by Lee Chin Wee (14A01B)
Opinions are rather strange things. Trapped and stewing within the confines of our head, they are but isolated thoughts. Spoken and shared with a few close friends, they start to gain some character – sharpened by dissenting views and polished over time. But when broadcasted to a wider community, that’s when opinions really come into their own – they gain the power to persuade, to entertain, to wound, and to move. After all, the world doesn’t owe us a duty to listen to what we think.
As the official student journalism society of RI, Raffles Press aspires to be a platform where our members can make their voices count. We meet once a week, from 2.00-3.30 pm on Wednesdays. While our training schedule may seem low-intensity, rest assured that our reach is anything but! The annual RI yearbook features dozens of event write-ups from our very own members. The revamped Rafflesian Times, a collaborative effort with the Communications Department, goes out to thousands of alumni all around the world. Word of Mouth, our online publication, reaches out to over 2,000 regular readers on a daily basis – we regularly hit more than 60,000 views a month! Who knew that contemporary accounts of student life could be so popular?
But honestly, beyond the self-congratulatory statistics, there are many significant intrinsic benefits that can be reaped by joining Raffles Press. As a club, our philosophy is that the rewards you reap should be commensurate to the work you plough into the CCA. The more articles and projects you’re willing to participate in, the more fulfilling your time as a Press member will be. Don’t just take our word for it – think about the last good article you’ve read on the internet. Perhaps it inspired you to take action, or at least encouraged you to think more about a particular issue. We’re giving you the chance to touch someone’s life instead. It could be a poignant feature on a former Rafflesian drug addict, an Appreciation Week piece on one of our cleaning staff, or simply a heartfelt article about a service learning trip – it’s all up to you to decide.
After all, Press is a CCA that seeks not to compete but rather to collaborate. We’ve forged strong working relationships with the Communications Department, the Students’ Council and the Photographic Society (just to name a few) in order to enhance the Rafflesian Experience. Through our CCA Previews, we have given traditionally smaller and less publicized CCAs a platform to bring their message across. Through our Please Mind the Platform Gap series, we provide crucial information to ease the transition to Year 5-6. Through our involvement in the Rafflesian Times, we have injected a strong student voice into an otherwise corporate magazine. Many of the initiatives that Press has spearheaded over the past two years have been founded on the simple premise that student voices matter the most. We firmly believe that Raffles Press provides the dialogue needed for a stronger sense of Rafflesian community.
Here at Raffles Press, we also take the personal development of our members very seriously. Members can expect their training sessions to be occupied by external workshops, internal lectures and the occasional field trip – the last one was to the Wee Kim Wee School of Communications at NTU! This year, we plan to invite a number of prominent journalists and mainstream media experts for the purposes of club enrichment. Better writers will also get the chance to mentor less experienced members from both Press and Publications (the Year 1-4 equivalent), honing their writing skills in the process.
This year, we intend to hold selection trials for the club, which will take the form of a simple English competency test as well as a short interview segment – hopefully not too daunting a prospect, especially because we intend to accept over thirty new members in 2014. Do look out for scheduling details on the CCA registration page itself.
Consider joining Press if you have a flair for writing. Consider joining us if you’ve always wanted to be a journalist. Consider joining us even if you simply want to play a part in shaping the school community. Join us so that one more voice can be added to our chorus of opinions.