Curtin Malaysia Bachelor of Communication students gain valuable insights into contemporary media industry

Miri – 26 September 2023 – Twenty Bachelor of Communication students of Curtin University Malaysia (Curtin Malaysia) recently went on a field trip to Unity Media Malaysia Berhad’s printing plant here. Unity Media Malaysia has been the publisher of Chinese dailies United Daily News and Miri Daily News in Sarawak and Brunei since 1945.

The educational trip aimed to provide the students with firsthand experience and insights into the contemporary media and newspaper printing industry. The visit to Unity Media, a media organisation known for its commitment to quality journalism and innovative printing techniques, provided the students with a unique opportunity to understand the complex processes involved in the production of newspapers. This hands-on experience enhanced their understanding of the industry, preparing them for future careers in communication and media-related fields.

During the trip, the students were given the opportunity to interact with industry professionals from Unity Media. In addition to gaining valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by media organisations in the digital age, they explored the evolving role of newspapers as a medium for delivering news and information in today’s fast-paced society.

The students were given a guided tour of the printing plant, where they witnessed the entire process of newspaper production, from content creation to printing and distribution. In addition, they were shown the state-of-the-art printing technology and observed how timely and accurate news is prepared for publication.

They also visited Unity Media Malaysia’s facility for industrial printing where digital imaging, digital printing and ultraviolet coating solutions are used for industrial applications, including printed plywood.

On hand to meet the students was Unity Media Malaysia managing director Sim Yong Liang, who gave the students a presentation titled ‘Is journalism still relevant?’. Sim, who is a Curtin University alumnus and a member of the industry advisory panel of the Department of Media and Communication at Curtin Malaysia’s Faculty of Humanities and Health Sciences, said it is challenging to build loyalty among readers nowadays because they are fragmented and spoilt for choice when it comes to news media, especially online news outlets.

Sim said Unity Media Malaysia is committed to nurturing young creative minds and is supporting them by providing them with an open-space workstation at the printing plant. “The space is free and open to whoever wants to work on their digital designs,” he said.

Head of the Media and Communication Department Dr. Ngu Ik Ying said the field trip aligned with Curtin Malaysia’s commitment to providing a comprehensive learning experience that combines theoretical knowledge with practical industry exposure. By visiting Unity Media Malaysia’s facilities, the students gained a deeper understanding of the media landscape and acquired skills and knowledge that will enhance their professional development.

“The students got to see how content is presented through different media and connect what they have learned in class with real-world applications,” she said.

Meanwhile, student Ivan Ho Shung Ern, who is majoring in Journalism and Corporate Screen Production, said he was impressed with the technology used at the printing plant.

“It was a rewarding experience for us and we feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to witness operations at a real printing plant, which is something we had only seen on TV or online until then. We learned a lot about the operations of a newspaper printing plant and the future of journalism from an experienced professional like Mr. Sim,” said Ho.

The Bachelor of Communication programme at Curtin Malaysia is renowned for its comprehensive curriculum, which equips students with the skills and knowledge to excel in the dynamic field of communication. This field trip to Unity Media Malaysia further enhanced the programme’s commitment to providing students with industry-relevant experiences and preparing them for successful careers.

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Unity Media Malaysia staff (right) explaining the functions of a printing press to the students

Managing Director Sim Yong Liang (left) briefing Dr Ngu and students on the digital art workstation at Unity Media Malaysia’s plant

Group photo of Mr Sim, Dr Ngu, Unity Media Malaysia staff and students