An opportunity for Beng Chai, a Shelter 3 teenage boy, to learn about journalism

30 September 2008

I was happy to learn that I was selected to be part of the Star’s BRAT programme. On 24 May 2008, I met a group of seniors and participants of the programme at Puduraya bus station. The bus left the station at 7:15 am and reached Penang at 1:30 pm. We were taken to Sunway Hotel in Georgetown.

I shared my room with Tan Kel Vin, Tan Yew Chong and Teh Eng Kim. We were briefed by the staff from the Star on how we should go about collecting information and taking pictures. Then we were divided into four groups of nine each. The very first day they put us on the field at Penang Road. It was an exciting experience for me to be going around taking pictures of Penang Road.

Our first assignment was to visit Chowrasta Market and find out what the place is famous for. The place is famous for Nutmeg pickles. Nutmeg is one of the tourist attractions in Chowrasta. Some of my team mates interviewed the hawkers and I took pictures.

On the second day, we visited Penang Hill. We had the opportunity to ride the historical tram that goes up the hill. I interviewed a twenty year old tourist named Adam from Iowa City, USA. He is a student in landscape architecture. This was his first trip to Malaysia; he had visited Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in the previous week. He appreciated Malaysian food for the variety and the cost.

After breakfast we spent some time taking group pictures and saying good bye to our new friends. Then we left for the bus station to board a bus to Kuala Lumpur.

I am grateful to the organizers for the opportunity given to me. I hope to make journalism my career.

The whole camp was about journalism and how news appeared in the papers every day.

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