July - Nov ʻ04 | Issue 01
A semesterly publication
- A School of Communication and Information Newsletter -
PRISM Awards 2004
Warren Fernandez visits SCI
Chronicle 10th anniversary
SIRC makes it big in UK
Dear SCI Graduate,
Greetings from my colleagues and me here at the School of Communication & Information! I am writing from a newly
completed fourth floor extension on what used to be the school building’s roof. More on this in a later article.
Let me begin by saying that I am not asking you for money in this newsletter. Often, when I tell alumni that the School
wants to make a stronger connection with them, a common response is a look of concern that we are asking for money. So let me
repeat: I am not asking for money in this newsletter. Now that I’ve clarified that and gotten it out of the way, let me tell you why
we want the connection.
A top university requires three elements: good infrastructure, good faculty and good students, including the alumni. Of
the three, good students and a strong alumni connection may seem the least likely to contribute to the makings of a great university.
But, in fact, good students challenge the faculty to stretch themselves intellectually, making teaching a joy. Whisperings of
our excellent student body and teaching environment, in turn, attract more first-rate faculty, which attracts more good students
and more top-notch faculty and so on, creating a virtuous cycle. This virtuous cycle brings fame and recognition to the programme
and the University.
The biggest triumph for a programme is a great alumni body that contributes to society in research, employment, and
ideas. The quality of these contributions determines the programme’s and university’s buzz. A good buzz makes fresh graduates
hirable and sets off another virtuous cycle of attracting good faculty and students. So you see, a a strong student and alumni
body is an essential part of a great programme.
Alumni Day is on November 27th and I hope to see you there. We’ll be giving tours of the building to show you the new
fifth floor, the renovated fourth floor, and changes in the School. I’m also looking forward to seeing familiar faces and hearing
about what you are doing now.
I will be updating you twice a year about developments in the School and facilitate connections among alumni through
this newsletter. There is much to be proud of in SCI, and I want you to be connected with it.
Ang Peng Hwa
Connexscions - Connecting You and Us
Who would have thought that
choosing a name for a newsletter is
We met. We brainstormed. We threw ideas back
and forth, debating the good, the bad and the
ugly, considered and consulted numerous people:
the teachers, the students, the Dean, and of
course, the alumni.
Only the best names could have made
it through such stringent criteria. Out of the
dozen names we came up with: “Connexscions”,
“@SCI” and “SCIdeas” made the cut.
Ultimately, it was YOU, the alumni
who made the choice. Close to 50% of the
alumni voted for “Connexscions”; 30% chose
“@SCI” while the remaining picked “SCIdeas”.
“I like Connexscions, it’s sophisticated
and stylish.” Nizamudheen Ishak, one of the
“Connexscions”, derived from the word
connexion in French, essentially means connections.
It represents the hope that current students
and faculty of SCI will connect with ex-students
who once, like us, studied and played in SCI.
This newsletter serves as a bridge between
the school and the alumni. We look forward
to hearing your feedback.
Please contact us at connexscions@ntu.
edu.sg. Even the name of the newsletter has yet to
be cast in stone.
Come celebrate NTU Alumni Day with us this
November 27! NTU and SCI will be planning
a day of exciting activities for you. Take the
opportunity to catch up with faculty members,
or simply take a trip down memory lane and
reminisce about your time in SCI with fellow
alumni. Also, come admire the sparkling new
facilities on SCI’s top floor!
Refreshments will be provided. For more
details, contact Ms Chew Ying Ying at
firstname.lastname@example.org or Assistant Professor
Lee Wai Peng at email@example.com.
SCI Name Change Positions It as Asia’s Leading Institution
The School of Communication Studies (SCS) was
renamed the School of Communication and Information
(SCI) in 2001 as it expanded to include
the Division of Information Studies, like many
communications schools in the West.
The new name has positioned SCI as
a leading institution in Asia, incorporating both
tracks in communication and information.
With its well-rounded academic focus,
the school is also able to attract more researchers
and professors from Asia and the West.
“The name ‘SCI’ indicates that communication
is the process while information is
the content. The key outcome is innovation and
ideas,” said Dr Lee Chun Wah, Division Head for
Public and Promotional Communication.
Apart from gaining international
recognition for the many winning projects, SCI is
equipped with a very strong program.
Dr Ang Peng Hwa, Dean of the School
of Communication and Information says, “Alumni
should know that our work is being recognised
for their significance and they can therefore hold
their heads high when they meet competition from
PRISM Awards Comes to SCI
Think big – that was their inspiration. Indeed, they made it big. SCI students Lye Peixian, Deng
Yihan, Nai Ying Jiin, Jasmine Yang and Yang Yanni received the prestigious 2004 Public Relations in the
Service of Mankind (PRISM) Award for their project Colors for Life 2003: Campaign for Club Rainbow
The campaign project, completed in 2003, topped the “Students project” category and received
an award of excellence.
Group leader Lye Peixian, a fourth-year student, said, “It was a sweet bonus for us because when
we were conceptualizing and executing the campaign, we did not expect to participate in PRISM, and (to)
eventually win the award.”
The group was motivated to work with Club Rainbow Singapore (CRS) on a public campaign
after the organization had to cancel a fund-raising event 2003 due to SARS.
While they are thrilled to have received the recognition, Peixian and her group remain firmly
rooted to the ground. “We were very thankful for a supportive client. We had little restrictions and were
given plenty of freedom in all aspects of the campaign. They were helpful and supportive and it wouldn’t
have been a success if it weren’t for them,” she said.
Dr Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, the project supervisor, was all praise. “This
SCI Team at the PRISM Awards
They were extremely
cooperative and worked as a true team, sharing all the toil and fun of a demanding campaign,” he said.
The PRISM Awards, now in their eighth year, were created by the Institute of Public Relations of Singapore in 1987 to recognize and reward excellence
in public relations and communications in Singapore. The awards, which are presented bi-annually, aim to encourage creativity, originality, and best
application of public relations and communication practices across all sectors of the economy, in commercial as well as non-profit activities. -- AY
Two SCI Second-Year Student Projects Selected For Prime-Time National TV
Parkour and Hall Privacy Broadcast on Channel i
SCI students continue to make the school proud.
Last semester, two second-year student video news
stories were selected by Channel i for their 8:30
news bulletins on May 5 and 6, 2004.
The two broadcast projects, Parkour and
Hall Privacy, were given priority time during the
news program and acknowledged as SCI student
projects with the student producers’ photos shown
at the end of the clip. This was the first time that
a professional news broadcast has given credit to
independent producers for their work.
The two stories were chosen out of a
group of 22 final term video projects from the
Broadcast Journalism class. Jennifer Lewis, editor
of SPH Channel i news, was invited to view
and comment on the Broadcast Journalism class
projects. She singled out Parkour and Hall Privacy
as news stories worthy of broadcast because
Parkour was an eye-opener to many viewers -- few
knew of the existence of such a group! (And) Hall
Privacy was a well-told story that gripped the attention
Parkour, an energetic sport invented in Paris
16 years ago, was recently introduced to Singapore.
Practitioners of the sport are called tracers. The story
showcased a group of players called “tracers”, their
gymnastic ability and passion for the sport.
Hall Privacy delved into the controversial
issue of privacy in campus hostels. It brought to light
the concern of the Office of Student Affairs for protecting
and taking care of students who may be in danger
inside their rooms and the students’ dissatisfaction of
the free access of hall managers to student rooms.
