ST magazines win award for young readers' programme

IN, Little Red Dot score for approach to civics, character and citizenship education

Less than a month after its last win, The Straits Times' young reader department notched another award - the 14th global or regional accolade since its 2005 inception.

Judges of the 2015 Pacific Area Newspaper Publishers' Association (Panpa) Advertising & Marketing Awards named it Best Young Reader Program for its efforts, which included two marquee editions of student publications of its weekly magazines, IN and Little Red Dot, to commemorate Singapore's 50th birthday, as well as a campaign to get young people to help the community, among other things.

The Panpa annual awards recognises publishers across Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and South-east Asia. Its awards ceremony was held in Sydney, Australia, on Sept 10.

The young-reader nod recognises content and events run since September last year under its submission, The Straits Times - A Year In The News.

The paper's effective, sustained, year-round approach to teaching civics, character and citizenship education addressed readers from nine to 29, and beat seven other finalists, including The Advertiser and Sunday Mail in South Australia's Children's Literacy Month project, as well as Newcastle Herald's School Newspaper Competition project.

Of the calibre of submissions, The Newspaper Works' chief executive Mark Hollands said: "The finalists and winners showcase the creative, compelling and effective ways in which newspaper media promote their essential contribution to readers' lives, and to advertiser and media agency strategies."

Ms Serene Goh, editor of ST Schools, said of this win: "We are so chuffed because it means our stories are getting people to do a little more for marginalised groups and communities, and that's a great reward for all of us as journalists."

Among the national campaigns run by its six-person team was a slate of six special editions, including some with digital teachers' lesson activities, explaining the Budget, as well as issues of national security, which got teachers and students talking.

It also ran a service-learning hackathon, called the MCCY-Straits Times Idea Jam, a collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, which armed participants with interviewing and research skills to help them shape solutions for community groups.

From that event came the idea for a loom band-making workshop for people with disabilities and their caregivers to bond, which took place twice in February this year. Later, in March, participants set a Singapore record for making the largest number of rubber-band bracelets in an hour.

The same event also received a silver award for Public Service from the 2015 World Young Reader Prizes, given out by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers on Sept 3.

The awards are presented by The Newspaper Works - an industry body that promotes the value of news, and researches media trends and audience behaviour, among other things - annually in conjunction with the Future Forum. The awards attracted 450 entries this year, the largest to date.

•Schools interested in subscribing to The Straits Times Schools publications for secondary and primary schools, IN and Little Red Dot, please contact Ms Amy Leo at or Ms Carmen Choy at

•See what Idea Jam is all about at

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 15, 2015, with the headline 'ST magazines win award for young readers' programme'. Print Edition | Subscribe