Several changes take effect today in the newsroom of The Straits Times as the next generation of editors takes on a bigger role in shaping the daily's content across platforms.
ST editor Warren Fernandez, who is also editor-in-chief of the Singapore Press Holdings' English/ Malay/Tamil Media (EMTM) group, said this would give them scope to develop professionally, even while the more senior editors continue to guide them.
"These changes are aimed at strengthening our ST newsroom and serving our readers better," he said.
"To do so, we need to keep refreshing the team so that we stay connected with our readers. The moves also allow our talented younger colleagues to take on new challenges and grow professionally."
Taking the helm as news editor is Mr Marc Lim, 40, who will oversee Singapore news coverage across print and digital platforms.
Mr Lim, who was sports editor, said he is confident that ST's corps of brand-name reporters will help it stand out.
"People like Christopher Tan for transport, Salma Khalik for health and Sandra Davie for education, just to name a few, are names Singaporeans have come to trust and respect," he said.
"At the same time, the team is well balanced with hungry, up-and-coming young journalists who bring with them new and interesting ways to tell stories in the digital age."
He leaves the sports desk where he was editor for four years and a journalist for nearly a decade. He also supervised The Sunday Times during the past year.
Assisting Mr Lim in managing the biggest section in the newsroom is associate news editor Abdul Hafiz, 43, moving up from his previous position as deputy news editor. Mr Hafiz will also supervise The Sunday Times.
Mr Zakir Hussain, 36, will be the new political editor. He became a political reporter after joining ST in 2005 as a Singapore Press Holdings scholarship holder and later helmed ST's Indonesia bureau.
Among the hot-button issues his team will tackle are changes to the elected presidency, manpower and population issues, the terror threat and leadership succession planning, Mr Zakir said.
"A key challenge will be to ensure that ST continues to provide authoritative, balanced and comprehensive reporting on political developments in Singapore," he added.
As ST continues to strengthen its online and mobile presence, helming the digital team will be Ms Ong Hwee Hwee, 41. She takes over the role of ST digital editor from Mr Eugene Leow, who moves to a new digital strategy role for the EMTM group.
Ms Ong said her team will strive to win the attention of time-starved readers by reporting on what matters to them, offering information and analysis that they find useful, and using tools such as analytics to understand reading preferences and trends.
"Digital is not just about chasing stories that go viral. What I would like to do is to showcase ST's rich content, from breaking news, and features, to commentaries," she said.
"There will always be new ways to tell a story and new tools to enhance the reading experience - from interactive graphics to virtual reality."
The Life section will be headed by Ms Tan Hsueh Yun, 48, who is excited to lead the features section she grew up reading.
"I'd like the section to be known for the kind of quality writing that got me interested in becoming a journalist," said Ms Tan, who was most recently the food editor.
The new sports editor is Ms Lee Yulin, 46, who has two decades of experience covering sports at ST.
She said swimmer Joseph Schooling's Olympic gold heralds a new and exciting era for local sport. "The onus will be on us to match such performances with coverage that is similarly outstanding," she said.
Said Mr Fernandez: "The new editors at some of our sections will bring fresh ideas and energy to the table. My senior colleagues and I will work with them to continue to put out the best products we can, across platforms, to meet our readers' needs."