To view the selected projects, please go to
SCI’s website or go directly to http://www.ntu.edu.
“Parkour” producers from left to right:
Cheong Kai Lin, Lim Tian Yun, Cheong
Fung Wai Angela, Lan Gek How
Communication Research FYP Published At JCMC
An FYP from the graduated batch of 2002 was selected and published in April this year in an acclaimed scholarly journal, the Journal of Computer-Mediated
Communication (JCMC), Volume 9 No.3, after passing its stringent peer-review process. The three students from the Division of Communication
Research (CR) who wrote the paper are Lee Bee Hian, Sim Li Chuan and Trevor Tan Mon Kiat
“It’s very gratifying to see that SCI undergraduates can make a contribution to the scholarly community by publishing in this prestigious peerreviewed
journal,” Dr Benjamin H. Detenber, head of CR division said.
Published by the International Communication Association, JCMC is a Web-based journal founded almost a decade ago that focuses on the
emerging field of computer-mediated communication (CMC). The publication, produced quarterly, is a premier journal for CMC research in the world
The study -
periment. The findings p
extent than they can in face-to-face interactions.
For all the help they received during their final lap in SCI, Lee said, “To the faculty, thanks for all the guidance and patience with the less than
academically brilliant, but normal people like us.”
If you are interested in taking a look at the published work, please check it out. http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol9/issue3/detenber.html
EBM Final Year Projects
Showcased in Singapore Festivals
Several outstanding short films produced by SCI
final year students were screened at various local
film festivals. These Final Year Projects (FYPs)
received positive reviews from the judges for
their creative ideas and commendable work.
Order Your Happiness Now!
Fan Shu Fen, Toh Yian Nee, Ng Kian Hwa
This film was selected for the Singapore Young
Guns festival in May 2004. Singapore Young
Guns showcases work from schools worldwide,
screening outstanding short films of emerging
student filmmakers. This pseudo-documentary
traces the rise and fall of The Wonder Pill, with
opinions from Singaporeans.
Chia Chun Kit, Melissa Yuen, Awi Ismail, Jason
Since its screening at the Singapore Young Guns
in May 2004, the film was chosen to compete
in the 2004 International Student Film Festival
Hollywood in early November. The 20-minute
short film follows the male lead, Joshua, in his
search for the truth of something that has always
been in his mind. In the process, he leaves the
people around him exasperated and hurt.
The Last Flight of the Red Butterflies
Marc Ling , Foo Huey Yih , Denise Yong, Ang
This film not only won the FYP award for having
the highest FYP grade, but was also featured
in Singapore Short Cuts in March 2004, which
seeks to raise awareness and promote local
filmmakers and their works. It was also shown
in Short & Sweet, in conjunction with MITA’s
Annual Innovation Fiesta, August 2004
This film tells the true story of Catherine, one of
Singapore’s most notorious Ang Hor Tiap members.
Ang Hor Tiap or Red Butterfly Gang was
arguably the most active female secret society in
Singapore’s history, yet is little documented. This
docu-drama follows Catherine’s adventures as
she navigates through the shady world of nightclubs,
cabarets and secret societies.
The Cast of
Flight of the
Dreams of Two SCI Grads Come True
“S11” producers and cast from left to right:
Gilbert Chan, Joshua Chiang and Timothy Nga
It was a dream come true for Gilbert Chan and
Joshua Chiang, two School of Communication
and Information (SCI) graduates, when the
Singapore Film Commission and Media Hive
sponsored them to produce a $100,000 digital
Chan and Chiang won the Singapore
Screenplay Awards about two years ago. Today,
Chan is not only the producer, but also the codirector
of the film. With the help of his good
pal, Chiang, a freelance director, he wrote the
script and they jointly directed the film.
The 100-minute film titled “S11”
revolves around a robbery at a petrol kiosk.
“The inspiration came when my
friend wanted to invest in a feature film
and asked me for ideas,” said 28-year-old
Chan who is the executive producer of Red Ink Media. “And I decided on the theme of coincidences.
How strangers affect one another and their relationship in situations such as a robbery.”
“S11 actually contains three different stories but all happening at the petrol kiosk where a
robbery brings the three characters together,” he added.
Packed with a powerhouse cast, “S11” stars Kevin Murphy (Chicken Rice War, Avatar, City
Sharks and Michael Chiang’s Private Parts as ‘Lavinia’), Timothy Nga (Light Years and One Leg
Kicking) and Cindy Teo, a graduate from the faculty of law at National University of Singapore.
Filming was not easy for Chan and Chiang, as most of the scenes involved shooting at night
and outdoors. “Luck does play a part too,” said Chiang. “We had to make contingency plans when the
locations that we wanted were occupied due to some unforeseen reasons.”
“To top it off, one uncle appeared and told us that the spot that we took was his regular spot
for selling durians. We had to hunt for another place immediately when he refused to move. All these
happened on the first day,” Chan added.
Despite this, things are going smoothly for the two directors. They have cut the scenes and
are waiting for the music to be finalised.
Media Hive will distribute the big screen release. “There are plans for this film to be distributed
in the United States,” said Chiang.
Chan says that it is not easy to survive in the film industry. “You need to have the passion to
motivate you. There are people who have left the industry before, as they felt jaded and the pay is not
glamorous especially if you just started out.”
“Know Dyslexia, Overcome Dyslexia”
If you have heard about the
“Know Dyslexia, Overcome
Dyslexia” campaign, their publicity
efforts have paid off.
A joint effort with
the Dyslexia Association of
Singapore (DAS), the onemonth
long campaign launched
in December 2003 was a Final
Year Project (FYP) by four
SCI students Pamela Tor Das,
Ratna Damayanti, Tammie Ng
and Winston Ng. The aim of the
campaign was to help parents
gain knowledge about dyslexia
and to raise public awareness
“I think it was a general
consensus amongst the four
of us that we wanted to work
with an association that helps
disadvantaged children,” said
The elements of the
campaign included exhibitions
at the Ang Mo Kio and Geylang
East Community libraries and
awareness talks at four community
Winston Ng and his
group members sourced for
sponsors for the campaign
and prepared all the publicity
materials for “Know Dyslexia,
Overcome Dyslexia”. They also
helped set up a media conference
for the DAS.
Following the media
conference, the campaign was
reported extensively in the
print and broadcast media. It
was also recently covered in
the August issue of Voices, a
community magazine for the
For the campaign, the
group did an extensive survey
on the perception that parents
have of dyslexia and DAS, and
presented a comprehensive
analysis of their findings to the
association. They also gave
another presentation at the
official opening of the Dyslexia
Centre in June, this year.
After the end of the
“Know Dyslexia, Overcome
Dyslexia” campaign, Mr Robin
Moseley, the executive director
from DAS, sent a letter to the
dean in March this year commending
the four students.
He wrote, “All four
students put a great deal of
effort and enthusiasm into this
project, even during the December
holidays, and I cannot find
fault with any aspect of their
Having received the
commendation and knowing
that their hard work had been
appreciated, the group was
“That was wonderful
icing on the cake,” said Winston
Ng, “to have the Association
underline our importance
to their success - it was a really
proud moment for us.”
Students Produce Radio Program For RSI
Do you love listening to the radio Next time when you tune in, it might just be a SCI student’s voice on
Since August 2004, students taking the Chinese radio practicum have been producing a new
weekly programme for Radio Singapore International.
