PETALING JAYA: Seats for the Best School Newspaper Awards 2003 workshop were limited to four participants per school, but that did not stop 13-year-old Chong Wen Shan from bringing all the tips and information back to his other schoolmates.
Equipped with a camcorder, the Form Two student of SMK St Francis Institute, Malacca, videotaped the two-hour session conducted by The Star news editor Wong Sai Wan and Star Online editor Soo Ewe Jin at Menara Star here on Saturday.
“I will make five CDs to be distributed to the other participants who could not make it,” said Wen Shan, who has been put in charge of doing the layout for his class newspaper as he is well-versed in the Adobe Photoshop software.
The workshop was an eye-opener for the 112 students and 41 teachers from 35 primary and secondary schools who came to pick up tips on how to put together a four-page school newspaper.
They learnt about the five W’s and one H (who, what, when, where, why and how), and the inverted pyramid style of news writing.
Wong covered the basic principles of news writing while Soo explained the main features of a newspaper layout. They then fielded questions and gave advice.
“It was very thought-provoking, especially about writing the truth and keeping our stories short and sweet,” said 16-year-old Fatin Hamimah from SM Teknik Selangor, Sungai Buloh.
Students were excited to get to work as soon as the workshop ended.
“The students are so eager to start on their newspapers and have already lined up ideas on what stories to include and the design of the masthead,” said SMK St Francis Institute English teacher Poon Cheng Nui.
Wen Shan is confident that his class newspaper will win.
“We have in-depth coverage and information from various sources, and we have a great six-member team, each specialising in different areas of the newspaper,” he said.
First time trying out her journalistic skills, Jeannette D’netto, 15, said the workshop was very useful and informative.
“This contest is a great idea as it teaches us the importance of teamwork and combining our ideas,” added the SMK Taman Sri Muda student.
Primary school students Tharmelinggam Muthusamy, 10, and Ong Jia Siang, 11, from SK Seri Bintang Utara, said they were excited to create their own newspapers.
“Now I know what a newspaper really is and how to write good articles. I’m confident my class will produce the winning entry,” said Tharmelinggam, who enjoys reading investigative novels.
SMK Padang Midin English teacher Patricia Das Isaacs travelled all the way from Kuala Terengganu to attend the workshop.
“I enjoyed the way the workshop was presented, very light-hearted yet enlightening. I now have more tips to share with my students,” said Patricia.
She added that the workshop was a good way of getting students to read the newspaper and use it to improve their English.
“We need to expose students to the language, especially in Terengganu. Hence, my school is getting 170 students to participate in this competition.”
Due to the many queries received from schools and in consideration for those who could not get hold of the entry form, the organisers have decided to extend the closing date for registration by another week to July 21.
Schools that have difficulty obtaining the entry form which appeared in our June 25 Star-NiE supplement can either download it at www.thestar.com.my/education/nie or call our customer care unit at 03-7967 1777 for a copy to be faxed over.
The Best School Newspaper Awards 2003 is co-sponsored by Hotlink from Maxis and is the sixth in a series of competitions organised by Star-NiE.
A final workshop will take place on July 19 at KDU College, Penang.
Those interested to attend the workshop may call 04-647 3883.
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