Monday 19 October 2015

Students from the National University of Singapore (NUS) swept all four places allocated to Singapore participants in a journalism competition to attend the Future News Conference 2015, an international news conference organised by the British Council and held in Edinburgh from 4 to 6 September. 

The second edition of the conference, which took place at the Scottish Parliament, brought together more than 70 aspiring journalists from over 20 countries to participate in a series of workshops and masterclasses. 

The four winners from Singapore were Chng Yan, Celine Leong, Desmond Koh and Isabella Chua, whose short essays on the topic of journalism were selected by a panel with representatives from Reuters, the British Council and local newspapers.

Key speakers at the conference included Paul Ingrassia, Managing Editor for Reuters News, Sue Turton, an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered the wars from the frontlines in the Middle East, and other industry leaders from CNN, BBC, Buzzfeed and STV.

The speakers covered a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from the economics of advertisement in the media industry to digital news to war reporting. The participants were also treated to a live conference between news reporters at Reuters on the day’s news topics. 

Sharing her takeaways from the conference, Chng Yan said: “Across the speeches, some of the themes that came up strongly were the growing role of social media in journalism today, that journalism is a calling and that there are always many ways for young people to achieve their ambitions and they should never stop trying.” 

The winners share a common interest in writing. Among them, Chng Yan, Celine and Desmond had taken the News Reporting and Editing module offered by the NUS Communications and New Media department. 

Writing holds a special meaning for Celine, who feels that it is able to shape people’s perspectives. “I feel that writers occupy positions of privileged power, allowing them to give a voice to the voiceless in our society,” she said. 

Moving forward, Isabella expressed her desire to continue writing, regardless of the profession she is in, saying, “My options are still open, but I will probably do something that combines writing, creativity, design and research.”

Inspiring the next generation of global citizens – Future NEWS 2015 aims to inspire talented young people with media ambitions to become journalists with a passion for freedom of the press and a belief in media integrity. 

It will expose over 100 undergraduates aged 18 to 25 to leading international media figures in areas from editorial management to news, sports and business reporting and give them hands-on practice in everything from video to writing and social media. 

The delegates are from 20 countries with varying levels of media sophistication and editorial balance. Given the rigorous selection process, many can be expected to become the editors and opinion formers of the future in their countries with an understanding of ethical standards and an appreciation of and affection for British values. These participants’ mere attendance will bring extensive coverage in local media. 

The event in the Scottish Parliament building on September 4-6 is unique in the international media calendar. It will help secure Britain around the world as a centre of excellence in media values and training. 

Future NEWS 2015 is supported by the British Council, international media company Reuters, the main British university journalism schools along with a large partnership of international and British media organisations.

For More Information, please contact:

Shabir Aslam
British Council Director of Education
Office Number: +65 6470 7161
Mobile Number: +65 9230 6872

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

We work in more than 100 countries and our 8,000 staff – including 2,000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year by teaching English, sharing the arts and delivering education and society programmes. 

We are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter. A core publicly-funded grant provides 20 per cent of our turnover which last year was £864 million. The rest of our revenues are earned from services which customers around the world pay for, such as English classes and taking UK examinations, and also through education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. All our work is in pursuit of our charitable purpose and supports prosperity and security for the UK and globally. 

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