Called Campus Green, this five-minute radio programme talks about campus life in tertiary
institutions like NTU. Spearheaded by the NTU radio practicum students, each weekly programme is a
pre-recorded capsule produced by a student. The segment comprises a mini-talk show cum interviews
discussing the latest trends and happening in school. Some of the topics that have been discussed are
on tertiary students’ dress code, the frequent sms-ing of students in lectures and tutorials, and learning
Campus Green is a collaboration between RSI and Mediacorp Radio. It is the brainchild of
Mdm Chin Kwee Chin, Programme Director of the Chinese Service in Radio Singapore International
(RSI), as well as the tutor for the Chinese radio practicum.
A student at work producing the programme
“NTU students have both the capabilities and facilities to produce the programme,” Chin said.
“ I am glad to provide them with the opportunity and pleased with the refreshing content they have come
The students felt that Campus Green enabled them to understand the fundamentals of radio programming. Moreover, since Campus Green is aired
on locally on Mediacorp’s Chinese radio station as well as regionally on RSI, it serves as a motivation for them to produce better radio programmes.
“Although it is not a live show, my friends and I are still very excited to hear our very own programme on air,” Teresa Tan, a third-year radio
practicum student said.
Scheduled to run for at least a year, Campus Green gives students the freedom to produce and create a style of their own. Chin said, “This is a winwin
situation for both the students and RSI.”
So tune in to Capital 95.8FM every Saturday at 3.40 p.m. or RSI Chinese every Monday at 9.25 p.m. to know the hottest and latest happenings in
NTU. If you have missed the past episodes, you can listen to Campus Green online from the RSI website.
Films by SCI Students Find Global Audience
SCI students have done their school proud.
Two final year projects were screened at the 37th New York Exposition of
Short Film and Video (EXPO), Jury Awards on December 13, 2003.
The EXPO receives up to 700 submissions, but only 63 were
chosen for screening. The two SCI videos that were selected were Radio Station
Forgot to Play My Favourite Song and Adam in Heels.
Radio Station Forgot to Play My Favourite Song, produced by
Gavin Chelvan, Siau Che Sheng and Billy Tan, is a documentary on the
local rock music scene. Tan, 26, sound editor of the group, said they were
very proud and pleased that the subject matter of their documentary struck a
chord outside Singapore.
Adam in Heels focuses on four male cross-dressers and gives an
insight into why some people choose this lifestyle. An all-female team of
Yan Kit Ying, Leong Tarn Meng, Jasmine Teo and Low Siok Hwee produced
It was not easy for the students to produce the films. While
Radio faced technical problems as producers battled to find a story focus;
Adam found it difficult to progress past the initial stages.
Yan, 24, director of Adam, said difficulties first appeared in the
research stage, as it was hard finding material on cross-dressers in Singapore.
“We had to find alternative means to get information and interviewees, and
also persuade them to agree to be featured.”
Both groups praised their project advisors for helping them overcome
the obstacles. For Radio Station Forgot to Play My Favourite Song,
Tan said, “Dr Pieter Aquilia helped a great deal by just letting us run wild, as
well as being incredibly supportive and encouraging during production.”
For Adam in Heels, SCI Lecturer Nicole Draper was a great source
of inspiration and encouragement to the group. Draper said she was happy
for the group. “I am very impressed because they forged ahead on a topic
which was very challenging. They are a good group of students who are
dedicated and work really hard.”
The short films also won the Media Development Authority Book
Prize 2004. They were also screened at various festivals such as the 2004
Women in the Director’s Chair festival, the Amsterdam Cinemasia Film
Festival 2004, Singapore Short Cuts festival, Independent Documentary
Week at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and an independent music
festival in Beijing.
Screenshots from Radio Station
Forgot to Play My Favourite
Fellow SCI in the Media
While SCI prepares us for a future in the media industry, how many of us actually move in that direction In this article, we introduce some of
our ex-schoolmates who have carved their niche in the industry.
Name: Diana Ser
A veteran in the local media industry, Diana
Ser has worked with many different
aspects of the media. Starting out in front
of the camera as an actress and host, Ser
moved on in search of a greater sense
of fulfillment. While taking a part-time
master’s degree in SCI in 1998, she met
an editor of The New Paper who invited
her to be a guest writer. Ser eventually
became a journalist for Streats. Recently
married, she is now back in front of the
camera as the interviewer and presenter
of the series GetRea! on Channel
After eight years in TV, Ser says: “I
think I have found something I feel truly
passionate about. Going to SPH as a
print journalist for Streats sparked off
my interest in journalism. Marrying TV
and journalism is the highlight of my
Name: Edwin Koo
Occupation: Photojournalist, Streats
An internship with Channel 5 turned into an audition
that landed Ng Hui in a role in the comedy
sitcom Living with Lydia. The rest, as the saying
goes, is history. Ng officially joined MediaCorp
in February this year and has appeared in several
drama serials and variety shows.
Did her training in SCI help her in her career Ng
says: “Definitely! Being familiar with the basic
workings of the media industry helps in understanding
the different areas of work involved that makes
a production work. Plus the knowledge in camera
direction, lighting, blocking etc.... I am more at ease
when working in front of the camera.” Having tried
her hand at hosting PSC Nite, she has also hosted a
variety show called I’m the One. Catch her on King
of Variety on Channel 8 every Friday.
Name: Michelle Alicia Saram
Name: Ng Hui
International celebrity Michelle Saram was discovered as a model
during an internship with the now-defunct Go magazine. Saram first
appeared on the front page of their May 1996 issue, and then signed on
as a model with Elite Models. She was propelled into the limelight after
she was picked to appear in Aaron Kwokʼs music video. Her appearance
as Ye Sha in the popular serial Meteor Garden II further spread her
name when the show was aired in several countries.
Since she graduated from SCI in 1997, Saram has also starred
in Threshold of An Era with Louis Koo, Bullets Over Summer in 1999
and Skyline Cruisers in 2000. In 2003, Saram returned to star in MediaCorp
serials To Mom with Love, and Baby Boom.
In ClickArt World Photojournalist Meet
2003, Edwin Koo shined among more
than 220 lensmen to bag a second prize
for his entry. Out of more than 600 entries
submitted, his image was the runner-up
for the Best Photography Award under the
Part of Koo’s beginning portfolio consists of a book called
Rot Fai, which means Trains in Thai. Koo and his project mate
Chng Ngo Peng captured life along the Thai Railways and compiled
them in this book for his FYP in photojournalism.
So what is the difference between journalism and photojournalism
Koo says: “A photojournalist needs to be as curious as
any other reporter. Both need to know what’s going on, make sense
of it, then tell the story. In this manner, both are storytellers, just
that the wordsmith’s tools are words, and a photojournalist’s tools,
Name: Ian Tan
The New Paper
Ian Tan bagged the Local
Journalist Award for 2004
for his outstanding work
in Hanoi. This award from
the Society of Publishers in
Asia (SOPA) acknowledges
him as the best local
journalist in the region.
Prior to that, he won
the Singapore Poolʼs
S-League Picture of the
Year in 2001 and SPH
Feature of the Year in
Tan started working as a
journalist since he was 21
and also spearheaded the
Tech section in
The New Paper.
Tanʼs take on what makes
a good journalist: “Integrity
is paramount, because
building trust between
your newsmakers and
your readers ensures you
have a new story to write
tomorrow! You also need
to think very fast on your
feet. I believe the best
journalists are those who
really care about their
newsmakers and their
new SCI buidling building
The new conference room
on level 4
The SCI building under
The graduate students’
A study room only for the students A roof garden in a university campus They are
no longer a dream but a reality at SCI.
