Sazali Abdul Aziz, a recent School of Business graduate, has won the Story of the Year Award for his insightful football feature published in Today newspaper.
© Wee Teck Hian, TODAY
Sazali Abdul Aziz, a Diploma in Media and Communication (DMC) 2007 graduate, has won the Story of the Year Award presented by the 12th NTUC Income-Yeo's S-League on 23 November 2007.
Sazali's feature article "Cool Harris aims for Europe" published in TODAY newspaper on 7 September 2007 beat two other nominees from Football Weekly and The Straits Times to clinch the award.
The 20-year-old writer interned at the Sports desk of TODAY newspaper in his final semester at School of Business, Singapore Polytechnic, from November 2006 to January 2007 and continued writing for the paper until his enlistment to National Service (NS) two months ago.
Sazali's feature on Harris Harun, the 16-year-old footballing prodigy, was actually a follow-up of a story that was done a day earlier. Hence, the challenge was not to repeat similar facts but to take on a different news angle and a more personal approach. He said, "I took about an hour to write the piece as it was a full-page feature, a rarity in most newspaper usually because of the space constraints."
Asked how the DMC course has prepared him for his writing job, Sazali said, "The Feature Writing module helped me a lot as reporters at TODAY are encouraged to take a feature approach when writing sports stories. Of course, the News Writing module was a big help too as there were times when you need to write newsy pieces and the fundamentals taught in classes were really useful."
Sazali believed that competent skills and positive attitude enabled him to excel in his internship. He shared, "Working life is very different from school. The DMC course will equip you with the relevant skills to perform in your job. You also have to have the right attitude to make a lasting impression on the people you work with."
As the internship programme aims to provide DMC students with professional experience in media/communication-related organisations including newsroom of dailies and magazines, public relations agencies, advertising firms, production houses, and corporate communication departments of companies, what would be Sazali's advice for students seeking a fulfilling internship placement?
"Try your best to secure an internship in a field that you think you will do well in, and seize the opportunities that come your way!"
Sazali plans to complete a part-time degree course while serving his NS and pursue a career in writing sports news after graduation.