Students question news coverage of religion at The Big Quiz talk

The role the media plays in religious dialogue in Singapore came under the spotlight at Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) on Friday.

At the final of six campus talks leading up to the inaugural Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz, or The Big Quiz for short, students fielded questions on whether the recent City Harvest Church court case deserved to go on the front page of The Straits Times, and how the broadsheet reports religious disputes.

ST Schools programme editor Serene Goh and copy editor Yen Feng gamely tackled such questions from an auditorium of 350 students after Mr Feng's talk on religion in Singapore.

Mr Feng, who covered the religion beat from 2007 to 2011, started his talk by posing 10 True-or-False questions about religion in Singapore to the students, to get them to reflect on their perceptions of religion.

Sharing local trends in religion over the last 30 years and past news reports on religion, he also urged students to think about issues in religion rather than tiptoe around them.

During the question and answer segment, he shared his experiences reporting on religion.

Previous talks at other campuses such as Hwa Chong Institution and Temasek Junior College have covered current affairs topics running the gamut from sport to politics.

Alongside the talks, the broadsheet has been running a series of primers on current affairs topics every Friday. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education is providing teaching resources on these topics that GP teachers can use in classroom discussions.

The talks, articles and lessons will culminate in The Big Quiz. All 23 pre-university institutions have signed up for the preliminary round, which will take place on July 25.