And why the trophies went to...


  • Education
  • Sunday, 12 Oct 2003

Upper Secondary Category

 

CHAMPION 

NYNE Correspondent4 STM, SMK Seksyen 9, Shah Alam 

The school's latest broadband facility made the front page of their newspaper and rightly so as not many schools in Malaysia have such state of the art facilitiesinstalled. 

However, it was commendable that the reporters did not try to sweep the dirt under the carpet by hiding thefact that one of its classrooms had been vandalised. This report was the page lead on page 2, with a picture of thevandalised room, complete with graffiti on the wall. 

What impressed the judges was balanced news coverage, the variety of news as well as the well-written style. The layout was neat and clean and looked very professional.There was good use of tint to box up stories to differentiate them. 

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS 

E34 Sc 5, SMJK Katholik,Petaling Jaya 

An impressive and attention grabbing cover, with a good range of school news. Aninteresting article was on the school's efforts to “clean up society”, especially attitudes and the mind. It described how one student shared his views on pornography andthere was even a confessionof-sorts by a show of hands in the midst of caring teachers. The story was accompanied by a sidebar on the pros and cons of an open attitude towards pornography that is based on some research on the Internet.  

The overall layout is commendable,with clean lines and good useof pictures. The back page featurescomics and some tidbits on foodand entertainment. 

The Source4 Jupiter, SMK Sri Permata, Petaling Jaya 

What impressed all the judges was the layoutof the newspaper – the first impression wasexcellent. Pictures were dramatic and usedeffectively to create a good visual impact. The stories were laid out in a neat and organised manner with an interesting front-page story on the launch of the school's cyber café which was a great way to keep students pounding away on the keyboard within the school premises as opposed to cyber cafés. 

The school's Parent-Teacher Association certainly had a hand in this meaningful project. 

The only drawback was that the rest of thepages focused more on world news thanschool and community events. 

Seafield Sight6G, SMK Seafield, Subang Jaya 

The masthead is strikingly attractive,with a catchy tagline:insight...foresight...read inside! Itis also one of the few entries to usegraphics to enhance its story oncheerleading. 

There is a food review of theschool canteen’s offering on theback page. Elevated to the statusof a “cafeteria”, the canteen's stapleof nasi lemak, meehoongoreng and nasi pataya weresampled and critiqued. The finding– not quite value for moneyand could be improved! 

The layout is uncluttered andcoloured pictures are used to liftthe grey. Some thought wentinto the straps at the top of thepage too, with “Local Scoop”, “School Scope” and “Life in Sight” on pages 2, 3 and 4 respectively. 

The Buzz4 Adil, SMK Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya 

Interesting headline “Vikings Ahoy” to getreaders to pick up on the most excitingrecent event in the neighbourhood – theopening of IKEA's megastore in MutiaraDamansara. It was accompanied by a pictureof a large crowd at the launch event, lendingcredibility to why this makes good frontpage news for the school paper. 

Among the interesting features are aninterview with local actress Deanna Yusoffwhich threw the reporters into a frenzy; anopinion poll on whether monthly tests werea necessity and if students should be forcedto come to school in the boring old uniform;and an interview with the schoolprincipal Chan Sim Ai which revealed thefun loving side of her. 

Pretty good layout with use of variouselements like snippets and polls to offsetthe chunks the words. 

 

Lower Secondary Category

 

CHAMPION 

The Elite2 Usaha, SMK Subang Jaya, Subang Jaya 

The Elite is an excellent effort for this category – its front page is eye-catching with an attractive blurb panel on the right. There are page straps to indicate the content in the respective pages and the layout is pleasing with interesting use of icons, for example the Malaysian flag for a story on “patriotic month” and a cartoon character with a speech bubble ongeneral knowledge. 

The back page featured an interesting internetbased article on pierced body parts titled “Looking cool hurts” with four pictures to illustrate the content. 

Page 3 had an ad to announce its school senior prom night with details of the event and who to call, complete with a drawing of a dancing couple amidst the stars! 

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS 

Teen Issue2A, SMJK Kwang Hua, Taman Eng Ann, Klang 

The paper covered a variety of topics, including a story about the school cleaner, the hardworking and amiable Loo Mooi Mooi, who has been with the school for morethan 20 years. The article, which describes Loo's typical day and offers quotes fromothers about her, is well written and interesting. This certainly shows that students are quick to see things through reporters’ eyes – what is seeminglycommon or mundane can make a good human interest story. 

