Harnessing social media for more than just entertainment

National 2 minutes, 1 second

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

YOUNG Bruneians are keen to harness the power of mass media to advocate for social change, said a group of undergraduates from Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD).

Twenty students participated in a ‘Young Media Advocates’ workshop held at UBD yesterday, which focused on training youth to the effective use of media to promote specific causes or public campaigns.

Firdaus Ismail, the project manager for the workshop, said he created the programme to teach young people how to inspire and influence others through various forms of media.

“When I talk about leadership, I talk about influencing people, and media is the most powerful tool to convey your story,” he said.

“I would say Bruneians use social media more than 10 hours per day. So that’s why it would be nice to use media as a platform to create awareness and share knowledge rather than just for entertainment.”

He added that a number of the workshop participants are actively engaged with NGOs on a range of social and environmental issues that they hope to promote through different media platforms.

“Some of them are part of clubs and NGOs. They want to enhance awareness among Bruneian society, and I hope this programme will enhance their public relations skills. It is up to them to advocate the cause they are passionate about.”

A number of speakers have been engaged to speak at the four-day workshop, including local journalists and social media personalities, as well as representatives from the national communications regulator, Authority for Info-communication Technology Industry (AITI).

Firdaus explained that the speakers will talk on how to present their content more professionally in different mediums such as radio, social media, videos, lectures, newspapers, and photography.

He said upon completion of the workshop, participants should have a better understanding on the role of the media, as well as how to use different mediums to express ideas.

The workshop is a collaboration between the Young Project Managers (YouPM) alumni, the Brunei-US Association, UBD’s Office of Alumni Relations and Advancement (OARA), and is supported by the US Embassy.

Public Affairs Officer at the embassy, Dr Edward Findlay said: “In today’s world, media really is everywhere yet it is still surprising to me how many people who really don’t understand or know how to use media very well.”

“This workshop is a great example of entrepreneurial spirit that drives economies and produces great things.”

The Brunei Times