About 120 students of the University of Wollongong in Dubai visited the offices of Xpress newspaper as part of their assignment in CSCI015: Computer Applications. Students were accompanied by faculty members Zeenath Khan, Rajesh Prema and Rajith Attupurath. As a part of their assessment, students are expected to create and produce a newsletter at the end of the semester and develop one article on the effects of technology on the newspaper industry.
Developed by the Al Nisr Group, publisher of the daily Gulf News, XPRESS is Dubais newest and truest tabloid newspaper. A "people paper" with strong emphasis on human interest stories, it addresses the issues of modern life in Dubai as well as keeping readers up-to-date with the most interesting world news. Divided into three sections News, Life and Sport XPRESS has a distinct focus on local news.
Although the day started with dreary weather and short spells of rain, students were able to catch the buses leaving the UOWD campus for the Xpress office. Once there, under the personal guidance of Ms. Nirmala Janssen, Editor and Mr. Jay Hilotin, the Chief Reporter, the students were split into groups and taken around the various sections of the newspaper, getting acquainted with the staff at various 'bunkers' and asking questions. With the help of the friendly faces at the Xpress office, students were able to satisfy their curiosities and gather information that will eventually help them complete their assignment successfully.
Students found the newspaper industry to be fascinating and some are already deciding on a possible career change! Five students out-shone all others with their perseverance and professionalism, and have been nominated for future internships in the industry. All in all, the trip was a huge success where-by University students got a first-hand glimpse of the real-world experience and how technology has made life easier and more efficient for the newspaper industry, specially in the production department. They took away valuable lessons from the day, not just for the assessment completion, but for future development of themselves as successful professionals or entrepreneurs wherever they may go when they graduate