After nine months of construction work, the upgrading of the SCI building was
finally completed at the end of August. This included the expansion of the existing
fourth storey, and on top of that a spanking new level for facilities.
While the whole school cheered for the expansion, students were probably happier,
as they now have a fully air-conditioned study room for themselves.
Situated on the newly built fifth level, the room is equipped with cabinets for
the CI Club (formally known as the CS Club) to store their documents and stationery.
While the tables could be moved around to facilitate project discussions, the room can
also be used for Paparazzi and performing arts rehearsals in the evenings.
As it is a room for the students, the CI Club management committee was involved
in the conceptualisation and planning process. “I feel that it’s a good indication
that the SCI office and the Dean take the needs and the opinions of SCI students
seriously,” says Gea Swee Jean, president of the CI Club 11th Management Committee.
“We’re pleased as punch, and quite excited too, because we think it’s going to
look quite scenic up there with the roof garden and all,” she adds.
The roof garden, which is not completed yet, has the best view from the SCI
“In great universities, the best views are open for everyone to enjoy, not only for
the dean,” says Dr Ang Peng Hwa, the dean of SCI. After the roof garden, the new
conference room on the fourth storey has the best view from SCI.
There had been a shortage of space, especially with the addition of the Division
of Information Studies. The space constraint was further aggravated with the rise in
“The extension is indeed timely,” says Dr Ang. “The building was built with the
possibility of a rooftop extension. The year we moved in, we knew that we had to do
an extension because our enrolment is increasing every year.”
With the new extensions, the graduate students can now move back to the SCI
building, together with the rest of the SCI community. Ten offices for SCI graduate
students and three offices for visiting professors have been built on the fifth storey.
“In my view, architecture matters,” says Dr Ang. “And architecture matters
greatly if one wants to be a great school.”
The new 4 th storey extension,
where the deanery resides now
The SCI study room
on level 5
The SCI building
Ever heard a funky, remixed version
of Rasa Sayang
Well, now you can
even watch a music video of this
traditional favourite, jazzed up and
performed in rap!
Six final-year students
from the division of Electronic and
Broadcast Media (EBM) won the
first prize in the Student Category of
‘Digital Moves’; a video competition
organized by the Ministry of
Defence (MINDEF), for their music
video, Rasa Sayang Remix MTV.
Daphne Chen, Rita Seow,
Sylvia Lim, Ng Ai Lian, Tham Lai
Yee and Lim Tee Lip received $3000
and a plaque from Deputy Prime
Minister Dr. Tony Tan on February
14. The group presented the plaque
to the Dean of SCI, Professor Ang
Peng Hwa, on August 23.
The competition, organized
as a preceding event to
MINDEF’s Total Defence Campaign,
called for entries to present
any of the Total Defence core values
in a fresh, fun and creative way.
The students’ winning entry
was a three-minute music video,
which focused on racial harmony
It was chosen for its local
flavour and because the message
of racial harmony was succinctly
captured, the organisers said.
“To win was unexpected
and exhilarating. Production was
very tough as a lot of things went
wrong, so we are really proud of the
final video,” said Daphne Chen, the
director of the video.
To see the winning video,
log on to http://www.totaldefence.
Off The Beaten Track
Unconventional – that’s the first
word that comes to mind when viewing
Michael Lee’s art works. The
graduate from SCI’s pioneer batch
overturned the old adage ‘form follows
function’ in his solo exhibition
at the Alliance Francaise, When a
Body Meets a Building.
Using Autocad software
and digital prints, Lee presents imaginary
architecture that have bodily
characteristics. His other works are
in the form of sculpture, video and
Looking back on his undergraduate
years in SCI, the current
Pathway Leader of the Bachelor of
Arts (Honours) Fine Art programmes
in the Nanyang Academy of Fine
Arts (NAFA) says, “I am grateful to
SCI for all the crucial moments that
transformed me intellectually.”
He recounts his encounter
with metaphors during a Consumer
Behaviour Lecture and Dr Lee Chun
Wah declaring ‘Shopping is Theatre!’
– the powerful sentence that
marked the emergence of the hidden
Some of Michael
Lee’s recent awards
2004: Emerging Artist,
National Arts Council
2002: Two Commendation
thinker in him, as he “began to think
Lee returned to SCI to
complete his Master of Communication
Studies in 2001, which
he described as a time to “further
develop my intellectual department.”
The theoretical framework of
psychoanalysis that he explored in
his dissertation is a mainstay of his
current art works.
Inspired by Finnish artist
Eija-Liisa Ahtila’s film, which
is based on her PhD research on
relational problems, Lee hopes to
produce his own take on the issue
within the next ten years.
He also aspires to contribute
constantly to the diversity of the
world by exploring the margins of
cultural conventions. “Always strive
to do something better and different
each time, otherwise it’s a waste of
time and space,” the dynamic artist
Given Lee’s achievements,
who’s to say the road less taken
doesn’t lead to success
The prize-winning term with the Dean and their award (L-R)
Daphne Chen, Ng Ai Lian, Tham Lai Yee, Dean Ang Peng Hwa,
Sylvia Lim, Rita Seow, Lim Tee Lip.
2001: Highly Commended
of the Year
Salute to the Teacher of the Year 2004
Ever felt inspired by a teacher A teacher who made
classes fun instead of a drag, motivated and spurred you
on during your learning journey
Most of us never had the chance to thank this
special someone, but in NTU, we try our best to do so.
NTU students nominate and vote for the Teacher of the
Year of their choice annually.
An Excellence in Teaching award is given to a
lecturer from all schools on campus every year. This year
in SCI, the special award went to Dr Mark Cenite from
the Division of Communication Research.
Dr Cenite began teaching in SCI in 2002, and he
was nominated Teacher of the Year two years later.
He does not believe in acting stern and allknowing.
Instead, he encourages his students to experiment
and explore different ideas. “My approach works
for me...some have said they studied harder for my class
than any other. It showed.” To be concise, “I try to be
Here is Dr Cenite’s take on being a ‘good
teacher’. “As a teacher, getting your attitude is the right
key...If you like your students, and you want them to
learn, you have a shot at having a good class.”
Michael and his works
Photo by courtesy of SPH-Streats
Helping to Bridge The Journalistic Gap
The School of Communication and Information (SCI) recently completed a
two-year training project which began in December 2002, to raise the standards
of journalism education in Vietnamese universities. The training project,
entitled Assistance for the Reform (Development) of Vietnamese Journalism
Schools was funded by a grant of US$110,000, from Sasakawa Peace Foundation
(SPF), currently the largest grant organization in Japan.
Thirty-two participants were trained in total and they ranged from
communication graduates in their 20s to journalism professors in their 50s
who were enthusiastic about honing their craft and upgrading their knowledge
and teaching skills in journalism.
Over two years, participants attended four workshops which were
conducted both in Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi in Vietnam and Singapore. The
workshops included a wide variety of subjects such as print and broadcast
journalism, public relations and advertising, multi-media and web design
to knowledge management. Participants also visited local and international
media organizations in Singapore to get an insight into current media trends.
The main instructors for the training project were Dr Ang Peng
Hwa, the Dean of SCI; Associate Professor Sharen Liu, Head of Electronic
and Broadcast Media of SCI; and Mr Chua Chong Jin, a current media consultant
and a former SCI Assistant Professor. Other SCI instructors included
Associate Professor Dr K. Sriramesh and Lecturers Sharon de Castro and
Lee Chu Keong. Industry media professionals were also invited as guest
As most participants spoke little or no English, two interpreters,
one for each year of training, were hired to bridge the communication gap.
