It is a size of a classroom tucked away on the third floor of E4 and most passersby would never guess that inside this small room, a team of dedicated student reporters have been hard at work. This room is called the Media Lab and the nearly 50 students from the Diploma in Mass Communication (DMC) are responsible for this publication (the revamped Republican Post) and republicanpost.sg
The lab forms part of the curriculum for DMC – to give students a taste of what it is like to run both a newsroom and a public relations (PR) agency with long meetings and crazy deadlines. Director for the Centre for Enterprise and Communication (CEC), Mr Warren Wang, was part of the team of staff who came up with the idea of the Media Lab.
He said the main reason for the Media Lab is to expose the students to more real-life projects. “It is a platform for students to work on industry projects under two tracks, one for Journalism and the other for PR and Marketing Communications,” he added.
Media Lab activities cover aspects from editorial to design and PR campaign planning. From story meetings to interviews and photo-shoots to branding, facilitators guide students every step of the way. Mr Wang explained that projects will cover media industry practices that integrate print, online, broadcast and social media.
“So while the students produce material for the Republican Post, which we have had all along, what is new is that it will tie-in with the web version and social media as well. News will become more integrated this way,’’ said Mr Wang.
Students involved in the newsroom do not just work with projects in school. Thus far, they have worked with external clients including National Heritage Board, the Barclays-Habitat for Humanity Bare Your Sole event, and the Public Service Division (PSD). “Our students worked with PSD to come up with a video for Public Service Week,” said Mr Wang. “It was complimented by the Prime Minister so we are very proud of them.’’
To encourage the larger RP family to be part of the newsroom, head of the Media Lab, Senior Academic Staff Mr David Chin said students from other schools are welcome.
“We have a few students from other diplomas joining the Lab and we welcome non-CEC students to join the editorial and PR teams,” said Mr Chin.
But it is not a job for the faint-hearted. Chief Editor, Muhammad Zailani (Zack), a third year DMC student. “It was nerve-wrecking to know the amount of work this job entails, but it’s definitely exciting to know that the Media Lab is going in the right direction,’’ said Zack. “It gives us a taste of what working life is like in the real world.”