ST wins journalism award for Idea Jam

Journalist Ang Yiying from The Straits Times holding the World Young Reader Prize for public service (silver). With her is Dr Aralynn McMane, Wan-Ifra's executive director of youth engagement and news literacy.
Journalist Ang Yiying from The Straits Times holding the World Young Reader Prize for public service (silver). With her is Dr Aralynn McMane, Wan-Ifra's executive director of youth engagement and news literacy.PHOTO: COURTESY OF RUTH MAYO

Impact-journalism event held with ministry gains global kudos in public service category

Challenging young people to report on their experiences as they climb a mountain, explaining the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris to children, and retelling a World War II bombing on WhatsApp.

These were among the ideas honoured at the 2015 World Young Reader Prizes held in Mumbai, India, yesterday.

At the 17th annual awards, given out by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (Wan-Ifra), The Straits Times was also honoured for its MCCY-Straits Times Idea Jam.

Last October's event saw students and adults work with experts like ST journalists to shape ideas for non-profit groups, while learning about research and interviewing.

They pitched their concepts to an expert panel, with the best qualifying for the National Youth Council's Young ChangeMakers grant to turn the ideas into reality.

The four-day event was accompanied by a print and online campaign to inspire service learning - which combines classroom instruction with community service.

The collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth received a silver award in the public service category, which recognises outstanding civic engagement projects.

Accepting the award was Ms Ang Yiying, a journalist with The Straits Times Schools team which helmed the project. Said ST Schools editor Serene Goh: "Journalism has always brought attention to what is needed in the community, with stories that drive social innovation. Idea Jam allowed us to share some of those ideals with participants and I am really proud of that."

It was the Schools team's 13th international or regional win since the department began in 2005.

There was no top award given out in the public service category. Also receiving the silver award for public service were newspapers Mathrubhumi and Malayala Manorama, both from India's Kerala state.

Some 23 awards were given out. Indonesia's Kompas Daily paper bagged the World Young Reader News Publisher of the Year award for its efforts to encourage young readers to be more active in their communities. Its ideas included getting them to report live as they trek up a mountain, and starting a mangrove conservation programme.

France's news media received the top prize in the special category of "teaching freedom" for the way it explained the Charlie Hebdo terror attacks and their significance specifically to young readers, such as through graphics, explanatory videos and special newspaper editions.

Germany's Heilbronner Stimme newspaper won the top prize in the digital first category for retelling the story of a World War II bombing on social media app WhatsApp.

The awards were presented at the three-day Wan-Ifra India Conference & Expo, which began on Wednesday with a keynote address by Mr Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group.

Dr Aralynn McMane, Wan-Ifra's executive director of youth engagement and news literacy, said the winners "lead in causes that matter to young people".

The Straits Times is also a finalist in the Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (Panpa) Best Young Reader Programme. Results will be announced next week.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 04, 2015, with the headline 'ST wins journalism award for Idea Jam'. Print Edition | Subscribe