The Straits Times invites all former staff to a year-end party

This story was first published in The Straits Times on Nov 15, 2013

The Straits Times is inviting all former reporters, foreign correspondents, editors, sub-editors, photographers, artists and administrative staff to a year-end party, and to get reconnected with the newsroom through an informal network.

"Over the years, we have had many talented and capable individuals as part of the team, and some have gone on to play other important roles in society, or branched out into new areas," said ST editor Warren Fernandez.

"We want to reach out to all of them and form an informal network, as we prepare to celebrate our 170 years in 2015. This is the start of that process."

The first of many such celebrations will be held at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel on Dec 10 - and anyone who has ever been part of the paper is invited. There will be a nominal fee for those who attend.

For the first time, the paper's annual year-end party will be open to former staff.

Former journalist Gerry de Silva hopes to meet up with old friends and make some new ones from his old stomping ground.

The former business correspondent, who was with the paper from 1976 to 1995, said he has also followed the changes in newsroom practices over the years, and it has been "nothing less than astounding".

"When I first joined, we used typewriters and had to share them - or rather, fight for them," he said. "Reporters have since gone from typewriters to personal computers to using digital devices like iPads, iPhones and laptops," said the Hong Leong Group's head of corporate affairs.

Former political reporter Teo Wan Gek said she is looking forward to catching up with friends from the newsroom. "Even though I still keep in touch with former colleagues informally, it's hard to meet others who have also left the newsroom," said Ms Teo, now a civil servant.

Others, like former tourism correspondent Krist Boo, who left in 2007, said setting up the network is a good idea to facilitate the passing on or exchange of knowledge.

"The ST newsroom holds much knowledge, ideas and networkers," said Ms Boo, now a senior vice-president of communications and marketing at Resorts World Sentosa.

"I don't know if we would spend all night gossiping or doing meaningful exchange, but bringing together all the clever and resourceful people, from past to present, is a great idea. It should be fun," she added.

Ms Linette Lai, who joined the paper in July, said she is eager to meet the reporters, whose stories she grew up reading. "We have all heard of newsroom legends - it would be nice to finally see them in the flesh," said Ms Lai.

"Good journalism never grows old."

Those interested in joining the celebrations next month should e-mail by Nov 22.

This story was first published in The Straits Times on Nov 15, 2013

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