27 recipients for SPH and SPH Foundation Scholarship Awards

Singapore Press Holdings journalism scholarship holders (from left) Goh Ruoxue, 19, Tan Yu Jia, 22, and Christie Chiu, 19. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Mr Abdullah Harun, who has been working in SPH's printing press section for 32 years, saw his sons, Muhammad Irfan (left), 17, receiving a junior college scholarship, and Muhammad Rusyaidi, 18, receiving a polytechnic scholarship. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

SINGAPORE - Current and pressing issues such as the trade war between US and China, economic volatility, and the dangers of climate change may have come under the spotlight in news reports.

But Singapore Press Holdings' titles also creates innovative content that proposes solutions as well, said SPH chairman, Dr Lee Boon Yang, at the firm's annual scholarship awards ceremony yesterday.

The Straits Times' Climate of Change series, which ran over six weeks to highlight climate change's global impact - from the rise of green energy to how global warming affects the ingredients in a plate of nasi lemak - and included videos and online elements, was one such product, he pointed out.

"In today's multimedia age, we engage our audience by delivering quality and creative products to build trust and loyalty with our readers," said Dr Lee, adding that this is reflected in the international awards won. For instance, The Straits Times Asia Report, a magazine which curates some of the best features on the region, was named Best New Print Product and Best in Asia/Pacific for Regional/Local Brands at the International News Media Association Global Media Awards in May.

"For our journalism scholarship recipients, these awards are clear indicators that SPH is able to provide our journalists and staff with an innovative ecosystem to compete for a wider audience,'' Dr Lee added.

He said SPH journalists abide by "the highest professional standards to ensure their reports and stories are accurate and reliable" because the group "prides ourselves as a credible source of news that readers can trust."

Twenty-seven scholarships were presented by SPH and SPH Foundation this year, including its very first Singapore-Industry Scholarship (SgIS) award. SPH is one of the organisations participating in this multi-industry scholarship in partnership with the Singapore government, which aims to groom future talents in Singapore's strategic sectors like infocomm media, transport, and social services.

Mr Muhammad Rilwan, 20, with his parents, Mr Mohamed Haniffa and Ms Nur Nisha (second from right), and his aunt, Ms Gular Begum. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

The award was presented to Mr Muhammad Rilwan, 20, who will be studying Information Systems at the National University of Singapore (NUS) next year after he completes his national service.

"With the world becoming increasingly digitalised, the role of media has evolved to become extremely important. I am looking forward to overcoming challenges that await in the near future," Mr Rilwan said. "My parents are very emotional about me winning the scholarship. The ceremony served as a good recognition for not only the efforts I've put in, but also the support my parents have given me."

Ms Christie Esther Chiu, one of the three journalism scholarship recipients, said she grew into a more confident person after her internship stint with The Straits Times. "If my story was challenged, I had to be willing to go back and check if I did anything wrong. If I did, I'd rectify it. If not, I had to stand up for myself and my work," said the 19-year-old, who will be studying liberal arts at Yale-NUS.

The other two to receive the journalism scholarship were Ms Tan Yu Jia, 22, and Ms Goh Ruoxue, 19, both of whom are taking communication studies at Nanyang Technological University.

Fourteen scholarships were also presented to children of SPH staff and newspaper vendors, such as Mr Abdullah bin Harun, who has worked in SPH's printing press section for 32 years. His two sons, Muhammad Irfan and Muhammad Rusyaidi, received a junior college and polytechnic scholarship respectively.

"We're actually a family of eight. All of us help out with part-time jobs here and there but this scholarship really is a big help so we can focus on our studies," said 17-year-old Irfan.

Nine Lim Kim San Memorial Scholarships, a bond-free scholarship, were also awarded to students of modest means to pursue languages and humanities.

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