use swear words or say something silly because sometimes the camera would be rolling and you might have said something really unprofessional which can land you in hot soup later,” he said.

He added that stand-ups can make or break a broadcast journalist. 

“Please make sure that you know the name of your guest and address them with their proper titles, try and control your nerves.

“The best way to do that is to understand the subject matter well,” he said. 

Reflecting back on his time as a broadcast journalist, Rosli said the experience has served him well as he has sprung off to a multitude of freelance work such as masters of ceremonies (MCs) and also dabbling as a part-time actor for commercials.

“You’ll get these opportunities when you are on TV so be sure to manage your time well, finish your work and do this on your free time,” he said. 

On whether, broadcast journalism was a good career choice to go into?

“This job won’t make you super rich, unless you supplement it with freelance jobs and other consulting businesses,” he said. 

Do you have an interesting career that you’d like us to feature? Contact us at and we will do the rest.

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