High-tech newsroom of the future, Newsplex Asia opens at NTU
New centre sees strong industry support from Singapore Press Holdings, Apple and Thomson Reuters
A new facility that will revolutionise the training and operations of newsrooms officially opens this Saturday at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Jointly set up by NTU and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), Newsplex Asia at NTU will be an inter-disciplinary news laboratory to train journalists and news professionals to work with technologies of the future.
A key facility at NTU's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI), Newsplex Asia is the third of its kind in the world and the first in Asia. The $0.5 million centre, which spans over 160 square metres of space and features advanced facilities in a highly-connected learning environment, will let students and media professionals learn and develop, in a realistic and vibrant setting, integrated digital media and journalism skills. .
Associate Professor Benjamin Detenber, Chair of NTU’s Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information said, “The Wee Kim Wee School is proud to establish Newsplex Asia here at NTU. Having such premier teaching facilities will provide an unparalleled educational experience for our students – the reporters and editors of tomorrow – and continue to attract the best students, faculty and staff from all over the world to the School.”
“Newsplex will draw on the expertise of faculty not just from the Wee Kim Wee School, but also other schools and disciplines in NTU – from communication, the humanities, design, engineering, science and medicine. Together, we will create exciting ways of presenting news and information to the public over existing or new platforms yet to be invented. The Newsplex will also boost the government and industry’s aim to grow the quality and quantity of well-trained media professionals in Singapore. As media professionals from Singapore and surrounding countries will also train in this facility that’s strategically located in the heart of Asia, it will have many positive spill-over effects for the rest of the region,” Associate Professor Detenber added.
The 60-seat Newsplex Asia’s high-tech facilities include brand new Mac Pro workstations for print, online, tablet, radio and TV production, ten overhead screens for teaching and monitoring news channels, and a multi-purpose mini-studio for digital audio and video broadcasts and quick photography. All these are aimed at providing content on multiple channels to meet the needs of consumers who increasingly demand multimedia news and information in quickly accessible forms that match their increasingly fast-paced lifestyles. This is achieved by integrating the complete news flow across print and digital media from planning to production.
Through its collaboration with WAN-IFRA, the Wee Kim Wee School’s faculty and researchers will also gain better and faster access to WAN-IFRA's wide array of newspaper and news publishing conferences, training, seminars and research reports. They will also be able to tap on WAN-IFRA’s extensive international network of more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.
“We are delighted to be collaborating on Newsplex Asia with Nanyang Technological University,” said Mr Thomas Jacob, Deputy CEO of WAN-IFRA and Managing Director of WAN-IFRA Asia. “Media companies and journalism are constantly evolving in the multimedia age. By bringing together both university and media industry expertise, we can help assure that both media professionals today, and those joining the profession in future, will develop the skills needed in the new media environment. Continuing education has become essential and WAN-IFRA and NTU are responding to industry needs with Newsplex Asia.”
Newsplex Asia will host professional training and workshops for the media industry in Singapore and around the Asia Pacific, focusing on media convergent journalism and the development and implementation of integrated newsroom strategies during NTU’s vacation breaks. The centre brings the various media platforms together in one convenient, collaborative space. Through carefully-considered planning and physical layout, it allows journalists, editors, designers and developers to create and communicate in the most efficient ways possible in order to deliver content speedily and seamlessly.
Among Newsplex Asia’s first industry partners is Apple, which has made the Wee Kim Wee School its first tertiary-level education partner in Singapore with Apple Learning Environment status. Working with five faculty members at the School, Apple is supporting their journalism, mobile technology and publication design classes by lending 20 iPads, and providing advice and training on how to use the iPad as a news gathering and content creation tool. Thomson Reuters has also come on board with its news wires, raw video footage and broadcast-ready packages from their Media Express service that is usually only available to clients.
Singapore Press Holdings, the largest single employer of the School’s graduates, has provided the news ticker panels at the entrance and along the glass frontage of the Newsplex training centre. These panels will carry real-time local and foreign breaking news updates in English and Chinese round the clock, so students and staff in NTU can keep abreast of the major happenings in Singapore and around the world. The Straits Times editorial teams are exploring possible collaborations with NTU faculty to develop new methods of visual journalism and cutting-edge storytelling techniques.
Celebrating 20 years with Newsplex Asia launch
The official launch of Newsplex Asia is a key highlight of the Wee Kim Wee School's 20th Anniversary on-site celebration this Saturday. The Wee Kim Wee School is Singapore’s only full-fledged communication school that has trained students in journalism for the last 20 years. The School currently has about 1,000 undergraduates and graduate students in communication and information-related fields such as journalism, electronic broadcasting, public relations, advertising and knowledge management. Its more than 40 full-time faculty are engaged in diverse research areas, ranging from media law, internet governance, public opinion and health communication, to Asian films and media studies.
In conjunction with the 20th Anniversary celebration, the School will hold a public lecture by Wee Kim Wee Visiting Professor Wolfgang Donsbach. Prof Donsbach, a highly respected academic in journalism, political communication, and public opinion research, will speak on the topic “News as Public Knowledge - Why We Cannot Turn Out the Lights on Professional Journalism.” About 300 students, alumni, faculty and guests are expected to attend the lecture and join in the School's 20th Anniversary celebration on Saturday 13 October afternoon.
Newsplex Asia comes ten years after WAN-IFRA set up its first Newsplex at the University of South Carolina, USA in November 2002. A second Newsplex in Europe opened in September 2005 at WAN-IFRA headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. A fourth facility at the International Media Centre in Saint-Etienne, France will open later this month.
*** END ***
Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: (65) 6790 6687
About Nanyang Technological University
A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).
A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.
Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.
For more information, visit www.ntu.edu.sg
About the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers
WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore, India, Spain, France and Sweden, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.