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the keshvani press employment
Globalization = Mass Communication = Internet
Nisar Keshvani is 25 years old and lives in his native Singapore. He is the editor of fineArt forum, an online magazine that allows him to focus on some of his interests, including new media technologies, media convergence and Web content. He has been a journalist with the (Singapore) Straits Times and writes for several online publications.

At an early age, Nisar discovered that he had a talent and passion for writing. As a student in Singapore, he worked as a correspondent for a Filipino trade publication, co-directed two award-winning short films with his brother, which were awarded the Special Jury Prize in the 1993 and 1994 Singapore Short Film Festivals, and he was production co-ordinator for Singapore's first feature length film. At the age of eighteen, armed with a Mass Communication diploma, he went to work for a telecommunications firm in Vietnam.

Upon his return to Singapore, Nisar enlisted for National Service and joined the Police Force. After basic training, he was posted to write for their in-house publication - Police Life. Nisar was keen to study Journalism but since the course was not available locally, he managed to get a bursary to study the subject at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. He took a short multimedia and web design course, and decided to work on Communique Online, the school's publication. For his final-year project, he worked as co-ordinator of this e-zine. For the first time, Nisar and other students transferred radio and television news stories produced for a local community station onto the website. The project was so succesful that it won two best publication awards from the Journalism Education Association of Australia.

After his degree, Nisar thought it was time to return to Singapore. But fate had something else in store for him. "I had completed my final projects, when my supervisor asked me about my future plans," relates Nisar. "The supervisor was working on a large-scale research project, and asked if I could develop a website. He also encouraged me to consider post-graduate studies. I told him I would love to pursue a master's degree, but was concerned about financing it. Imagine my surprise when, a week later, he offered me work as a tutor and resident Webmaster!"

The rest, as they say, is history. Nisar's masters thesis consisted of research on Singapore and Melbourne's national newspapers and how the Internet has affected journalistic work practices in 2000. He presented conference papers based on his findings in Melbourne, Singapore, Brisbane and Sydney.

Meanwhile, he lectured about online journalism at QUT and taught students web design and Internet research skills. He also became the editor of fineArt forum, a not-for-profit online news service, dedicated to providing information to the global arts and technology community. The year 2000 was particularly thrilling as he reported on the Sydney Olympic Games and interviewed several athletes.

Besides being active professionally, Nisar has contributed to the Jamat, first in Singapore and then Australia. He was appointed as the Malaysia/Singapore Graphics Coordinator last year and Youth Coordinator for the Brisbane Jamat. And he still remembers the 1991 Al-Ummah Camp he attended in Bangladesh, as "one of the best experiences I've ever had," and which he found invaluable in helping him define his identity.

Nisar is excited about the Internet's potential, as he explains excitedly, "it's amazing; where once we took weeks, or months to send a simple message overseas, today it can be done in a matter of seconds! Wouldn't it be wonderful to set up a network for Ismailis globally? Just imagine talking with a fellow in Tajikistan, and learning about their culture first-hand!"

So what are Nisar's plans for the future? He is not certain, but says he would like to use his skills for the benefit of others. "Perhaps," he says, "to combine my interest in the media, Internet, and education, and introduce our community to technology's potential." Clearly, the Jamat has a lot to gain from his experience and communication skills.



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