The time our media briefing became a pop quiz

We were elated when we finally secured a response from a government agency. In fact, they invited us to a briefing! We had a list of questions prepared but realised when we got there that while we considered ourselves student reporters, the officers considered us as students first.


The briefing turned out to be a class in disguise and we were the ones being quizzed.


“Who knows what the three branches of government are?” one officer asked.


There was a pause — not for want of answers. After hours flipping through government reports in preparation for the briefing, the level of questions we were asked felt almost... elementary. But when it was clear the government official wasn’t going to proceed without an answer, someone answered begrudgingly: Legislative, executive and judiciary.


We should have known. In a timetable for the briefing sent to us beforehand, the agency had blocked off some time “to test the students’ knowledge”.


When it finally came time for us to ask the questions, I looked at those I had prepared on my iPad. They were evidence of the hours spent poring over research. I grinned. Vindication.


Christalle Tay

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