SINGAPORE: School papers to vie for best newspaper award

A Newspaper of the Year contest and a chance to offer school-event snippets to ST are what's in store for students

The Straits Times
Wednesday, December 10, 2003

By Lynn Lee And Jane Ng

The Straits Times will be holding a Newspaper of the Year competition for schools next year and also intends to give students a bigger voice in the newspaper.

These plans were announced yesterday at the start of the three-day Straits Times Media Club camp, aimed at helping schools start their school newspaper.

Schools would be asked to submit the two best editions of their newspapers published within the same year, which would then be judged by an in-house panel chaired by The Straits Times news editor Bertha Henson.

The details are still being fine-tuned, but the competition will take place some time towards the end of next year.

Schools can also get involved with The Straits Times on a weekly basis, by submitting snippets on school events to the Schoolnotes section of Monday's Education pages.

Said Straits Times editor Han Fook Kwang: 'We want to get students interested in current affairs and media, and we hope that this will encourage them to be more open to ideas and to be more creative.'

Acting Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam described the move to have a Newspaper of the Year competition as a 'neat idea'.

To a student who asked whether the ST Media Club would be accepted as a school co-curricular activity, Mr Tharman said he had no problems with it if principals were keen on the idea.

The 107 members of the media clubs will spend the rest of their time at the camp at News Centre in Toa Payoh North getting help on producing their school newspaper.

They will learn the entire process of putting together a publication, from reporting and writing to design and publishing from those who do it on a daily basis.

Electronics company Canon will also be helping out at the hands-on photography and videography sessions.

The camp will wrap up on the third day with a tour to SPH Print Centre in Jurong, for students to see how the newspapers are printed and loaded onto trucks to be delivered islandwide.

Some students have already begun to practise the tricks of the trade, with a group from Greenview Secondary and CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' producing a video clip on the ST Media Club for yesterday's launch.

Similarly, nine student photographers found themselves scrambling yesterday to meet their 'deadline' and submit their best shot of Mr Tharman.

Sharifah Rose Amie Ee, 15, from Greenview Secondary is keen on the videography session, so she can find out how the Channel i news bulletin is produced each night.

Added CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' Lee Pei Yueng, 15: 'I'm looking forward to learning more in the next two days, and also to see if I could consider journalism as a career.'