The finalists for this year's 24-hour National Youth Media Competition (NYMC) were revealed at the first of five half-day training sessions yesterday.
The NYMC, a competition which encourages media literacy and trains aspiring journalists in a newsroom setting, is organised by The Straits Times and presented by the National Council on Problem Gambling.
The competition received 57 entries this year.
Student representatives from the finalist teams - at least 14 teams from 12 schools have confirmed their attendance for the finals - learnt about news values, research and interview skills, and media ethics on the first day.
As part of one session, they role-played interviewing a principal on a new school rule she was introducing, in learning how to ask follow-up questions.
The sessions, which run until Aug 15, will equip students with skills on news writing, photojournalism and video editing, among other things.
Ms Serene Luo, editor of The Straits Times Schools department, which is organising the NYMC, said: "We're going into high gear with the training sessions, and we hope to help students up their game.
"Going by the quality of the entries we received, this year's final will be one to watch."
Going by the quality of the entries we received, this year's final will be one to watch.
MS SERENE LUO, editor of The Straits Times Schools department.
Ms Arfah Buang, a teacher from School of Science and Technology, Singapore, which has one team participating, said she hoped her students will "put together their various skills and abilities and come up with a product that they can be proud of".
"I don't really care if they win or not, I just want them to learn from this experience. We have a lot of interest in videography in our group, so I'm also hoping that these training sessions and this competition can help them improve and polish their writing skills," she added.
Ngee Ann Secondary 4 student Carl Benedict Canlas Rosell, 17, was very excited that his team had qualified, having filmed and edited its entry in two days because the members had changed their idea at the last minute.
He said: "I was going crazy. When I found out, I went onto all my social media, letting everyone know that we got in. "
Bukit View Secondary 2 student Jacob Teoh, 14, said: "When I grow up, and if my career is in the media field, I can use these skills (I learnt) today to apply to my job then. Also, I can use the skills to teach my schoolmates."
The competition culminates in a 24-hour challenge on Sept 4 and 5, which will simulate a working day in the newsroom, with teams receiving a series of assignments - to be revealed only on the day itself. These may range from conducting interviews to taking photographs and making videos.
The champion team will win $3,000 worth of prizes and a chance to shadow journalists at The Straits Times.