Singapore, 6 September 2010 - The Straits Times clinched the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) World Young Reader Prize 2010 in its Newspapers In Education (NIE) category.
The award, which is presented yearly, recognises the world’s top publication for innovative use of the newspaper as a teaching tool. The flagship paper of the Singapore Press Holdings group took the award for its revamp of its weekly secondary school magazine, IN.
For the NIE category, the judging panel looked at how well a newspaper is presented at schools as a textbook or classroom resource, providing lessons in basic reading, mathematics, politics, science, social studies, geography and critical thinking. The NIE may be carried out at all levels of education with lessons designed to tie in with the national school curriculum.
The jury, whose members came from Panama, South Africa, Brazil, Ghana, Poland, Spain and Australia, said: “This revamping of a five-year-old, 16-page NIE weekly publication, distributed with The Straits Times’ Monday edition, turned it into a crucial classroom learning resource to improve English language ability, while making it a must-have authentic resource for teachers, especially young teachers unfamiliar with using the newspaper in class. "
The jury went on to say: “This is an ‘NIE Plus’ effort: an all-embracing action, covering not only curriculum and classroom-based activities, but also helping youth take action in important areas, such as fitness and health, notably with the ‘Paper Chase’ race for student and teacher teams. It is a dynamic, all-embracing entry: it took the concept of a very traditional NIE program and embraced new marketing, branding and editorial aspects.
“It not only linked to the curriculum but also engaged young readers with great editorial work and interactive contests. A partnership with educators was crucial in their project from the start, as they were made part of the revamp. The paper also made excellent use of both face-to-face contact with teachers and enhanced online contact with students.”
Ms Serene Goh, editor of The Straits Times Schools magazines IN and Little Red Dot, will accept the prize at the awards presentation ceremony on November 16, at the 12th WAN-IFRA Readership Conference in San Francisco.
She said: “My team and I are truly honoured to receive this award. A big part of it has to do with the invaluable support we’ve had from teachers, who were generous and very honest with their opinions. They made us answer some tough questions about our revamp like, how can we get the stories in the main paper to tie in with our weekly lesson activities? How can we shape our content to help students pass exams? How do we get non-native English speakers into a habit of reading? How can we make our stories so relevant to students that they contribute their opinions?
“After all the hard work, I think the highest compliment came from one of our collaborators who told us she felt that our newspaper brought the world into the classroom every week. The bonus for us journalists is watching students improve their language skills and current affairs knowledge the more they read. It’s a tremendous sense of achievement to be able to impact students’ academic lives so significantly."
Mr Han Fook Kwang, Editor of The Straits Times said, “It's an outstanding achievement for the IN team to be judged the best in the world. It shows our commitment to produce a world-class product for our schools. I'm truly pleased that the many hours that teachers and students spend on IN and on The Straits Times every week has been time well spent on a product that we can proudly claim to be the best there is. This has been a great team effort involving not just our journalists but also our colleagues at Circulation and at Editorial Projects. Their award-winning efforts have included the The Straits Times Paper Chase, the National Schools Newspaper Competition and many Media Club activities.”
The first issue of IN was launched on January 8, 2005. It currently reaches out to more than 90,000 student subscribers in Singapore. It is distributed free with The Straits Times every Monday to secondary schools that subscribe to more than 500 copies of The Straits Times every week.
This is the second time that IN has garnered a WAN World Young Reader Prize. It received a World Young Reader Prize in 2006, Special Jury Commendation (Brand).
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For more information, please contact
Chin Soo Fang (Ms)
Singapore Press Holdings
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Yeo Siew Chi (Mr)
Corporate Communications Division
Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
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About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2009. It is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.
Newspapers and Magazines
In Singapore, SPH publishes 17 newspaper titles in four languages. Every day, 3 million individuals or 79 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.
Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 225 million pageviews with 14 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH's online and new media initiatives include an online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; local search and directory engine, rednano.sg; Stomp (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging; omy.sg, a bilingual news and interactive portal and The Straits Times RazorTV, a free access interactive webcast service offering live chat shows and video-on-demand clips.
SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 in Mandarin and 91.3FM in English.
Events and Outdoor Advertising
SPH’s events subsidiary Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company.
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping belt. SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, has also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.