Ming Xuen Amelia (Sr1A)
Isabel Goh Ern Zi (Sr1ScB)
Ang Min Shi (Sr1ComA)
Ashley Chin Li Yi (Sr1ScD)
Yee Wen Shuen (Sr1C)
Tan Qing Lin/Photography (Sr1ScB)
On 1st November 2019 morning, a group of nine members from Kuen Cheng High School English Newsletter club had a privilege to visit The Star, accompanied by Ms Cynthia Chee, the school’s Secretary cum PR Executive and Ms Malar, English Teacher. Members of the club included Ng Choon Hau, Ming Xuen Amelia,Yee Wen Shuen, Ang Min Shi, Tan Qing Lin, Isabel Goh Ern Zi, Ashley Chin Li Yi, Thian Yi-Ming and Ng Ting Hui. The Star is an established and the leading English-language daily newspaper and news website in Malaysia that has over the years won numerous awards from domestic as well as international competitions. All members were so excited and filled with much anticipation before the visit to our local prominent media powerhouse.
We were greeted with a warm welcome by Ms Julianne Jean De Souza, Senior Executive, Corporate Communication of Star Media Group as soon as the school van arrived at Menara Star. Julianne was very friendly and she led us to explore The Star Gallery to begin our day tour. The introduction was interesting and very eye-opening. The Star started off as a newspaper company in Penang. There was only a single product at the beginning but over the years The Star has transformed into a multi-platform media group, investing hugely in the latest innovative technology, with its current Head Office situated in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The Star Online is also established and available now on the app, offering real-time news and update.
Star Media Group owns many different websites such as mStar which is more towards Bahasa Malaysia and kuali.com mainly displays Malaysian food and recipes. Besides that, radio stations like 988 and Suria FM, respectively in Chinese and the Malay language are also famous brands belonging to the group. Video on demand service like Dimsum offers mainly Asian dramas and shows.
A Malay magazine named Kuntum was also produced by The Star which is for students in primary school. The media group also published different types of books. Anak-anak Malaysia Walk and #Standtogether were some special events that were held to unite the country and spread kindness among one another. This surely showed that The Star is not just a newspaper company but is immersed with our daily life. The introduction changed the perspective on how we thought about The Star and we were amazed about it.
Later on, we headed over to the Lifestyle Desk where journalists for the paper’s lifestyle pull out worked their magic to create new and creative content for the readers. The Lifestyle segment of the paper is branched into Entertainment & Style, People & Living, Health & Family and Travel & Culture. From cooking to dressing up, this segment has something for everyone regardless of their respective hobbies. Ms Ivy, from the Lifestyle segment, has kindly briefed us on the operations of the team and how the content is produced whether it is for print or to be displayed online. Every day, the editors will have two meetings to decide on what is reported in terms of impact and relevance to the readers which is crucial in conveying an idea. Editors are also the ones who decide on the layout of the paper so that the more relevant topics will catch the readers’ attention. While the editors curate the news, the reporters will be out in the field, catching the latest scoop and exclusive or shedding light on the latest controversy. Before moving on to the Education Desk, Ivy urged those with a passion for writing to uphold their dreams as when there is a will, there is a way.
Next, we came to the Education Desk. The education desk is in charge of curating educational material and content as well as cultivating young writers through multiple programmes. One of The Star’s initiatives in promoting education and learning are the subscription-based educational newspapers which is the Star-Nie and the Star-Flicks. According to Ms Sharon, the Education team will collect resources and do research according to the syllabus provided by teachers at the end of every year and publish educational videos as well as monthly educational papers for the following year. The paper includes content such as comics, exercises, reading material, all presented in a fun and appealing way to students and can be used by the teachers to present their lessons in a fresher medium. We were also being briefed on the BRATs programme, catering to young journalist that focuses on the different aspects or journalism such as video production, social media reporting, interviewing skills, photography and news writing just to name a few.
Last but not least, we were lucky enough to meet a few members from the The Star’s R.AGE documentary journalism team. Mr. Shanjeev, Ms. Claire and Ms. Myra briefed us through the R.AGE team upon our arrival at their desks. R.AGE is a video production unit that focuses on hard-hitting documentaries and digital news content. R.AGE is more popular within the younger generation as the team has a different approach towards journalism. The journalists produce original documentaries on various social issues to ensure the society is well aware of these cases and topics.
According to the journalists from R.AGE, they perform undercover operations to find out more about certain social issues, get help and also offer support to the police. Sometimes, the journalists place themselves in danger while capturing original footage but the team members provide their full support to one and another to ensure the former’s safety. All the titles achieved by R.AGE are not a one-man show. The R.AGE team gave their best shot by cooperating with each other to bring impact to the society. Their genuine dedication and passion towards their job should receive a standing ovation. One of their renowned documentary series was called Predator in My Phone, investigation being carried out on child sex predators in Malaysia. An extensive social campaign had eventually contributed to the tabling of the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017.
R.AGE has also branched out into running large-scale corporate social responsibility campaigns, such as its #StandTogether National Kindness Week movement and the Eye On The Ball blind football project, are collaboration work of The Star with two different listed companies in Malaysia. As we were watching the documentary trailers with the team, Mr. Shanjeev reminded us youths to always have passion in what we are doing to feel the joy while working on it. That was truly thought-provoking.