FAQs on the National Youth Media Competition, a student journalism contest

The National Youth Media Competition, organised by The Straits Times, is returning this year and is currently accepting entries.

It is presented by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).

The competition aims to promote media literacy and train aspiring journalists. It is open to Secondary 1 to Sec 5 students from Ministry of Education secondary schools, or the secondary section of a full school under MOE.

Here are some commonly asked questions about this year's competition.

Q: My school is interested to send teams. What should my school take note of when forming teams?

A: Schools can send multiple teams. However, each team's composition must be unique (the same student cannot be a member of more than one team) and each team should comprise six members. Members have to be in Secondary 1 to Secondary 5. It is a good idea to have teams made up of students with different strengths such as writing, photography, videography, art and design.

Q: Why do teams have to comprise six students?

A: Shortlisted teams will qualify for the 24-hour challenge which has been designed for teams of six.


Q: What are the requirements for the entry that each team is expected to submit?

A: Each team will be required to submit a school news product, which will be the basis for the shortlist into the final competition. The product can be a school newsletter, online publication, radio broadcast, podcast or video.

Each team's submission must be mainly created by the team members and cannot have been created earlier than Jan 1, 2017.

A team that does not have a ready-made product to submit can create a new product specifically for the submission.

Different teams from the same school must submit different entries.

Q: Do entries have to be based on a certain theme or topic?

A: There is no particular theme or topic that entries have to adhere to as long as entries are based on reporting about what goes on in the school (eg: school events or programmes).

Q: How do I send in entries?

A: Hardcopy entries should be marked National Youth Media Competition and sent to:

ST Schools
The Straits Times
1000 Toa Payoh North, News Centre
Singapore 318994

You can also e-mail links to files: stnymc@sph.com.sg

Online submissions must be received as online links or on a shared drive in common formats such as .pdf, .mp3, .avi, .mpeg4 or .mov.

The closing date for submissions is June 30, 2018. Entries have to reach the organiser by this date.

Q: What should I do to make sure that my entry has been received?

A: For hardcopy submissions, please post them at least 3 working days before the deadline to ensure that they reach the organisers in time.

For e-mail submissions, please ensure that your attachments are not more than 15MB to prevent them from being marked as spam or rejected by the e-mail server. Please share big files through links to shared drives or file transfer systems.

Whether you send the entry via post or e-mail, you should look out for an e-mail acknowledgement from the organisers.

The onus is on schools to ensure that entries reach the organisers by the stipulated deadline.

Q: What are the organisers looking for when they review the entries?

A: Aspects will include the quality of storytelling and story angle, quality of visuals (where applicable), coherence of the entire submission. The demonstration of ability or potential to create content across multiple platforms is a bonus.

Q: What are the key dates for the competition?

June 30, 2018: Deadline for submission of entries.

End-July 2018: Shortlisted teams will be informed and invited for training.

August 2018: Training for shortlisted teams.

September 4-5, 2018: 24-hour challenge.

Q: What can students expect when they take part in the 24-hour challenge?

A: The 24-hour challenge will take place over September 4 to September 5 and it will be a continuous 24-hour stretch. It is designed to simulate what journalists may experience in the course of a working day. So, teams will be given multiple assignments on the day itself, and they will be expected to complete the assignments by the stipulated deadline(s). Students can expect to conduct interviews, take photographs, produce video and social media content, write stories meant for print and online and do layout and design, among other things.

Q: What kind of training will students receive?

A: Teams that are shortlisted for the 24-hour challenge will be invited to attend training provided by the organisers. The training will be held over several afternoons in August. Each training session will focus on a different aspect; some are skills-based, such as interviewing and writing techniques, and some are technical training for software that will be provided for use during the competition.

Q: Must all team members attend the training?

A: We encourage as many team members as possible to attend the training sessions so the experience will be meaningful. However, should time be a constraint, our suggestion would be for teams to send a few members or at least one member for each training session (need not be the same people each time), who can then go back and share the knowledge and skills learnt with the rest of their teammates.

Q: Do teachers have to accompany the students for training?

A: Teacher accompaniment is not required for the training sessions. However, teachers are welcomed to sit in for the training briefing about the competition format, if they wish to.

Q: Can teachers accompany students during the 24-hour challenge?

A: In the interest of fair play and to ensure that teams do not receive external help, teachers will not be permitted in the competition venue(s) during the 24-hour challenge. You may arrange for transport drop-off/pick-up for your students at the beginning and end of the competition.

Q: What are the prizes?

A: The champion team will receive a job shadowing stint with ST Schools, plus $3,000 worth of prizes. The first runner-up and second-runner-up teams will receive $2,000 in prizes and $1,000 in prizes respectively.

Q: I have more questions. What should I do?

A: E-mail the organisers at stnymc@sph.com.sg