From researching credit card trafficking to exposing the abuse of college benefits, Alexandra Lee’s US internship has whet her appetite for investigative reporting.
The Macleay student returned to Australia this week with a fresh perspective on her future journalism career.
Ms Lee was chosen to spend two weeks at the San Francisco Centre of Investigative Reporting (CIR) as part of Macleay College’s journalism scholarship. She was selected by a panel of judges for her multimedia investigative piece on the use of social media by terrorist organisations.
The 28-year-old from Leichhardt described her experience at the CIR as “life changing”. She participated in research programs like Operation Open Market, an online identity theft and credit card trafficking case the CIR were working on.
“I used online US court systems to research those already indicted and those facing trial over these charges,” she said.
This investigation also required Miss Lee to chase up attorneys representing the defendants facing trial on these charges for interviews.
“The organisation and their journalists were truly inspiring and have transformed how I view journalism and news,” she said.
Ms Lee departed for the United States with an idea of the career path she wanted to pursue in the industry. Now that has changed.
“I was certain my media career would be in breaking news and broadcasting” she said. “It wouldn’t be a stretch to say I have come home and changed.”
She is set to graduate from Macleay College at the end of this year with a Diploma in journalism, with the valuable experience from The CIR. Miss Lee already has plans to travel back. “If anything was possible I would try and go back to CIR… I’m already planning to go back to the US,” she said.– Greta Levy
Top photo supplied by Alexandra Lee.