As you can see I'm back from the much anticipated BRATs workshop!! I was back two days ago but haven't exactly found the time to write as I was busy sleeping for the first day and busy watching X-Men 3 at the cinema with Edmund and Adrian on the second day. My holiday's (so far) been piled up with movies and series for me to watch. I managed to watch Tha Da Vinci Code last Saturday with catechism buddies. I finished downloading The Wild, Over The Hedge, V for Vendetta, Family Stone and Failure to Launch but haven't got the time to watch them. Grey's Anatomy Season 1 is still waiting patiently for me in my hard drive and I still have four episodes left of The O.C. Season 2! I'm thinking of launching myself into a Gey's Anatomy marathon later in the day! I even had a little plan re-watching the entire two seasons of The O.C. this holiday but still haven't got on with it.
Back to the BRATs workshop. I guess it was allright. Definitely enlightening for me. There was a thousand things I never knew about tha newspaper. I also got to meet the people behind all those great articles we read about on STAR newspaper. BRATs as I got to find out is definitely not just the workshop on journalism. The workshop was rather a platform for those who aspire to become journalists to shed some light on journalism. It's more of a program you get yourself into. "Once a BRAT, always a BRAT". Once you're signed on with BRAT, you're known as a young journalist and the workshop was just a way of teaching one the basics of jorunalism. The facilitators simulated a newsroom condition for us as a team and we're supposed to come up with a newspaper by the end of the workshop.
A group which consisted of 10 members were given roles like editor, sub-editor, layout artist, artist, reporters and photographers. Naturally, I took photographer alongside Farah. The editor of my group was Zhi Sheng whom we only call as G (and the name G turned into a nickname G-spot after a group conversation turned into a sex discussion). I wasn't in that, don't worry. The sub-editor was Josephine who took charge of the sketch we were supposed to do on the last night of the workshop. She came up with a pretty good sketch! The rest of the cast were reporters and layout artists. The newsroom simulation basically meant working under deadlines and pressure and working together as a group. Thinking on our feet most of the time and making decisions firmly and carry out instructions without further questions were some of the basic things a reporter/journalist needs to abide to! We came up with the name R.E.M (Rapid Eye Movement) for our newspaper and the group as well.
Being a photographer for my newspaper was definitely not an easy job. For starters, my photography skills were not even close to being an amature. It was kind of blunt for me to actually volunteer for the job wasn't I? But the good thing was, photographers were given the opportunity to have their hands on one of the not-so-latest-Nokia-mobile-anymore which was N70. It was rather cool when people went, "Aww, I should've taken the photographer post!" Being the subject of envy of everyone (who was aware of the greatness of N70) for a short 5minutes was fun. =P. Photography in a newsroom is definitely not as easy as taking group shots with your friends on your birthday party. The angles of a photograph were crucial to actually give readers (mostly, lazy readers) a general idea of what's happening. G was a pretty good editor to work with.
I learnt that being a photographer gives one two opportunity which is either being only a photographer for your reporter or being a full time photojournalist. Either one, it's still cool! And I got the opportunity to have a nice little chat in the bus while returning from our assingment with the photographer for BRAT. By the way, check out the BRAT's article on STAR Metro on Monday (29/5) and you'll have a slight idea what we were doing for our field assignments. While you're at it, Tuesday's STAR Metro has another article on BRATs field assignments too. Check that out! So she gave me some really good tips on angles. She even showed me some of the photgraphs she took. Learnt quite a number of things from her considering that she was an award-winning photographer! She took a look at my photos and most of them were bad! Imagine that! And photos taken at the end of the day are supposed to be apporved by the editor before it goes for printing. The editor always has the final say! In other words, being a photographer is really not as easy as it looks.
Other than providing a bootcamp for young journalists, BRAT's main focus is that off environmental. BRAT does a lot of stuff to help raise awareness on environmental issues especially to youngsters. So it's not a surprise that they organise annual nature-trips to all over Malaysia. We were told that there would be an Year End Journey and fellow BRATs would be chosen from the three workshops they held for the year to go for the Year End Journey. Oh, how I wish I get picked! They have trips to the depth of the Sabah or Sarawak jungles or the National Parks all over Malaysia. It really sounds exciting!
Overall, the whole workshop was an unforgettable experience. Made new friends. Learnt new stuff. Hope I can put them into good use in the near future. Right now my Windows Media Player 11 is on shuffle mode and it's playing everything on my library. My bed's still in a mess and I'm planning to at least get started watching Grey's Anatomy!
PS: A little short of pictures. Ah chiu's camera was practically hopeless as it uses batteries like it was drinking water. I've only got a few pictures from friends. They're all group shots and stuff like that. No biggie.