“The biggest challenge,” said Liu, who was also the course coordinator,
“was the language barrier, which slowed down the teaching process.
But our interpreters, selected by the participants themselves were very good;
plus the enthusiasm of the participants more than made up for any inconvenience.”
In addition to “training the trainers”, Dr Ang also gave two student
lectures at the National Universities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh cities. Dr
Ang made history by being the first foreign lecturer to speak at the School of
Journalism in Hanoi.
One outcome of this two-year training project will be a basic journalism
textbook in Vietnamese which is slated for completion by the end of
this year. Based on knowledge garnered from the workshops, seven participants
were identified to write the textbook which will be used by journalism
students from both the National Universities of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.
Overall, Liu thought the training project was a worthwhile venture.
With a smile she said, “it was satisfying to note that after only one year of
training, participants reported positive changes made to their curricula and
SPF officials who were invited to attend the feedback sessions held
in Hanoi, in May this year, were also very pleased with the results of the
SCI instructors and the participants
Acclaimed local political journalist comes aboard
For Cherian George, joining SCI as
an assistant professor was a “natural
progression of things”.
The former journalist and
author of Singapore: The Air-conditioned
Nation conducted writing
courses during his nine years at The
Straits Times and lectured at the
Stanford University in the United
States where he received his doctorate
in communications. George is
also not new to SCI, having been
an adjunct lecturer to the final-year
journalism students in 1999.
“I enjoyed teaching
them,” he says, and hopes to “repeat
this experience” with his new students.
A political and media commentator,
George now manages a
news-writing module for second year
SCI undergraduates, and lectures
graduate students on media laws and
He also has research
projects involving Asian media policies
and the alternative publications
under his belt.
“I’m hoping for a healthy
balance of research and teaching,”
quips George when describing his
work at SCI.
Outside of SCI, he also
writes occasional commentaries for
newspapers and runs a newspaper
for children from his own laptop.
Assistant Professor Cherian George
Although he admits that
he sometimes misses the newsroom
environment, George says he is glad
that being an academic at SCI allows
him to make contributions to the
“intellectual life of society”, just like
“And I don’t need to worry
about daily or weekly deadlines!” he
And what does he like best
“The sound of students’
laughter!” is his quick reply. Indeed,
the friendly and affable George often
peppers his lectures with amusing
anecdotes and witty remarks,
sometimes having students laugh at
Having spent only a few
months here, he says that SCI has
lived up to his expectations and its
“good reputation” shared among media
insiders. As he looks forward to
following semesters, George hopes
that students continue to “challenge
faculty like me to give the best possible
education, and show initiative
The Global Public Relations Handbook
Never thought that you might know
the editor of the book you are reading
now Well, in future do pay
more attention to them; they might
be members of the SCI faculty.
The Global Public Relations
Handbook, edited by Professor
Krishnamurthy Sriramesh, was released
in May 2003 and is currently
into its second print. In November
2003, it received the PRIDE Award
after being judged by the National
Communication Association as the
best book in public relations released
during the year. The National
Communication Association is based
in Washington, D.C.
With its global contributors
and wide-ranging focus, the
handbook offers invaluable insights
on global public relations practice.
The information in it should also
prove helpful to public relations
professionals by introducing them to
the unique environments they will
face in a globalised world.
Each chapter covers the
history, development and status of
public relations within a specified
country or area, and considers the
profession in relation to factors
such as the political environment;
the level of economic development;
culture; the media environment; and
activism. In addition, each countryspecific
chapter also includes a case
study epitomising public relations
practice in that country.
This handbook sets itself
apart from other volumes in international
public relations with the inclusion
of a section on public relations
practice in a global setting, with
chapters analysing the operations of
multinational corporations, foreign
governments, international organisations,
and multinational public relations
“After over two years of
hard work, it is heartening to know
that this small piece of work is being
received well by both academia and
the professional communities,” was
how Professor Sriramesh summed
up his reaction to the accolades the
book has been receiving.
Congratulations Dr Foo Tee Tuan and Dr Xu Xiao Ge for receiving
their PhDs and being appointed Assistant Professors at SCI!
Our hearty congratulations also goes to our non-academic staff,
Mr Tok Joo Guan for his promotion to Technical Executive.
New Admission System For Freshmen
If you feel that you had a hard time getting a place in SCI, it was even tougher for the freshman this year.
Besides passing the university admission criteria, they also had to clear other hurdles – a written test and an interview.
This was the first time that SCI screened all applicants who placed Communication Studies as their first choice. In the past, students were admitted
directly based on their academic results. Only those with borderline results were interviewed.
Professor Schubert Foo, the vice-dean of SCI, said the purpose of the written test was to gauge the candidates’ command of language and the ability
to express their thoughts logically and succinctly. “More importantly, their aptitude and interest in pursuing the course were also assessed through CCA
records and portfolio of works during the interview immediately following the written test,” he added.
Competition was very keen this year, as most of the candidates had previous experience in communication-related activities. More than 400 interviews
and tests were conducted, but only 172 applicants were admitted. Those selected had a wide range of interests and demonstrated a strong interest in the
media. Applicants who excelled in non-academic activities in their junior colleges or polytechnics were also considered.
The number of polytechnic graduates admitted this year to SCI jumped to 16 against only two in the previous three years. “We expect the intake
of polytechnic students to gradually increase in line with the university’s policy to provide an avenue for a proportion of polytechnic students to obtain undergraduate
degrees in Singapore universities,” said Prof Foo.
Although the new
continue with it.
“We are of the view
well in the programme and industry,” said Prof Foo.
A Freshman’s “Odyssey”
“Odyssey” - a pirate’s adventure for the brave
and courageous. This was the theme of this year’s
School of Communication and Information (SCI)
freshmen orientation camp.
The camp held from 5th to 9th July,
included two days of outdoor activities at the
Sentosa Island. Ng Cheezi, 21, a second-year SCI
student, led this year’s orientation camp committee,
which planned innovative games for the
“I remember vividly a food auction
game, where we use the money we ‘earn’ through
the other games to bid for ‘mysterious’ food,”
Foo Shu Yi, 19, a first-year SCI student said. “We
did not know what was hidden in the bag and in
the end, we spent a large sum of money on a cabbage.”
To the freshmen, it was indeed all fun
and laughter. But behind the scene, SCI freshmen
orientation camp committee had been planning
for almost a year to make this five-day camp
“We wanted the freshmen to have loads
of fun and at the same time, get to know CS better,”
says Ng. “The camp was a platform for them
to make new friends so that they will not be alone
on the first day of school.”
Planning the camp was no mean feat.
The key problem Ng and her committee of 14
students faced was insufficient funds. “We started
from zero cents and had to undertake many canvassing
activities to reach our target aim of $6 K,”
Ng says. “It was a tough process to raise funds
and we were not able to get any sponsorship.
Holding a bash at Centro and setting up of stalls
during the school bazaar raised funds.”
The committee also developed a small
booklet and CD-Rom giving details of the camp.
The orientation packages were later delivered
right to the freshmen’s doorsteps.
Judging from what the freshmen had to
say about the camp, Ng and her committee’s hard
work paid off.
