Journalism for Social Good

Social entrepreneurs are focused on addressing social problems through a sustainable business model and seek to create not only financial, but also social returns for their beneficiaries. Unfortunately, many great initiatives undertaken by young social entrepreneurs are often overlooked or under-represented by the media in this country.

Acknowledging this gap in the local media, the British Council initiated ‘Journalism for Social Good’, a programme to highlight innovative social entrepreneurs and their work. It used the Video Journalism Workshop and Competition to equip video-enthusiasts and budding journalists with the necessary skills and provide enhanced practical experience in writing and producing multi-media news stories on social entrepreneurship.

The British Council brought together an elite group of mentors, trainers and judges to ensure that the participants received the best possible training and support in delivering their final output. 11 participants were shortlisted to attend the 3-Day Training Workshop with Pioneers Post, a leading UK-based social enterprise online news organisation. During the competition, the participants worked in teams of two or three to produce six videos on selected social enterprises in Malaysia. They were encouraged to add breadth and depth to their journalistic output with the aim of creating awareness of human interest matters and the positive social impact of social enterprise ventures in Malaysia.

The competition concluded in June 2014 and the winner of ‘Best Video’ was awarded to Beatrice Yong Sujin, Syarifah Anita Ibrahim and Wong Jac Ying for their video, Eats, Shoots and Roots. An internship with Astro Awani was awarded to Sathesh Raj for ‘Most Promising Young Journalist’, for his work on EPIC Homes.

Here are the videos produced by the six teams:

1. Eats, Shoots and Roots, winner of ‘Best Video’, produced by Beatrice Yong Sujin, Syarifah Anita Ibrahim and Wong Jac Ying

Encouraging people to grow their own food to avoid over consumption and wastage, Eats, Shoots and Roots also promotes healthier eating options through its initiatives. Looking at what a typical day entails at Eats, Shoots and Roots this video won ‘Best Video’ for its creative usage of the footage. 

2. EPIC Homes, produced by Sathesh Raj and Clarissa Say

EPIC Homes is a social enterprise that addresses the poverty of indigenous communities in Malaysia and highlights their squalid living conditions. The video follows EPIC Homes’ volunteers on the job – building a home for an indigenous family. Displaying prowess in journalism skills, the award for ‘Most Promising Young Journalist’, and an internship opportunity with Astro Awani, was awarded to Sathesh Raj. 

3. PT Enterprise, produced by Albert Ang and Agatha Politeia Kody

Exploring the work of PT Enterprise, this video touches on its transition from a non-profit to a social enterprise. The video highlights the issues faced in discussing “taboo” topics, such as sex, HIV and AIDS in a seemingly conservative society. The video’s provocative usage of graphics and humorous interviews demonstrates the necessity of PT Enterprise and the gap that it fills. 

4. Empowering Youth Endeavours Project (EYE), produced by Eng Ze Ru, JosephYong Chin Earn and Chuah Chia Nie

A social enterprise focused on empowering youth and developing leadership skills, EYE’s founder Christopher Tock explains how the programmes and collaboration with government and private sectors have achieved this. Viewers are given a glimpse of the activities EYE carries out and are able to see the beneficiaries of the events hosted by EYE. 

5. Recovr, produced by Nicole Ong Mun Yin and Lim Chooi Yen

As the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Trying to combat the issue of waste, Recovr is a social enterprise that encourages recycling and upcycling. Working together with a special needs organisation, Recovr transforms discarded items into marketable goods. The video’s creative usage of illustrations highlights the extremely worrying waste problem currently faced in Malaysia.

6. Social Enterprise Alliance Malaysia, produced by Nuruloyun Mohd Salleh and Luqman Sujak

Social Enterprise Alliance Malaysia (SEAM) was set up to provide start-up assistance for social enterprises and to act as an umbrella organisation which social enterprises in Malaysia could belong to. Offering varying types of support, the video follows SEAM as they engage face-to-face with some of their beneficiaries.


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