The Cadet Diaries #3

The Cadet Diaries #3

Throughout the year, Young Post hosts a number of students to work full-time in our office for a period of two weeks. Here, the cadets will gain some valuable hands-on experience on what it's like to have a 9-5 job, working for a newspaper, shadowing reporters on assignment and participating in any of the wackiness that goes on here. The cadets will share their stories at YP in a series of blogs.

Entering the big hall in City University, I knew that the debate competition was about to start. Participants sat on the stage side by side, waving to their parents and friends in front of them. They all seemed very excited rather than nervous. I could tell that they were all well-prepared and experienced.

On my way to the annual Nesta-SCMP Debating Finals, I thought it would be a fierce competition where all the participants would fire aggressively against their opponents for the sake of winning. But in fact the debate was conducted in a peaceful and professional manner.

There were two separate debates to argue on the same topic: Young people in Hong Kong are growing up in a society which encourages negative attitudes towards people from the mainland.

In the first debate, the teams focused on whether Hong Kong people have a negative, positive or neutral attitude toward mainlanders. Both teams backed their points with adequate information and figures. On one hand, some Hong Kong people donated money to the mainlanders during disasters and support the democracy activities in mainland. On the other hand, some of them were influenced by viral news and videos on the Internet and attack mainlanders all the time.

For the second debate, I like the way that the first speaker of each team made clear elaborations on the topic. Their words impressed me very much. Also, each team had a central idea that all three speakers from each side debated for - “negativity breeds negativity” and “no system-wide encouragement” respectively.

Although the two debates were about the same motion, I found them both to be unique, stimulating and educational. The students provided creative and sensible details to support their stands.

As usual, there can only be one winner in the debate competition. I felt that all the debaters performed very well. They were confident speakers who made frequent eye contacts and displayed proper body language to grab the attention of the audiences. In addition, they all showed that they are clear and firm on their positions. I thought it was an excellent competition.

I have not participated in a debate before. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had the chance to get proper training and practice. But yesterday I learned that debate is really good and fun. It helps students develop critical thinking and analytical skills. I admire the participants very much.

Read the other blogs:

- [VIDEO] Life in a Day of a Young Post Cadet - produced by our cadets

- #12: Returning cadet Doris meets a couple of musicians and learns that they are just like any other person

- #11: Doing a story on retro games led to an afternoon of fun with the reporters

- #10: Being a journalist has its perks as cadet Amanda found out first-hand

- #9: While her fellow cadets were covering the dim sum competition, Winnie was in the office facing the pressure to beat the deadline

- #8: Our cadets were on the scene to cover the Dim Sum Talented Chef Competition 2013

- #7: Cadet Henry experienced just how much work goes into covering a news event like the HKDSE as he was among the team of SCMP and YP reporters who were out on the field

- #6: Giselle and the rest of the new cadets made it through their first editorial meeting at Young Post

- #5: Journalism is about so much more than sitting at a desk all day and writing news articles

- #4: Not only do cadets need a passion for journalism, they have to be fit too as a recent assignment sent cadet Lok-yan climbing to the top of a hill

- #2: Lunches at the Young Post office is a bit different than those at school

- #1: Working at Young Post is nothing like what cadet Melanie expected.



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