Author: Andrej Jovanchevski

You seek a venue that sums up the cultures of the major Asian civilizations? You wonder if there is a place on Earth where the contemporary complements the traditional in an admiring way? You want to get to know what it takes to turn a dot on the world map into an economic giant in just one generation? You want to witness the harmony of social diversity and equality first-hand? You are fond of spicy dishes? How about a trip to Singapore then?

Having participated in the Young Reporters Training Camp 2009, a project initiated and organized by the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA) in Singapore, I now look upon a number of aspects of my life from another perspective. A perspective of an open-minded teenager that is rather aware of his role in the community. Apart from nicely framing my journalism skills, the 10 days I spent in Singapore directed my ambitions towards the pure Olympic values. It is a milestone that will remain cherished for years to come and a saga that is still to reach its climax. The following is a summary of my thrilling adventure as a representative of my school and country at the YRTC.

First impressions

Over 60 youths from different cultural backgrounds and diverse life paths were selected to attend the camp and I was about to take part in its third run. As the Turkish Airlines Airbus began landing and the stewardess announced that all the passengers should fasten their belts I caught myself gazing outside the window. What I could see from about 4 miles above land was a view over a city set among small dots filled with greenery, jungle-like, as well as the tranquilising waters surrounding them. Since I had never travelled abroad on my own and it was my first time to visit such a distant country, I had a few butterflies in my stomach. I was wondering if some prejudices might occur and whether I would be confident enough to freely communicate with my hosts. However, as soon as I stepped off the plane and was taken to the campsite, the ice was broken. I could feel that a saga was about to begin, unity to be brought on a new stage, friendship to be redefined. I could smell it in the air. And so it was…

Becoming a young reporter

Along with the 17 participants of my group, I had the unique opportunity to attend numerous inspiring workshops conducted by some of the leading educational and journalism institutions in the Southeast Asian region. During our stay we were given a lecture by the vice-president of Singapore Press Holdings; we questioned and shared opinions with photographers who have covered many remarkable events worldwide; we got an insight into the work of Channel News Asia`s recruits; we were taught how to compose a good report and edit videos; we got to know what photo essay and piece to camera are. Above all, we obtained experts` tips that are of key importance when it comes to putting the creativity and journalism skills into use. It is true that one does not become a reporter overnight, but being given a solid base is utterly rewarding.

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