SINGAPORE: A peek behind news for ST Media Club

100 students and teachers of member schools to get a first-hand experience of how journalists work, including an interview with a minister

The Straits Times
Friday, December 5, 2003

Adelene Loh, 15, has a burning question to pose to Acting Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

The CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' student likes the new integrated programme that lets students skip the O levels and do the A levels, and she wants to know why only a few secondary schools were allowed to offer this programme.

Adelene, who is in Secondary 3, will get a chance to put the question to Mr Tharman directly during a three-day camp that begins next Tuesday. The participants come from schools that belong to The Straits Times Media Club.

The interview with the minister is just one of the many ways in which at least 100 students and teachers will acquire first-hand experience of how print and broadcast journalists work.

Besides getting in on a media interview with a prominent newsmaker, the students and teachers will also get to meet Straits Times news editor Bertha Henson, Life! editor and columnist Sumiko Tan and other journalists.

The students will learn how to produce a page, complete with reports, pictures and captions, that will appear in the newspaper.

This is the first of a series of camps being organised by The Straits Times to help schools start media clubs, said SPH's head of editorial projects and branding, Mr Peter Khoo.

The idea is to engage the Secondary 1 to 3 students in an activity that is fun and interesting.

Said Mr Khoo: 'Students will get a taste of the real-life business of news, from front-end reporting to layout and publishing, from photography to shooting videos.' They will learn about taking news pictures from Straits Times photographer Terence Tan; and about videography from Channel i News assignment editor Cynthia Low.

A total of 32 schools have signed up to start these clubs. The newspaper's goal is to get students to take a keener interest in current affairs and produce their own newspapers.

Schools and students can email stclub@sph.com.sg for more information on this programme.

Going forward, the newspaper has drawn up even more exciting plans, including a school newspaper of the year competition and exchange missions with newspaper companies in the region.

Students will also see their work in print as editors are keen to publish student contributions in The Straits Times' education pages on Monday and in The Sunday Times' Generation Y pages.

Secondary 3 student Sharifah Rose Amie Ee, 15, has reported on soccer and school events for Greenview Secondary's newspaper. She is keen to know how Channel i puts together its news bulletins.

She is also looking beyond the media camp. She said: 'I intend to be a journalist and this will give me a chance to see what the job is like.'