“I enjoyed the camp very much,” says
Xie Wanting, 19. “It was definitely a great opportunity
for me to interact with the seniors and
other freshmen, who otherwise I would never get
Yahoo! For Masters
ma student page
Take a cue from master’s students Arleen Cuevas
and Camille Faylona. Link up with your classmates
via Yahoo! groups.The two came together
on March 30 this year to set up a pioneer Yahoo!
group account for the Masters’ class.
Cuevas, 24, the moderator of the group,
said, “It was our idea to start a Yahoo group as we
were foreign students from the Philippines and
wanted to have a forum to get in touch with our
The group currently has 45 members.
Case studies, case analysis and guides to writing
research reports are posted on the site for all to
share. Members also share their work experiences.
Cuevas says, “Exchange of information
and communication has been pretty good, especially
when mid-term and final exams are coming
up and everyone shares information about papers
and other school requirements.”
Besides exchanging information, the
members also use the group site as a social platform
where they could keep in touch with their
The group members organized a dinner
a few months back using the Yahoo group site.
Faylona, 23, said, “I think the group has been able
to get members of the program in touch with each
A current Masters student and member
of the group, Rajani Pillai, said, “The Masters
students do not have any kind of association or
any representative body to bring out their woes
to the management. I guess the need to keep in
touch and share information, thoughts and views
triggered setting up this group.”
The group founders say that the alumni
can opt to be a part of the group though the Yahoo!
group is mostly used by current students for
discussions about schoolwork. A separate NTU-
MMC alumni group is also being established.
Those who wish to join the NTU-Masters
Programme Yahoo! group may email NTU-
MA Students’ Gathering
Not Your Average Graduate
ma student page
Award For Best
The sight of a monk in a grey tunic, carrying a
large backpack on his shoulders and walking
around SCI, has raised the curiosity of many
students. Most of them react with surprise
when they realise he is actually a master’s
degree student here.
“Last semester, some would stop in
their tracks and look at me with shock,” says
Venerable Yan Xu with an amused smile, “but
this time the new students just smile at me.”
The 29-year old Buddhist monk
from China, who joined the Master of Mass
Communication course in January this year,
has even garnered some media attention. He
was featured in The New Paper, and is by now
used to people asking questions.
“It is not enough for Buddhist
monks to stay in the monastery and read
scriptures,” he explains. “The new media is
developing so fast, so we must know how to
use it to serve our members and the public
Venerable Yan Xu also feels that
the media has the potential to be a “bridge
between the Buddhist world and the secular
world.” He is already doing his part in building
that bridge by editing two local Buddhist
Citing examples of Buddhist-themed
television and radio stations operating in
Taiwan, he hopes that with the knowledge and
experience gained at SCI, he would be able to
achieve that for Singapore, or wherever
opportunity takes him.
Indeed, the monk from the
Jiuhuashan Institute of Buddhism in China has
“gained a lot” from his time here at SCI. “I’ve
learnt to pay more attention to current issues,
media impact, and how it affects peoples’
lives,” he says.
Even though course readings “seem
never-ending”, he enjoys his classes and the
lively discussions with other students. He is
also full of praise for the SCI faculty, whom
he calls “world-class professors” with a “high
quality of teaching.”
When asked how he would respond
if his fellow monks were to ask him about
SCI, Venerable Yan Xu immediately replies, “I
would encourage them to join of course.”
He adds, “Student life is good, and SCI is
full of activity and opportunities to learn and
gain fresh ideas and cultural views from other
students of different backgrounds.” -- ML
Ms Chan Mei Yee, a 2002 Masters in Information
Studies graduate, was the recipient of the National Library
Board Award at the Convocation this year. This
award is given to the student with the best project/dissertation
in Master of Science (Information Studies)
Started in year 2000, this award of $500 is
given to one recipient every year. Ms Chan’s dissertation
was Applying Scenario-based Design and Claims
Analysis to Evaluate Usability of the National Library
Board Digital Library. It questions the usability of
digital libraries, especially since users have grown
accustomed to human librarians.
Ms Chan received her Bachelor in Business
degree from Nanyang Technological University in
1995. She is an Administrative Officer in the Department
of Computer and Information Systems at the
As part of her research, participants were
recruited to evaluate the usability of the eLibrary-
Hub, the National Library Board’s digital library, by
identifying the advantages and disadvantages of its
current design. These aspects are measured by the
ease whereby users can accomplish their tasks. Factors
include how user-friendly the site is and the speed
with which they complete the task.
The disadvantages were recorded and were
organized according to problem-solving strategies
and design guidelines. A list of recommendations to
revamp eLibraryHub was then proposed.
eLibraryHub is looking to incorporate the
suggestions to create a more efficient and user-friendly
The SCI - AMIC connection
Tucked in a quiet corner on the second level of the SCI building, the modest
façade of the AMIC glass doors belies the organisation’s illustrious history
and the vital link it shares with our school.
The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC)
has spearheaded media development and communication expertise in Asia
since 1971, commanding goodwill among industry insiders in Asia and
AMIC has been housed in SCI since 1996, and the two share a
“I feel proud, of course, to be involved in AMIC’s activities, and
that we enjoy such a good working relationship.” says SCI Dean Dr Ang
Peng Hwa, who is also the newly elected chairman of AMIC.
SCI supports AMIC with substantial core funding and co-publishes
all of AMIC’s books and journals, such as Media Asia, and the Asian Journal
of Communication (AJC). Many of our faculty also participate in AMIC’s
research and activities.
As chairman, Dr Ang provides strategic direction for AMIC’s
development and daily operations. He has been working with AMIC even
before the SCI was established, and has edited and co-authored many books,
including Communication Education and Media Training Needs in ASEAN
(2000) and Mass Media Laws and Regulations in Singapore (1998).
Former SCI dean, Dr Eddie Kuo, has also been involved in AMIC
since its earliest days and together with the late Anura Goonasekera of
AMIC, founded the Asian Journal of Communication (AJC), which he continues
Dr Kuo has also written numerous books and articles with AMIC,
such as Mirror on the Wall: Media in a Singapore Election (1993) and
the Changing Media Environment and Implications for Communication
Education (2000). Though he stepped down as AMIC chairman in July, he
continues to provide consultation and advice.
The SCI-AMIC collaboration has many positive returns for SCI.
“Helping AMIC organise conferences across Asia also gives visibility to our
faculty and raises our profile,” says Dr Ang. “Also, it’s definitely a good
thing for our faculty and students to have such a resource at our doorstep.”
Last year, the SCI and AMIC libraries were merged to form the
Asian Communication Resource Centre (ACRC), now one of Asia’s largest
collections of documents and audiovisual material on communication.
Besides SCI students and faculty, scholars from around the region can also
come to SCI to utilise the ACRC materials for their theses.
Together with the SCI, AMIC continues to contribute to media development
by initiating training programmes for media professionals across
Asia. Its international conferences and shared publications with SCI also
provide the much-needed Asian perspective on communications.
As Dr Ang reiterates, “We definitely have a good relationship, and
future cooperation looks very good for both.”
The AMIC office
Warren Fernandez gives talk @SCI
Warren Fernandez and his book
titled, “Thinking Allowed”
Always thought that Singapore politics is just a façade with no real avenue to advocate changes Think again.
Warren Fernandez, Foreign Editor of The Straits Times, addressed this issue when he talked to
first-year SCI students in late August. The talk was based on his recently published book, Thinking Allowed
–Politics, Fear and Change in Singapore.
