Ex-reporter teaches journalism to students

National 1 minute, 39 seconds


A FORMER journalist turned teacher at Sekolah Menengah Sayiddina Ali (SMSA) has inspired her students to take up the challenge of preparing reports about school events for local media to use.

The group of eleven students – consisting of proofreaders, reporters and photographers – are the second batch of SMSA’s Media Team, the first of which was created two years ago by Erna Sumarne Hj Summardi, who now teaches General Paper.

"When I started teaching, I was handling external relations with the media and that's when I first had the thought of creating a media team to help students gain confidence and exposure, both in writing and socially," said Erna yesterday on the sideline of a religious talk held at SMSA in conjunction with the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

Upper sixth form student Mieza Syahirah Asmali, who leads the team, said that she and her peers had improved their information gathering skills, writing ability and communication skills through reporting so far.

“Our preparations usually involve getting information from those involved in organising a school event, including teachers and students so that we can prepare a press release for local media who are coming to report on the event to use,” said the 18-year-old.

Mieza added that notable SMSA events they prepared releases for in 2014 were a Syariah lecture, the Best Student Award, an Open Day talk as well as writing articles on the activities of the school’s Students Representatives Council which have been published in the Brunei Times.

Erna Sumarne also said that there was a strong, steady interest from students in joining the team.

Students wanting to join were first asked to write a piece and later undergo a short interview for selection.

“Delegating some of the responsibility of dealing with media to students has really exposed them to the field of journalism and reporting. The feedback from the students has been excellent, and we are hoping to continue to team for many years to come.”

The Brunei Times