Students learn about changes in media sector

The Meridian Junior College team, comprising (from left) Tan Yu, Jev Akshay and Nadia Liana, beat the second-placed Temasek JC team by just 10 points in Wednesday's competition.
The Meridian Junior College team, comprising (from left) Tan Yu, Jev Akshay and Nadia Liana, beat the second-placed Temasek JC team by just 10 points in Wednesday's competition.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The majority of junior college students now consume their news online, going by a straw poll of more than 350 students at Temasek Junior College on Wednesday.

Mr Yeo Sam Jo, a correspondent at The Straits Times, made his point that technology has disrupted the media industry and changed how people consume news - specifically in the last decade or so.

Speaking as part of the fifth session of this year's The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz season, Mr Yeo also fielded questions from an enthusiastic audience, which also consisted of students from Meridian, Tampines and Victoria JCs.

He spoke about the importance of widening one's world view by reading from a variety of sources, and that even trusted news sources often take different stances on the news.

Asked by a student about his opinion on satirical sites such as The Onion, he said: "It's all about expectations. You don't go to a satirical site expecting to read real news."

He added that some sites "were giving facts, no doubt, but facts can be 'massaged' ".

To that, Temasek JC tutor Francis Tong, who was the moderator, said to hoots of laughter and applause: "To be smart is to believe half of what you hear; to be wise is to know which half to believe."

During the quiz, it was the audience's enthusiastic participation that helped add excitement to the competition.

All four teams used a "Shout In" card, where audience members were polled for their answers. The students eagerly yelled out their answers, with supporters from the various schools calling out different answers to try to confuse opposing teams.

It was a close fight. In the end, Meridian JC won with 50 points, just 10 points ahead of Temasek JC.

Meridian JC team member Jev Akshay, 17, said his team played cautiously, adding: "We decided not to take any gambles."

Temasek JC team member Xavier Yu Zhengwei, 17, said: "We knew the answers to most of the questions in the quiz."

But it just so happened that his team did not know the answers to the questions that were posed to it, he added.

The winning team received $600 in vouchers, while the other teams each received $150 in vouchers.

The Big Quiz - a combination of a current affairs game show, talks by journalists who are experts in their beats, and weekly primer articles - promotes an understanding of local and global affairs among pre-university students.

Co-organised by The Straits Times and the Ministry of Education, with Singapore Press Holdings Foundation as its presenting sponsor, The Big Quiz is into its sixth year.

The final round will be held at Eunoia JC on May 12. Follow the action at www.straitstimes.com/tags/the-big-quiz

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2017, with the headline 'Students learn about changes in media sector'. Print Edition | Subscribe