City News’ second birthday bash was a celebration of new milestones and a recognition of hard work.
Contributed By Bernie Guan
With a total of 55 issues printed to date, the editorial team, writers, photographers and newscasters of City News were gathered at Roland Seafood Restaurant on Feb. 19 for a reunion and a celebration of shared success.
From the 2010 Haiti earthquake to the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore last August, and many celebrity concerts and marketplace profiles, some 70 volunteers including Out Of The Box (City News’ video news) newscasters were honored for their hard work in the coverage of news events.
This celebration marks a milestone in CN’s journey. Besides reaching more than 1.75 million page views and an estimated weekly readership of 60,000 since the inception of its online portal in 2008, CN has been more than a journalistic feat for the stable of volunteer writers who have reported breaking news and community happenings. In November 2010, the portal was given a facelift by web designer Aaron Ling. By introducing new features to the layout, navigation and accessibility of various media (e.g. video clips) have been improved, leading to higher interactivity and user-friendliness.
Elizabeth Low, 25, a journalist, and Sim Yee Tat, 23, marketing manager, were both glad to be part of this second year anniversary. For Low, the reunion celebrations provided an opportunity for her to put a face to the names of writers whose stories she reads weekly. Sim was impressed with the “well organized birthday bash” and was heartened by the turn out. Another fellow volunteer Jonathan Teo, a 24-year-old full-time national serviceman likened the event to a big family gathering where the youngest to the oldest were appreciated.
Theresa Tan, editor-in-chief of CN, recalled how writers were filled with a lot of excitement in the beginning and when the initial thrill abated, the entire experience became more of a reality check and validation of one’s writing ability. Despite the challenges faced by many volunteer writers, Tan affirmed that there were many gratifying aspects and that those who toiled would “go up to the next level.”
Yuan Wenling, manager of CN, spoke highly of the volunteers and described them as “very passionate and helpful” in delivering news content. In appreciation of their time and efforts, nine major awards were presented to writers who made exceptional contributions in the past year. Graphic designers, photographers and video crew were also invited on stage to receive appreciation gifts for their complementary roles in ensuring the on-time news delivery.
Apart from thanking key players in churning out time-sensitive stories, sponsors such as Corporate i Pte Ltd were also mentioned.
Exciting times are ahead for everyone keen to partake in this vision and as Tan succinctly puts it, “We will soon discover that our readers are going to transform and we need to meet them at their level.”
If you are keen to contribute as a volunteer editor, journalist, newscaster or production manager in City News, please email your particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org.