Fernandez served on several public committees like the Remaking Singapore Committee and Singapore
21 Committee. His book draws from Thinking aloud columns on Singapore politics and society that have
appeared in The Straits Times since 1991, and also includes new essays that delve into recurring issues that
Singapore is grappling with.
In his talk, Fernandez called for a more proactive society which is willing to speak up to fight for
changes, despite the common fears of crossing out-of-bound (OB) markers.
“Some people suggested we should try to define OB markers, to make them clearer, so people would
be less afraid to speak up,” said Fernandez. “We on the Remaking Singapore tried to do that, but found it
near impossible to do, because whatʼs a sensitive change with time and context. For example, race, religion,
national service are all sensitive issues. But we already do discuss these quite openly and rationally.”
He believes that talking about OB markers is a “red herring or dead-end. I think its time to transcend
this OB marker debate and move beyond it, to deal with the real issues at hand. Our new Prime Minister has
said over and again that he wants Singaporeans to speak up on their concerns. I see no reason not to take him
at his word.”
Several times during his talk, Fernandez argued that change can happen in Singapore, adding “itʼs
up to you and me to make a difference”. He gave the example of how the film classification system changed to
allow M18 ratings after the proposal made by the Remaking Singapore Committee. He also cited the sweeping
changes in the education system that were being made, partly in response to feedback from society.
“This is not something just for the government to decide,” he commented. You and I have a role to
play in making sure that we take the right decisions as we confront these new challenges,” Fernandez said.
The talk was received well. “It answered queries always on our minds and he was a good representative
to show that the media is open and ready to face criticism and skepticism of the public,” said Dunstan
Lee, a student.
“His talk was an eye-opener. Itʼs a rare chance to hear from the mediaʼs point of view,” said Germaine
Chan, another student. “The question and answer session presented some interesting views. Overall, the
talk gave a different perspective on how politics is presented in the media.”
Singapore Internet Research Centre
An Asian Perspective and Asian Presence in Internet
Itʼs been just eight months since it was launched
and the Singapore Internet Research Centre
(SIRC) is already going places.
The Centre sent a team of research
associates to England to attend the Internet Research
5.0 international conference organized by
the Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) in
Associate Professor Randolph Kluver,
the centreʼs executive director, said the SIRC
sent the team to the conference to learn about
the AoIR, the largest Internet-specific research
organization in the world.
“More importantly, we wanted the
international community of Internet researchers to
know about the kind of work we are doing here.
Overall, I would say we were very successful in
that,” he said.
Dr Kluver led the team of research associates
comprising Assistant Professors Lee Wai
Peng, Shyam Tekwani, Kavita Karan and Miss
Shahiraa Binte Sahul Hameed to the conference,
which was held at the University of Sussex.
The SIRC was launched by SCI in
January to serve as an Asian platform for the
discussion of ideas in an information society. It
is SCIʼs first official research body, focusing on
issues such as Internet policy and the Internet in
Dr Kluver said the Centre aims to be a
“premier Asian research institute on the Internet”,
bringing an “Asian perspective” to a traditionally
Western oriented body of knowledge.
The idea of an Internet research centre
was initiated by former SCI Dean, Professor
Eddie Kuo. However, it was the schoolʼs current
Dean, Associate Professor Ang Peng Hwa, who
formed an Internet policy group that was the core
for the SIRC.
While the centre is hosted and has
received initial funding from SCI, individual
research projects have private sponsors. Research
associates at the centre come from the various
divisions at SCI.
During the trip to England, the team
visited the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) at
Oxford University. Dr Kluver said the objective
of the visit was to expand the SIRCʼs relationship
with OII and to discuss potential collaborations.
“We also wanted to see what OII is
doing and hopefully generate some ideas for the
SIRC,” he added.
Dr Kluver said the SIRC is likely to
host OII associates in future although no definite
plans have been made yet. He added that this
cross-continent communication between the two
research bodies was a good way to expand the
potential for collaborative research.
SIRC research associates make their mark in
England: (from left) Assoc. Prof. Kluver, Asst.
Prof. Tekwani, Miss Shahiraa , Asst. Prof. Lee
and Asst. Prof. Karan
Professor Grunig sharing his
insights on PR theories and
ethics during his vist here
A Success for MediaBuzz night
It was originally supposed to have been an
evening to discuss the ethics of reporting terrorist
acts, but the merger of Singapore’s two main
media companies changed all that.
The 70-odd participants at the MediaBuzz
night on September 22 instead spent
time discussing the marriage of the MediaCorp
Group and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) at
the Library @ the Esplanade. Members of the
Singapore Press Club (SPC) and SCI students
were among those who attended the forum.
The SPC and the NTU School of
Communication and Information (SCI) organised
this event, which was chaired by SCI’s
Assistant Professor Dr Mark Cenite.
“Just five days before the forum was
scheduled to happen, the MediaCorp-SPH
merger was announced. We reconstituted the
event because we thought it would be bizarre
to get media professionals together so soon and
discuss anything other than this historic merger
that was on their minds.”
The five panelists for the evening
were Patrick Daniel, managing editor of SPH’s
English and Malay newspapers division; Shaun
Seow, managing editor of MediaCorp Group;
Sutha Kandiah, head of telecommunications,
media and technology from UBS Investment
Bank (S.E.A.); P.N. Balji, media consultant
from BANG Public Relations and Dr Cherian
George, assistant professor from SCI.
The forum was organised to facilitate
interaction and discussion of media-related
issues between SCI faculty members, students
and the top managers in the industry. Lau Joon-
VISIT BY PUBLIC RELATIONS BIGWIG
Professor James E. Grunig, a renowned figure in the public
relations field, was invited to serve as the Wee Kim Wee distinguished
professor in SCI during July and August. In that
capacity, he spoke to students and public relations professionals
here as well as to public relations professionals in Singapore,
Malaysia, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.
He has earned many awards in his 40 years of research
work including the Pathfinder Award for excellence in public
relations research and the Paul J. Deutschmann Award for Excellence
He described SCI students as “outstanding”, who
worked very hard and were eager to learn. “The students showed
interest in my presentations and asked good questions.”
“I was encouraged by the number of SCI alumni working
in public relations profession and the number of working
professionals who are enrolled in the Master’s program.”
However, he felt that there was still room for improvement.
He said even though public relations professionals in Singapore
were attempting to play a strategic management role with
their organizations and clients, public relations often is seen only
as a marketing support function. “Marketing public relations
relations is an important part of public relations, but I think Singaporean professionals need to
expand their vision of public relations,” he said.
Commenting on the public relations specialty in SCI, he said, “I think some excellent
public relations courses are being taught in the specialty...but in my opinion, public relations and
advertising are separate disciplines and should be separate options in the PPC Division.”
Friendly and approachable with a sense of humor, Prof. Grunig always had interesting
anecdotes to share. “I came to Singapore thinking I would be very hot most of the time. Instead,
I thought I was in Antarctica whenever I was in an air-conditioned building. Singaporeans really
seem to want to be cold when they are inside!”
Dr Cenite (extreme left) and panelists
Nie, who is the honorary assistant secretary of
Singapore Press Club and also senior producer
for MediaCorp News, initiated the idea.
“It started off as an opportunity to
discuss issues related to the profession to create
an informal occasion for the exchange of views
among members and students,” said Lau.
