Preeti is an award-winning freelance journalist from the UK who reports across Asia from her base in Singapore. For the last 13 years she has been writing and broadcasting for outlets worldwide including The Guardian, BBC, Al Jazeera English and Foreign Policy.
Preeti didn’t set out to be a journalist. She was a medical student at University College London (UCL) before a year studying anthropology gave her the wings to change course. She graduated with a first class degree in medical anthropology and medical sciences. This led to a Master’s in social anthropology at the University of Oxford where she focused on Southeast Asian cultures and politics.
Her first journalism job was as a reporter for The Indian Express in New Delhi, covering education and the environment. She fell in love with the city but moved back to London and later her home, Wales, to train as a multimedia reporter on the BBC’s Journalism Trainee Scheme. This led to a role covering politics for BBC London where she scrutinised the work of then London Mayor (now PM) Boris Johnson. As a political producer she also pursued stories on everything from the 2010 general election and homelessness to the London Olympics.
In 2012 Preeti set off for Asia again. This time it was to join the global news agency Agence France-Presse as an editor in its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong. She later became AFP’s Southeast Asia correspondent in Bangkok, reporting from Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. She covered stories including Myanmar’s transition towards democracy, organ trafficking between Cambodia and Thailand and the Khmer Rouge trials.
Preeti took the freelance plunge three years ago to focus on longer-form features. Some of her favourite stories in recent years include one exploring South Korea’s feminist movement and another looking at Hindu nationalism in India.
In 2009 she won The Guardian’s International Development Journalism Award for a feature exploring the impact of climate change on nomadic herders in Kenya. In 2016 Preeti was part of an AFP team awarded a special merit from the Human Rights Press Awards for their reporting of the Rohingya migration crisis. And in 2017 she was long-listed for a One World Media award for a story about hijabi cosplayers.