Our Reporter Malini Yugendran earns a doctorate in media studies

Her thesis will reveal ‘the climate of fear,’ in the national media sector

Pride and Honour: Dr Malini Yugendran (Dr Hayma Malini Radakrishna) (Photo Supplied)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, December 26, 2022

We take much pride and pleasure in announcing that our Auckland-based Reporter Hayma Malini Radhakrishna, also known as Malini Yugendran, has been conferred with the title of ‘Doctor of Philosophy’ by Auckland University of Technology (AUT).

A certificate issued by the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor of the University on December 22, 2022. said that she has successfully completed the prescribed programme of study and has satisfied all statutory requirements for this qualification.

The Certificate allows her the title of Dr Hayma Malini Radhakrishna or Dr Malini Yugendran.

About the Thesis

Dr Malini chose ‘Identity, Community, and Creativity: Indian Media Workers and Broadcasting in Singapore’ as the subject of her thesis.

“My thesis was about identity navigation and negotiation of ethnic Indian media workers in Singapore’s television media sector.  The thesis explicated their precarious work environment, their sense of identity, their community identity and how it plays out in the content they curate,” she said, speaking to this Reporter.

Dr Malini said that she interviewed 25 media practitioners as the basis for the narratives that formed a part of her thesis and that the dissertation took longer than anticipated, due to a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the Covid-pandemic.

Twenty-three people interviewed sought anonymity, leading to her thesis and documentary being placed under an embargo.

This perhaps demonstrates the climate of fear afflicting the national media sector.

Dr Malini and her husband Yugendran Vasudevan with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the 13th Annual Indian Newslink Business Awards held at the Trusts Arena on November 29, 2022 (Photo Supplied)

“I am planning to write my thesis as journal articles and attempt to publish them, protecting the names of the people interviewed under anonymity. I am grateful to these media workers for allowing me to access the realities of their lives,” Malini said.

Indian Newslink will be pleased to publish the articles, should she so desire and should the necessary permission be granted by AUT. The travails of people in the media, the challenges that they encounter during the course of their work, the constraints they experience with their superiors and peers and the brickbats that they get from the public are all confrontational issues often not narrated. The world of media in general and that of Journalism, in particular, is wrought with hazards and the resultant pain.

About Malini Yugendran

Dr Yugendran joined the Indian Newslink team on October 31, 2022, rich with more than 20 years of experience in the media industry in Singapore and New Zealand.

As an Executive Producer, she demonstrated high levels of proficiency and expertise in communication and media strategies. Her contributions to the communication industry have been consistently recognised and rewarded by her employers.

Communications and Project Management, backed by training in Communication Studies are her strengths, which benefit the companies and organisations with which she is associated.

Among the special professional attributes of Dr Malini are Written Communication, Content Development in Audio, Video and Digital Media, Cultural Awareness, Strategic Planning, Marketing and Advertising, Conflict Resolution, Collaboration and Employee Retention.

As well as earning experience in telesales at a large commercial organisation in Auckland, she was also a Casual Lecturer at AUT.

Dr Malini is married to Yugendran Vasudevan, the only son of the famous playback singer, the late Malaysia Vasudevan, who also sired two daughters.

A chip off the old block, Yugendran is an established singer and actor with dozens of films and hundreds of shows to his credit. He established Rambutan Media Works Limited along with his wife in Singapore.

The couple has three sons- Visashan Naarayan, Kishan Kutty Naarayan and Darshan Naarayan Nair. Their careers were progressive and life was good.

Dr Malini Yugendran and Yugendran Vasudevan with their sons Kishan Kutty Naarayan, Visashan Naarayan and Darshan Naarayan Nair (Photo Supplied)

Migration to New Zealand

Dr Malini’s future began to reshape as she was offered a placement at the LaTrobe in Melbourne, Australia but the Scholarship from AUT was on offer that could not be missed.

However, moving out of Singapore proved difficult.

“After establishing ourselves and our company in Singapore, uprooting and moving was not easy.

However, the passing of my mother Vasadala Devi Narayah Govindasamy changed the situation. She lived with us for 17 years and the fact that she was no more was unbearable. We thought that a change of scene may do us all good,” she said.

However, relocating to New Zealand, a far-away country and recommencing life as a student brought with it several challenges.

“Raising three children on the grow, managing a household and studying at the University did not come easy. Employers here insist on ‘New Zealand experience,’ which took me to full-time employment with one of the largest commercial firms in Auckland. Life was beginning to move again, until Covid-pandemic stuck, creating more hardships,” she said.

Today, Dr Malini has a sense of achievement and considers her job as a Reporter at Indian Newslink a highlight of her career. The job takes her to people in various vocations and vicissitudes, which she considers a highlight of her journalistic career.

She is thankful to her husband and children.

“Their support has been instrumental in our move to New Zealand. They are the purpose of my life and I will always cherish their love and affection. As I dedicate my Doctorate to my late mother, I am also grateful to my mentor, the late Dr R Theyvendran and my Professors Vijay Devadas and Peter Hoar. I believe that a new chapter has begun in my life’s journey and I will strive to be worthy of the credit bestowed on me,” Dr Malini said.

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