Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Penang BRATs Camp 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Interviewing people, writing articles, sorting out pictures and compiling videos – that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what we BRATs – short for Bright, Roving, Annoying Teens – had been up to during the four-day BRATs Camp that was held from the 13th to the 16th of March at Penang.

Specifically targeted for those in their late teens, I wanted to attend this camp to primarily broaden my perspective on journalism. And I guess I have got more than I’ve bargained for. By attending this camp, I now know that there is more to journalism than what meets the eye. It’s not all about writing. Journalism encompasses photography and videography among others as well.

We BRATs experienced journalism first-hand, and we had to work the hard way by sweating it out all day long. First, we had to walk the streets of Penang to collect data on its heritage and background, take pictures of buildings and structures of note, and also interview laymen, tourists and hawkers alike.

Then, we had group discussions to brainstorm on what we were going to do. Some of us handled the articles, some the photographs, and others the video presentations. Fatigue took its toll on us before long, but having awesome teammates really helped, especially in staying awake till 1-2a.m. to complete our assignments.

As much as getting practical workouts, we also had theory lessons from Ivy Soon, the overall program coordinator. Being an experienced hand, she gave us pointers on how to write concise articles, and showed us the difference between school essays and news and feature stories.

Besides that, Niki Cheong, another one of the coordinators and a prominent writer himself, highlighted the paradigm shift that the newspaper industry is undergoing at the moment. He said, “24 out of the 25 top newspapers are experiencing record drop in their daily circulation.”

This means that people are no longer waiting to read the news in the newspapers – they want the news as it happens. As he explained, “Last time, you had to find news. But now, news finds you.” He was speaking of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, which, believe it or not, have loads of potential to influence the way in which news is disseminated these days.

Of course, we weren’t sharpening our so-called journalism skills all the while. We had other fun activities, such as the 'Algorithm Dance' and also group presentations. There were three groups, and all the presentations had elements of music. Seriously, the presentations were good – funny, wacky and creative. As one of the coordinators pointed out, “This is the best we’ve seen in recent years.”

There’s no forgetting the food too. Going to Penang isn’t complete till one eats the world-famous Penang Char Kuey Teow, which was yummy-licious. The hotel we stayed at also provided scrumptious food, buffet style. All of us savored the food very much. There was sushi, spaghetti and loads of other tasty foodstuff, along with tempting desserts such as cakes, puddings and ice-creams.

Just like from other BRATs camps that had been held before, there have been participants who have go on to make it real big in life – bloggers, writers, doctors, artists, you name it. What I hope is that by having attended this camp, it would have a positive impact on my life too. And I know it would!

Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
◄Design by Pocket, BlogBulk Blogger Templates