Telum Talks To...recipients of the Hadiah Kewartawanan Malaysia MPI-Petronas 2022 Awards
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Telum Talks To...recipients of the Hadiah Kewartawanan Malaysia MPI-Petronas 2022 Awards

To celebrate the recent Hadiah Kewartawanan Malaysia MPI-Petronas 2022 Awards in Kuala Lumpur, Telum spoke with a selection of recipients at the event to find out what their award-winning piece meant to them. We also asked them to share their tips on how to create a captivating story.

Farrah Naz Karim, Group Editor, New Straits Times
Awarded: Outstanding News Report (Winner) for "Mossad Behind KL Abduction, Smoking Out Spooks"

I am a passionate proponent of investigative journalism. I believe it is an essential element in creating a just, equitable, and informed society, while keeping authorities in check by highlighting shortcomings and deficiencies in the system. In the case of the Mossad story, that stemmed from a tip-off, a small morsel of information, that blew up into something bigger. Through the process of investigation and reporting, important questions were posed, connections were made, and the implications of this operation were brought to light. This story highlights the power of investigative journalism in holding those in authority to account, while also contributing to the development of stronger security measures to protect citizens.

When creating news content, the overriding principle is to tell people what they don't know. In order to do that in a compelling way, the writer has to be able to engage with the readers at a raw, visceral level. There are two ways of doing this. The first is through the sheer weight of the information. In order to achieve this, the information must be sound and the facts irrefutable. It must be authoritative. It is important, in this phase of crafting a story, that the information is corroborated through several other independent sources. Almost invariably, this leads to new, additional leads, adding layers to the story.

The second way to draw in readers is through an engaging delivery style. This is where a writer's voracious appetite for reading, and an expansive and descriptive vocabulary come into play.

Words, when used effectively, can convey a sense of being there, allowing readers to live vicariously through the exploits of the protagonists. Honing one's craft as a writer, a journalist and a wordsmith should be a lifelong pursuit, and is essential to delivering a compelling piece.

Yusmizal Dolah Aling, Assistant News Editor, Harian Metro
Awarded: The Kajai Award for "Terima Kasih Laoshi, Hadiah Raya Paling Bermakna, Rohana Abdullah kini warga Malaysia, Sanjung Budi Laoshi"

There are numerous inspiring stories from the community that serve as motivation and encouragement in life. They provided the inspiration for me to share the story of Chee Hoi Lan, who was willing to take care of Rohana (a child abandoned by an Indonesian mother and adopted by Chee Hoi Lan) for 22 years, despite their difference in religions.

I received assistance from community activist, Gulam Muszaffar Ghulam Mustakim, to bring Rohana's story to the attention of the authorities which resulted in her successfully obtaining citizenship status. While writing the report, I couldn't help but think about the fate of thousands of others who are experiencing the same issue.

One of the essential elements of a well-crafted report is the inclusion of comprehensive news, ensuring a good ending. Furthermore, the extent to which the authorities are aware and take follow-up actions based on the reported information is also a crucial element in any news piece. 

Aliza Shah Muhammad Shah, former Journalist, The Star
Awarded: Outstanding Investigative News (Winner) for "Express dental danger, A high price to pay, Kid's play to get dentist kit"

While conducting research for some other stories, I discovered that although Malaysia had previously arrested many fake dentists, you can still find a lot of them sprouting up like mushrooms after rain. I was curious as to why, so I conducted some research and discovered these groups provide certificates to anyone who wants to learn the necessary skills in order to set up their own business. I find this alarming, and my hope was to expose the practise so that it could be stopped.

The story has a human touch, it is in-depth, it covers every aspect, and has an impact.  

Andy Reza, News Anchor, Radio Televisyen Malaysia
Awarded: A.Samad Ismail Young Journalist Award (TV) for "LRT Tergendala, Apa Puncanya?, Usul Undi Percaya Terhadap PM: Makna Sebenar Dan Kepentingannya"

I submitted three special news reports to be evaluated under the category of the A. Samad Ismail Young Journalist Award, Malaysian Journalism Award 2022. One of these pieces was a special news report on an incident involving the disrupted Light Rail Transit in Malaysia that affected approximately 200,000 users last year. The issues addressed in each special news report are closely related to the interests of the public. This is an important matter that should be given attention by every journalist because we serve as the voice of the people.

Every report produced should be balanced by obtaining detailed explanations from the parties involved. However, it should be noted that a good special news report goes beyond the mere reporting of facts. There are many other elements that need to be considered to make the resulting report truly impactful to the audience. This is known as the 'news value'. 

Febbright James, News Reporter / Anchor, TVS
Awarded: Outstanding Video News (Silver) for "Perjuangan Cikgu Pedalaman"

As a Journalist, I prefer to highlight people-centric stories. Therefore, I produced a report that focused on the challenges faced by teachers in rural areas that have limited access to decent infrastructure like roads and the internet. These teachers struggle between adhering to the standard of the current syllabus (where everything requires working IT and technology) and limited facilities.

However, the teachers in these areas are still able to deliver, so much so that some of their students excel across the board. Their spirit inspires me.

To produce a captivating story, your storyline must be understandable and unique. It also must be supported by interesting visuals. These are the stories that will easily capture an audience's attention. 

Peh Hui Kee, Senior Feature Reporter, Sin Chew Daily
Awarded: Petronas Outstanding Environmental Award (Bronze) for "南峇山里的大鼻儿(Si Tapir in Gunung Lambak)"

“Si Tapir in Gunung Lambak” explores efforts by a local community to address tapir conservation. Gunung Lambak is a very small forest which is close to the town of Kluang, Johor. It is also a popular recreational park amongst locals. There is a large tapir population in this small forest but unfortunately, extremely high incidents of tapir fatalities on the road nearby.

In the story, I personified the tapir. I was first inspired to pursue this by professor, Lin Yuan-hui's masterpiece "黑熊悲血滿霜天". In his work, he personified the Formosan black bears, blended with a range of facts and figures. I think this is a really lively way of writing to attract our readers.

As a Reporter, we must be first touched by a story to pursue it for our readers. Only then can we write about what we see and feel. In “Si Tapir in Gunung Lambak”, I followed a local hiker, Lim Kim Chuan, tracing Si Tapir's footprint in the jungle. As a civilian, he put a lot of effort into research the topic of animal conservation.

Following the story's publication, I followed up with Lim to hear how one of the tapir cubs was growing. It is an incredibly warm and fascinating experience to be allowed to watch a tapir grow and develop.

Rajan David Christy, Executive Editor Production, New Straits Times
Awarded: Outstanding Columnist / Criticism / Commentary (Bronze) for "Boss, please make it 'kurang garam' ah. I have high BP lah, In this age, English proficiency is not the be-all and end-all, Secondhand goods are not sexy blah"

David shared a poem he wrote that describes how he felt about receiving the award for his work:

In truth, the idea is not summoned, it comes like an unbidden guest,
The writer wills it to stay still, for life has much other labour,
But the germ obeys not for long, quite obvious is its zest,
Thus this writer perceives, pen must be put to paper to free the tale's flavour.

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Telum Media

Database

Journalists
Rajan David Christy

Executive Editor, Production

Farrah Naz Abdul Karim

Group Editor

Yusmizal Dolah Aling

Assistant News Editor

Aliza Shah Muhammad Shah

Specialist Writer

Andy Reza Rohadian Khairul Anwar

News Presenter / Producer

Febbright Ansie James @ Tuba

News Reporter / Anchor

Peh Hui Kee

Senior Feature Reporter

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