Nov 2004 - Nanyang Technological University

wkwsci.ntu.edu.sg

Nov 2004 - Nanyang Technological University

July - Nov ʻ04 | Issue 01

Co

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

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Dean’s Message

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.

Best regards,

Ang Peng Hwa

Connexscions - Connecting You and Us

Who would have thought that

choosing a name for a newsletter is

so difficult

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

alumni, said.

“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.

CALLING ALL

ALUMNI!

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

asyychew@ntu.edu.sg or Assistant Professor

Lee Wai Peng at sd-sci@ntu.edu.sg.

-- CHY

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

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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

other programmes.”

-- GC


PRISM Awards Comes to SCI

making waves

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

Singapore.

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

group of

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

of many.”

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

today.

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

-- WP

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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.

Grey

Chia Chun Kit, Melissa Yuen, Awi Ismail, Jason

Ng

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

Ban Yong

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.

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making waves

The Cast of

“The Last

Flight of the

Red

Butterflies”

-- GC

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

feature film.

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.”

-- JN

“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

about DAS.

“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

Winston Ng.

The elements of the

campaign included exhibitions

at the Ang Mo Kio and Geylang

East Community libraries and

awareness talks at four community

libraries.

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

Central district.

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

work.”

Having received the

commendation and knowing

that their hard work had been

appreciated, the group was

extremely delighted.

“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.”

-- SL


Students Produce Radio Program For RSI

making waves

Do you love listening to the radio Next time when you tune in, it might just be a SCI student’s voice on

air!

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

foreign languages.

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

up with.”

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.

-- WP

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

this video.

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.

-- OR

Screenshots from Radio Station

Forgot to Play My Favourite

Song

5


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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

Occupation: Presenter,

ChannelNewsAsia

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

NewsAsia.

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

career.”

Name: Edwin Koo

Occupation: Photojournalist, Streats

SCI celebrities

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

Occupation: Actress

Name: Ng Hui

Occupation: Artiste,

MediaCorp

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

category Behind-the-Scenes.

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,

pictures.”

Name: Ian Tan

Occupation: Journalist,

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

2002.

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

readers.”

-- GHY


new SCI buidling building

Reaching

for Higher

Grounds

The new conference room

on level 4

The SCI building under

construction

The graduate students’

office

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

building.

“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

student intake.

“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.”

-- SL

The new 4 th storey extension,

where the deanery resides now

The SCI study room

on level 5

The SCI building

after completion

7


Digital Moves...

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

making waves

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

and diversity.

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.

org.sg/mediaroom/campaigns/digital_moves/main.html

-- SS

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

installation.

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

Awards, NAFA

thinker in him, as he “began to think

analogically.”

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

adds.

Given Lee’s achievements,

who’s to say the road less taken

doesn’t lead to success

-- FW

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

UOB Painting

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.

8

staff stuff

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

human.”

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.”

-- WP

Michael and his works

Photo by courtesy of SPH-Streats


Helping to Bridge The Journalistic Gap

staff stuff

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

speakers.

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

teaching styles.”

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

training.

-- CHY

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

policies.

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

a journalist.

“And I don’t need to worry

about daily or weekly deadlines!” he

laughs.

And what does he like best

about teaching

“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

themselves too.

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

in learning.”

-- ML

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

Staff Promotions

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,

non-government organisations

and multinational public relations

agencies.

“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.

-- WP

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.

9


New Admission System For Freshmen

undergrad

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.

-- TT

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

camp.

“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

eventful.

“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

to know.”

-- TT

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

classmates.”

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

10

members also use the group site as a social platform

where they could keep in touch with their

classmates.

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

other.”

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-

MMC-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

MA Students’ Gathering

-- RW


Not Your Average Graduate

Student

ma student page

Award For Best

Dissertation

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

better.”

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

magazines.

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

Venerable Yan

Xu

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)

programme.

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

Singapore Polytechnic.

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

system.

-- RW

amic

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

abroad.

AMIC has been housed in SCI since 1996, and the two share a

close partnership.

“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

to edit.

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.”

-- LC

The AMIC office

11


Events

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.”

-- RW

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

September.

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

12

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

Asian societies.

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.

-- LC

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


Events

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

in Research.

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!”

-- RW

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

from SCI.

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

what’s new

Nanyang chronicle Celebrates

10th Anniversary

Joy and excitement fill the Nanyang Chronicle

workroom, as the NTU paper celebrates its 10th

Anniversary.

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

news.

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

experience.

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

editorial team.

-- JN

A recent issue of the Nanyang Chronicle

13


Bachelor of Communication Studies

2003:

Elaine Ho joined MediaCorp TV12 as a

programming executive in July 2003. Her

primary job is in buying and acquiring programs

for Kidʼs Central.

2002:

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

(6723-2505).

2001:

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.

14

CLASSNOTES

1999:

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.

1998:

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,

Hong Kong.

1997:

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

Director.

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: modtu@hotmail.com.

Master’s Program

2002:

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.

2001:

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

MTV Asia.

2000:

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_

chyn@moe.edu.sg

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

website.

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

institution eventually.”

1999:

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

2003.

-- FW

what’s new

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.

-- SS

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

S$500,000.

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.”

-- CHY

Editors

Chan Huiyi

Serena Leong

Ong Rushan

Peh Wei Ping

Stephanie Shi

Teresa Tan

Layout Team

Grace Chiang

Adrian Yeap

Photographer

Jave Ng

TEAM

Business Team

Lynnette Chan

Felicia Wong

Faculty Coordinator

A/P Lee Chun Wah

ConnexscIons

(in alphabetical order)

Writers

Chan Huiyi

Lynnette Chan

Grace Chiang

Goh Huiyi

Michelle Lee

Serena Leong

Jave Ng

Ong Rushan

Peh Wei Ping

Stephanie Shi

Teresa Tan

Felicia Wong

Rena Wong

Adrian Yeap

Lecturers

Ms Vandana Chopra

Ms Ellen Hauser

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