A poignant element in the newspaper can be seen in a letter written by a classof 14 year-olds to the boy charged and convicted with the murder of his tuitionteacher's daughter. Signed by 45 students, the letter is a show of comfort and hopefor the boy, with encouraging words like, “Never, ever give up hope in anyone,anything and most importantly, yourself.” and “We hope that you will continue tokeep hope burning and alive inside your heart. Remember, if you fall, there willalways be hands somewhere, near or far, to catch you.” 

Alma Mater3 Gemilang, SMK Convent, Jalan Peel, Kuala Lumpur 

The popularity of Lizzie McGuire andHarry Potter among the young did notgo amiss in Alma Mater. Both thesefamous fictional personalities werehonoured with stories in the newspaper,an inclusion guaranteed to makethe newspaper a must-read amongthe young. 

A picture of students from theschool posing with Dr Mahathir andthe Jalur Gemilang made it to thefront page of Alma Mater. With theBest School Newspaper Awards coincidingwith the Merdeka month, itwas little wonder that many storiescarried a patriotic theme. 

Another big event for the schoolwas the opening of a branch of theCarrefour hypermarket right nextdoor. 

Students' Talk2S, Sekolah Sri Garden, Kuala Lumpur 

News about the school's events, for example a workshop for Maths teachers and students' visit to a dialysis centre, were featured on the front page while on the other pages, there was a potpourri of other interesting stories on the seven wonders of the ancient world, lyrics of “Song of Summer”, movie, music and book reviews as well as a graphic illustration of stress. The back page was devoted to sports. 

There were some catchy headings like “Fire drills not for thrills” and “Weird buttrue”. Of course, an examination focused society like ours would find a timetable for the public exams quite useful. 

People's Source2 Cemerlang, SMK Butterworth, Penang 

A possible suicide bid grabbed theheadlines at People’s Source. Everyonethought that Gurtej Singh was about tojump from the third floor of the schoolbuilding. But all was made clear later -he just wanted to get a clearer view ofthe new school block for his Art project. 

In addition to drawing in readerswith dramatic news, the People’s Sourcealso covered the everyday goings-onincluding the annual Co-curriculum andCanteen Day. This year, the IndianCultural Society won for best exhibition. 

The newspaper also added a touch ofhumour to the news with original andhumorous drawings of Malaysian signlanguage as well as articles on wellknownpersonalities in the school. 

Primary Category

 

CHAMPION 

The Eye - The Students' Observer 6M, SJK (C) Chung Hua, Seremban 

The Eye featured a truly momentous occasion on its front page – the 90th anniversary of Chung Hua High School. Among the highlights were a school concert, lion dance performance, charity bazaar, and a banquet. Another interesting front page story was on The Birdman of Seremban, Affis, a 32-year-old who spent RM10,000 to build a large cage in his backyard. 

Also worthy of a story was a Chung Hua teacher whose bag was snatched in front of the school gate, who was robbed after alighting from a bus. Her experience scared her so much, that Madam Lim has decided to drive to school from now on. 

Overall, the Eye caught the judges eyes' with its varied, interesting and `real stories', from unbecoming parents who jump over the school gates to a boy who threw a plastic chair at his classmate. It was a deserving champion. Scores of pupils were involved in the stories with several receiving bylines. 

 

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS 

Inspired - The Whiz Kids Newspaper5 Ikhlas, SK Taman Tun Dr Ismail (2) KL 

Special children stole the hearts of the writers of these school. They spent a day with the special kids and observed first hand the care and patience needed to look after them. From peeing on the floor to watering the grass instead of the plants. 

The front page featured interviews with the school's headmistress and the coordinator of the special classes, Puan Zahrah, who revealed that special children love to make friends with normal kids. 

With Dr Mahathir's retirement near, the writers decided to feature our beloved PM “who has brought fame to Malaysia across the globe.” A nice touch was Chef Afiqah's baked cheesecake recipe and the self-drawn cartoons on the back page where the patient visited the “Wrong Doctor!” 

Inspired certainly moved the judges with its theme and heart wrenching and motivating stories, which made this entry stand out. 

12 Pigeons - Quality News Always5A/B, SK USJ 12, Subang Jaya, Selangor  

The front page 12 Pigeons featured a survey of how friendly SK USJ 12 pupils were. Contrary to a foreign news report that labelled Malaysians as unfriendly, almost 90% of the 100 Year Five pupils given a questionnaire said they would help a blind person across the street or pick up a dropped pen. 

Other than this startling finding, many of the stories in 12 Pigeons focussed on reading. The school library, reading via the Net and Program Nilam were featured in the inside pages. 

12 Pigeons was certainly a refreshing read for the judges. Its clean, uncluttered look won points - as did the back page on what a great teaching tool NiE (Newspaper in Education) is. 

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