KDU student finds calling in the turbulent world of journalism

Chris with the local Afghans back in 2013 during his short visit to Afghanistan. Chris reporting from Syria in January 2014.
Chris is set to pursue journalism, living up his passion to travel, write and contribute to the global society by letting voices be heard and stories be told.  
SHAH ALAM, 12 January 2016 – For some young adult, life’s calling comes naturally to them, giving them a clear sense of where they will steer their ways into life. This remains true for Chris Lau Chun Wan, a young man whose feats have recently landed on the list of ‘11 Young Malaysians You Should Definitely Watch Out For in 2016’, published by the widely popular social news site SAYS.com.
The final year Bachelor of Communication student at KDU University College has been making waves in the field of journalism, inspiring many youth with his contribution in the world of journalism at such a young age.
Chris’ journey began when he was on a 7-month long backpacking trip around the world from 2012 to early 2013. During the trip, he landed in Afghanistan, where he spent 2 whole months in the war-torn land. Despite their hardships and the conditions of their land, Chris found home in the warmth and hospitality shown by the Afghans, who took him in as a guest. “What happened was that the people had mistaken me for a journalist when in fact, I was just a backpacker,” he reminisced, “I was totally taken aback when they took to me and pleaded me to get their stories out on how severe their situation has become and how desperately they needed humanitarian aid.”
“I was stunned and lost for words, being approached like that and looking at them in the eyes,” he continued, “After the trip, all I could think about was how I can contribute and help them some way. That was when it kicked in; I love to travel and I can write, thus I decided to pursue journalism. It was a way for me to do what I love and help people get their stories heard.”
It was that that drove him to pursue his Bachelor of Communication at KDU University College where he majors in Journalism, a beginning to his entry in the field. “Of course, I had to begin somewhere, and the lessons in KDU helped me with those first steps. I learned from the basics such as the proper writing formats for different media types, as well as the kind of content and writing for emerging mediums such as social and digital media,” Chris explained.
Since his fateful backpacking trip to Afghanistan, he now frequents conflict zones with the passion to use journalism as his own way of contributing to the global society. Chris often travels to conflict zones alongside non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who are on humanitarian missions. “For Syria, I worked closely with Malaysian Life Line for Syria, a local NGO, I’ve joined their mission twice so far and there was another time where I went there by myself.  Since my backpacking trip, I’ve went back to Afghanistan on my own twice, as well as several other conflict zones in the middle east such as Iran, Lebanon and Egypt. I’ve managed to travel around Asia too, I did an earthquake aftermath reporting in Ludian, China back in 2014,” he recalled.
Undertaking a major in journalism most certainly has set the ball rolling for Chris in terms of his future career path. The practical approach to the syllabus in KDU added on to his training in becoming a journalist. When inquired on his prospective career in journalism, Chris set his eyes on covering conflict zones full time, adding, “It would be a dream come true to be able to be a war correspondent for renowned news agencies such as Al Jazeera, BBC and the likes.”