I am Viriya Paramita Singgih, a Jakarta-based writer and reporter. Like many others, my writing journey is closely related to my reading journey since childhood.

I spent countless hours reading only manga when I was in elementary school, before, one day in 2000, my father brought home J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I devoured, and fell in love with it. From that point on, I started expanding my reading pool, including by reading children’s novels such as Emil of Lönneberga by Astrid Lindgren.

Nevertheless, it was not until high school that I began to develop an interest in writing, all thanks to Adhitya Mulya and Raditya Dika’s comedy books. After reading their works, I plucked up the courage to kick off a blog and start sharing my daily experiences and thoughts.

I then decided to study journalism at Universitas Multimedia Nusantara (UMN), a private university owned by media and publishing company Kompas Gramedia Group. I initially dreamed of becoming a sports reporter, which I thought would be a perfect combination of my two passions: football and writing. But little did I know that my four years on campus would change everything.

During my journalism studies, I had the opportunity to meet and interview a wide range of people – whether a child beggar, artist, or lawmaker, and write stories on Indonesia’s social and political issues. Furthermore, I was also forced to read widely in order to keep abreast of new developments, enrich my point of view, and gain exposure to various examples of good writing.

All of these made me realize that my true passion was actually for journalism, not for football or writing per se. I wanted to be a good journalist, the fact-based storyteller that the public could rely on.

Right after I graduated from the university at the end of 2013, I joined the newly founded GeoTimes weekly magazine. Since the beginning, I was tasked with writing features on different issues, including public policy and human rights, as well as reviews on visual and performing arts.

I, along with fellow reporter Tito Dirhantoro, was then assigned to cover the journey of 12 people volunteering as teachers in remote regions in Papua. Our reports were published in a book entitled Ayo Sekolah, Papua! (literally translated as Let’s Go to School, Papua!) in 2014.

I resigned from GeoTimes in early 2015 to be a freelance writer and theater practitioner. My background as a theater performer with local group KataK since 2010 paved way for me to teach theater at several private schools in Jakarta. I also started freelance writing for a number of online publications, including film studies and criticism site Cinema Poetica, football news and analysis site Pandit Football, and the currently-inactive longform journalism site Pindai.

In the same year, I won a grant from Pindai to publish a book entitled Menjejal Jakarta: Pusat dan Pinggiran dalam Sehimpun Reportase (literally translated as Cramming Jakarta: The Center and Periphery in Reportage), which is an anthology of reportage about people living in and around Indonesia’s capital.

I joined The Jakarta Post, Indonesia’s leading English news outlet, in January 2016, as I sought to hone my English writing skills. After six months working as a cub reporter, I was posted to the business desk in July. As a result, I was forced to learn things I previously had zero interest in, including about the stock market, banking sector, and manufacturing industry.

Surprisingly, my performance was deemed satisfactory and I became a permanent business reporter starting in October 2016. I was eventually assigned to cover energy and mining. For about 1.5 years, I regularly wrote stories on electricity, oil and gas, as well as mining commodities.

Then, my capability to break news was recognized by Bloomberg News, and I was hired by the wire service in mid-2018 mainly to cover the Finance Ministry, Bank Indonesia, and the Presidential Palace. I gained valuable experience during my time with Bloomberg, as I had the opportunity to cover various major events, including the divestment of the mining giant Freeport McMoran’s shares in its local unit in Indonesia, the 2019 presidential election, and the capital city relocation.

However, I decided to resign from Bloomberg at the end of 2019 to become a freelancer once again. After 3.5 years covering business and economics, I thought it was the right time to start specializing in what I was most passionate about: arts, culture, and human-interest issues.

In November 2020, I was invited by Evi Mariani, a former managing editor at The Jakarta Post, to take part in a public service journalism initiative called Project Multatuli. I agreed to join the team as I was excited with the project’s idea of giving a voice to the voiceless and publishing in-depth reports. This initiative was launched in May 2021, and ever since then, I have been working there as a full-time journalist.

12 thoughts on “About”

  1. I hope you keep writing. I really like your writing and I read your stories through project multatuli. I just had my first job after graduation and if you still have problem with living cost, I would like to donate when I get my first paycheck. Thank you and keep continue pursuing your dream as a journalist!

  2. I just read on Project Multatuli telling a story about your experience in becoming a Shopee Express Courier. It was sooo mind-blowing. I had never imagine that you would dedicate yourself that far just to write the story from different perspective and be able to elaborate it profoundly. Thank you for writing such an amazing article. Now, I know that every package which courier delivered is priceless. Keep up your good work dude! Stay sane and healthy amid current situation 🙂

  3. Dear my son Viriya Paramita Singgih. Brother, I am very proud and touched by you when you disguised yourself or actually felt working as a courier at Shopee Express. Did you know? tears came to my eyes reading all your stories, I felt how our brothers and sisters in the line of work like them are very heavy, tired and extraordinary challenging and noble work.
    Opening the eyes of the heart for friends to give meaning to life, Pandemic drive us hard to struggle for life.
    Once again, I salute and respect you, you really mean your job as a journalist. Good luck and keep fighting for reviews like this. Do not border yourself…..be humble and positive vibes , Cheers

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Working as a courier during the pandemic is indeed challenging. Hopefully, the government can introduce better policies for all couriers in the near future.

  4. Hai, saya suka banget kisah anda sebagai kurir Shopee. Baru itu yang saya. Itu pun keponakan yang nge-share. Keep on writing! Congrats!

  5. Hi! I just finished reading your writing on Project Multatuli about being a Shopee Express Courier. Such a beautiful and profound piece, taking us, the readers, through an immersive journey with you and getting your point across. Excellent choice of words (especially the blunt curse words lol), and the article’s structure (part I, II, and so on)(Sorry if I’m not making any sense because I’m not a writer, hence I don’t know how to properly compliment your masterpiece).
    Kudos for all your dedication to finding out what’s really happening behind the screen: the pain and effort the couriers went to for a meager amount (which is quite depressing, really). I’m also very awed with your inspiring life story in this page.
    Thank you, do keep on writing the good stuffs, and I wish you health and prosperity amidst this uncertain times 😀

  6. Halo. Terima kasih telah menulis tentang kurir. Bagus sekali tulisannya. Buku Menjejal Jakarta juga bagus. Saya suka tulisan-tulisan di buku itu. Terus menulis ya, dan semoga tetap sehat. Aamiin 😊🙏

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