ST schools newspaper contest goes multimedia

Calling all news hounds, the all-new The Straits Times National Youth Media Competition is on.

Produce the news in print, online and video formats, and you could win $3,000 and an internship in the newsroom.

Formerly The Straits Times National Schools Newspaper Competition, this year's 24-hour challenge gets a makeover: Teen reporters must generate stories across multiple platforms.

They will have to design the front page of The Straits Times; post online news updates and complete a short news video.

In previous years, the challenge was to produce a four-page tabloid overnight. Team sizes have also been upped to six per group.

Organisers decided that the nine-year-old competition was due for a fillip.

"Young people are most fluent in tweets, posts and instant images, and we wanted to bring up that immediacy in our event," said Ms Serene Goh, editor of the broadsheet's magazines for schools, IN and Little Red Dot.

Supporting the expanded format are new partners: main sponsor OCBC Bank, along with Canon Singapore, Samsung and Adobe.

OCBC Bank's head of group corporate communications Koh Ching Ching said: "OCBC is happy to be involved in this project to promote creativity and education outside of the classroom environment.

"The ST National Youth Media Competition is another very meaningful project that fits our overall corporate social responsibility programme."

Mr Edwin Teoh, assistant director for consumer business marketing of Canon Singapore, the imaging and technology partner, said: "We aim to inspire and empower the next generation of budding photographers and journalists with the knowledge they require in order to achieve their dreams."

To qualify, teams must submit a school news product in one of the following platforms: videos, slideshows, blogs, radio shows or print.

Teams of six representing the top 10 entries will then get to attend a media boot camp ahead of duking it out at the 24-hour final.

Gold award winners will receive $3,000 cash as well as a three-week internship at The Straits Times newsroom.

Silver award winners will get $2,000 and Bronze award winners get $1,000.

Also up for grabs are two Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablets, Canon Pixma printers, as well as $500 merit prizes and $200 consolation prizes.

The contest is open to students from Secondary 1 to 4 or the equivalent.

Closing date for submissions is Oct 10.

Schools interested in taking part should send their news product in an envelope marked "The Straits Times National Youth Media Competition" to Singapore Press Holdings Limited, 1000 Toa Payoh North, News Centre, Singapore 318994.

sherquek@sph.com.sg