By Shaun Loh (21A01A), Chairperson
Back when school was closed during circuit breaker, Press was still up and running, churning out articles on HBL and online school activities. When school reopened in Term 3 and live CCA sessions still couldn’t resume, Press was busy preparing for its Teacher’s Day edition.
We’re not saying all this to shore up our legitimacy, or to make us sound like an exceptionally industrious CCA. Rather, this exemplifies Press’ place in the school. We’re not just a documentation or archive of school events, nor are we a casual club of 40 opinionated students ready to churn out Op-Eds on books, social issues and…bubble tea.
Instead, we strive to be a culture centre that sustains the school spirit and encapsulates our identity as Rafflesians, whether through our individual student or staff features, or through our commentaries on not-so-often talked about phenomena.
Alongside our creative content, we also make sure to provide well-researched, veracious information for all of us to make better, more informed choices in Raffles. From Monday Elective Programme (MEP) and CCA previews, to commentaries on our JC curricula and syllabi, we remember and understand that the fundamental purpose of a press is to inform and educate.
In addition to our articles on the online platform Word Of Mouth, we also compile hardcopy editions for special school occasions to commemorate them. This year we produced a Teacher’s Day special edition which was disseminated via email to all teachers and students from Year 5-6. Stay tuned for an Orientation print edition next year!
Within the walls of our press room, usually A63 or A64 (or during Covid-19, the very hospitable MS Teams), we give each other feedback on how to improve our writing. Take for example the lede and nut graf, an essential journalism technique that will be taught at the start of every Y5 Press member’s journey. We also invite esteemed speakers to share their wealth of knowledge with us.
Of course, all work and no play makes a Press member dull. Apart from our writing exercises, we embark on many other fun projects to enrich ourselves and bond as a batch. For our 2020 Farewell batch gift, we compiled a publication of interviews with the outgoing Year Sixes to commemorate their experiences in Press!
Press is invested not only in fostering relationships between writers within RI, but also across schools in Singapore. Every year in April (except this year due to Circuit Breaker), we hold our inter-JC conference, Pressing Ahead, where student journalists from the various JCs come together and enrich themselves from one another’s insights. Another more recent initiative started by our senior Sarah Lok is Cross Island Impressions, an inter-JC Op-Ed compilation that allows student journalists from different JCs to come together and write a full Op-Ed.
But alas, we all know that Covid-19 has drastically transformed our way of life. A question that must be bogging all potential Press members: how has the pandemic altered the trajectory of Press? Well, it has been more difficult for us this year to invite external speakers and hold Prexcursions. Nonetheless, we have planned many activities for next year, and we are looking forward to it.
On the brighter side, the pandemic has propelled us forward on our journey toward becoming a more tech-savvy press. Moving forward, with the unprecedented phenomena of social distancing, alongside the increasing ubiquity of tech journalism, we are looking to make our Instagram and Facebook pages more engaging. We are also exploring various multimedia forms to expand our medium of coverage.
If you are observant, keen to learn and eager to be part of Press, we readily welcome you. See you at Press Trials next year!