For almost an hour, 20 budding young reporters fired a barrage of questions at Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong on Tuesday morning about the volunteer youth corps announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally.
The mock press conference was the first assignment of the day for the teenage participants in the inaugural Straits Times National Youth Media Competition.
The students, aged between 13 and 16 years old are from schools such as Xinmin Secondary, School of the Arts, Raffles Institution, Singapore American School. They asked Mr Wong a number of questions including: "Why the urgency to tackle volunteerism now?"; "How do you intend to get young people, who are not interested, to serve?" and "Why are youths being targeted for volunteerism but not adults?" They got personal too, with one student asking Mr Wong what sparked his interest in volunteerism.
The Straits Times National Youth Media Competition is a 24-hour challenge that is open to students between Sec 1 to 4 or of the equivalent grade. Previously called The Straits Times National Schools Newspaper Competition, the rebranded competition introduces multimedia elements for the first time. For the rest of the day, the participants - a total of ten teams of six - will have to film a news video, post online breaking news updates and design the front page of The Straits Times. The challenge ends at 9am on Wednesday.