The forum was well received by
the audience who attended. “This gathering is
beneficial to media practitioners, academics and
students from journalism as it provides a venue
for them to share their observations on the
merger,” said Dr Xu Xiaoge, assistant professor
Writer and media consultant Peter H
L Lim who is the former editor-in-chief of The
Straits Times said, “I think the forum stimulated
thinking on various issues. The Singapore
media situation is very complex. It’s not only
business considerations, but also issues of
national politics, editorial quality, and how well
the newspapers and TV stations serve readers,
viewers and advertisers.” -- JN
Nanyang chronicle Celebrates
Joy and excitement fill the Nanyang Chronicle
workroom, as the NTU paper celebrates its 10th
As part of the anniversary, the editorial
team decided to give a facelift to the varsity
newspaper, which was started on August 1994
in the School of Communication then situated at
National University of Singapore.
This idea was initiated by the chief
editor, Lester Chiew, 23, and managing editor,
Alvin Chua, 23. “We wanted to do something
for Chronicleʼs 10th anniversary, and it was also
about time the newspaper got a new look.”
The revamp changed not only the organisation
of the content but also the typefaces,
layout and colours. “Itʼs a complete makeover,”
said Alvin. “Other than the old Chronicle red
which we preserved for traditionʼs sake, everything
else was given a facelift.”
The paper was launched to provide
a training ground for SCI students. A campus
paper for the NTU population, the Chronicle
team has been able to sustain its aims despite
numerous challenges in organizing and gathering
SCIʼs former Dean, Professor Eddie
Kuo said, “Over the years, the Chronicle has
increasingly been accepted as a paper by the
student, of the student and for the student.”
Currently, the Nanyang Chronicle has
a circulation of 15,000. The exposure that the
Chronicle team gets from running the newspaper
is beneficial to those interested in gaining newsroom
The team runs stories not only from
official sources like the Studentsʼ Affairs Office
but also initiates their own scoops. The Chronicle
also allows students to voice their opinion
on controversial issues such as lack of consultation
with the student body over “Nantah” name
change, which is treated responsibly by the
A recent issue of the Nanyang Chronicle
Bachelor of Communication Studies
Elaine Ho joined MediaCorp TV12 as a
programming executive in July 2003. Her
primary job is in buying and acquiring programs
for Kidʼs Central.
Adrian Lee is with Nokia Mobile Phones. He
is actively promoting photo-logging services
on the Internet, in conjunction with multimedia
messaging service. For business related
matters, you can contact Adrian at his office
Richard Wee has just moved to 77th Street
as an Assistant Marketing Manager after
three years in MediaCorp Radio.
Serene Ho married Edwin in June 2003.
Benjamin Yeo is a doctoral student at
Pennsylvania State Universityʼs School of
Information Science and Technology. His
research interests include the management of
mobile information systems and enterprise
systems integration, as well as IT planning
and economic development.
Mohamad Sufian Bin Jumahri heads the
Asia-Pacific division as an International
TV Sales Executive with Marcus Evans
Television in Sydney after a stint in London.
He will eventually be posted permanently
to an Asian city. Watch this space for more
updates from this globe-trotter.
Yeo Kwee Chuan is a writer-editor with
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Tokyo.
Previously, he worked as a news assistant
and producer with CNBC Asia, Singapore,
and staff reporter with Dow Jones Newswires,
Samantha Santa Maria completed her
Master of Journalism at Medillʼs School of
Journalism in 2003. She started out as a features
writer for the 130,000-circulation daily
The Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi,
and has since been promoted to Entertainment
Sharan Kaur says hello to all alumni, especially
the 1997 group. Sharan is married
and lives in Kuala Lumpur. She is a senior
copywriter with CCAS Sdn Bhd, a local
advertising company. Sharan has a one-year
old daughter, Harsohela Kaur. You can view
Harsohelaʼs pictures at http://www.geocities.
com/bebesohela/sohela. Sharan would like
to get in touch with her old friends. You can
contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heng Siok Tian (MSc.) has just published her
third collection of poems Contouring in March
2004. One of the threads of the book is the
tension between the old analogue world and the
new digital world, a common theme explored
in the field of communication. My City, My
Canvas (1999) and Crossing the Chopsticks and
other poems (1993) were her previous works.
Intan Azura Mokhtar (MSc) was eight months
pregnant when she attended the convocation
last year. She gave birth to her baby girl, Annika
Barisyia, on 15 September 2003. Her son,
Adam Dhiyaʼulhaq, is now five.
Sunita Kumari (MSc.) has been residing in
Florida, USA, since March 2003. Sunita gave
birth to a baby girl on 9 March, 2004.
Rob Khoo (MSc.) is working as a producer in
Ivan Chew (MSc.) is currently a manager at Jurong
Regional Library. Check out his personal
ʻblogʼ at http://ramblinglibrarian.blogspot.com/
Tan Woan Chyn (MSc.) is currently teaching
Chinese in Meridian Junior College.
Woan Chyn can be contacted at tan_woan_
Wayne Law (MSc.) is the Chief Financial Officer
with a snack food manufacturer in Shandong
Province, China. The company will soon
be listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Lai Mei Lien (MSc.) is the Director of Our Kids
Place International Preschool (http://www.
ourkidsplace.com/). Her training in Information
Studies has been put to good use. She has set up
a digital library for early education; a resource
library for teachers, parents and children; and a
Cheryl Marie Cordeiro (MSc) is a doctoral
student with the Department of Linguistics
at Gothenburg University in Sweden, but
based with the Gothenburg Research Institute
(http://www.gri.gu.se/) under the “Scandinavian
Management” group of researchers. It took
time for her to get used to the easygoing and
laidback lifestyle of the Swedes, a huge change
from Singaporeʼs hustle and bustle. “I hope to
come back to Singapore and work in a tertiary
Richard Xu Rong (MSc.) is currently working at
UOB IT/Business Solutions Division.
Wan Kwok Wai (MSc)
Kwok Wai joined the Vanda Group in Hong
Kong as their Regional Research Manager in
SCI students can now have a taste of
Indian culture while doing their PhDs.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has
been signed by SCI and the Mudra Institute of
Communication Arts (MICA) in Gujarat, India.
The MoU allows for exchange and collaboration
on four levels: joint research projects, information
exchange, staff exchange, and student exchange.
MICA offers a two-year Postgraduate
Diploma in Communications Management and
runs one-year executive diploma programs. It was
founded in 1991 and has since established itself
as one of the premier Indian institutes of learning.
Video Editing is a breeze with Avid
Students of the Electronic and Broadcast Media
(EBM) Division can now edit their projects
faster and have better quality videos with the
new Avid Media Composer Adrenaline. Avid is
the leading industry software for video editing.
The Advanced Video Editing Lab was set up in
June 2004 by the EBM department at a cost of
The Avid Media Composer processes
the videos faster with real-time effects. This
means that the changes made to the videos can
be seen immediately, with no lag-time.
The division head of EBM, Associate
Professor Sharen Liu, says, “Our latest set-up is
in keeping with one of SCI’s aim, to always give
our students the best deal in technical support
for their video projects.”
With a faster and more efficient
network, the server also has a storage space of
5.7 terabyte, equivalent to almost 100 computers
with a storage space of 60 gigabyte each. Since
there is ample storage space, students no longer
have to compress their video files and compromise
on the quality of their videos.
Final year projects are now allocated
100GB per 20-30 minute project, compared with
20 GB previously.
Fourth-year EBM student Randaa
Razak applauds the move, “Video editing is so
much faster and easier, it is almost a breeze.”
Peh Wei Ping
A/P Lee Chun Wah
(in alphabetical order)
Peh Wei Ping
Ms Vandana Chopra
Ms Ellen Hauser