Hong Kong free television station, TVB, is one of the largest largest terrestrial networks in Hong Kong.
The station is divided into TVB Pearl, which broadcasts predominantly English language news and current affairs programming, and TVB Jade, a free-to-air Cantonese television channel which broadcasts entertainment and news programming.
Kirti Nandwani (BJ 2011) works as a part time reporter, from Friday to Sunday, at TVB Pearl station in the news room. Since September, she’s been reporting on daily and feature news programmes, covering subjects that range from education to medicine, and court cases to lighter entertainment pieces.
The role follows an internship that Nandwani completed last summer, during which time she interned at the news desk for two weeks and got four stories on air.
“The JMSC hooked me up with HK magazine, which was a fruitful internship,” said Nandwani. “I became close friends with another intern and she told me about an opening position at TVB just before my second year ended. The rest is history. Making contacts and keeping in touch with them is extremely important in this industry because you never know what they can do for you or vice versa.”
“It’s been a really exciting and fun ride these past few months, having to write scripts under the pressure of the deadline and thinking of what to say for standups. It’s made me explore parts of Hong Kong I’ve never seen and learn about different aspects of Hong Kong: education, politics, health, poverty, making me much more of a well-rounded person. The best part of being a reporter is everyday, it’s always something new, exciting and challenging. Everyday is a learning experience.”
Andrew Lau (MJ 2010) was recently appointed a bilingual reporter for TVB, reporting for both TVB Jade and Pearl. After graduation, he got a job as a finance reporter at Now TV, but relishes moving into local news.
“Before committing myself to journalism, I always knew I wanted to work in TV,” said Lau. “A picture speaks a thousand words. It’s fast and exciting, but it’s also very stressful, especially in a 24-hour newsroom. The best thing about my job is that it allows me to touch on many topical subjects. It’s almost like going to school. I learn something new everyday! Just yesterday, I was doing a story on the fiscal budget and today I was covering Stanley Ho’s inheritance scandal.”
“I think my TV and radio classes at the JMSC helped me prepare a career in video journalism,” Lau added. “I learned what makes good television and how to write scripts that are shorter, sharper and simpler.”
Zela Chin (MJ 2010) is am a reporter/producer for Money Magazine, a weekly business programme on TVB Pearl.
“I had an internship at TVB while I was still doing my undergraduate degree,” said Chin. “It was a life-changing experience, and launched me onto the path of journalism. I worked at CNN headquarters in the US, and CNN in Hong Kong. After I got my MJ degree, I decided to return to television and landed a choice job with my intern employer. It was an added bonus to be on TV!”
“I have the chance to go out on an almost daily basis on reporting assignments with a camera crew under my direction,” she added. “The job takes me all over Hong Kong, and occasionally other places in the region, and it gives me the chance to interview and interact with a variety of people, some of them well known in Hong Kong, such as Ogilvy CEO, Adam O’Conor or MaBelle chairman, Maximilian Ma. It is often a mad rush to get the programme edited and ready for broadcast, but that is part of what makes the job so interesting, challenging, and at the same time, very rewarding!”
Chin credits the JMSC with preparing her well for the post: “The JMSC taught me to shoot and edit my own stories. So if TVB were ever short on cameramen or editors, I could do it all myself. And I had my first international field reporting experiences through the ABC News on Campus project, where I was bureau chief for our Hong Kong team with a responsibility of delivering ready to air content for U.S. network ABC. I’m sure that it got TVB’s attention that I negotiated my contract while on a university-funded reporting trip in Vietnam where I was reporting on the reunion of the Vietnam War correspondents, including living legends like Peter Arnett!”
Phillippa Stewart (MJ 2010) is am a producer/reporter for TVB’s The Pearl Report where she produces 30 minute documentary shows on issues in the public interest.
Stewart has covered the limitations of Hong Kong’s speech therapy provision, the “glass ceiling” for men and women in the city, and is currently working on a show about hospice care.
“It sounds cliched – but it’s true – the great thing about the job is there is no such thing as an average day,” said Stewart. “We have five weeks to produce The Pearl Report so the first week is usually spent researching the story and finding suitable case studies willing to go on camera. The second and third weeks we film and transcribe interviews. The fourth week we are writing the script and the final week we sit with the editors and edit the final story.”
“The best thing about the job is the variety involved – I’ve never been bored at work!” she continued. “I can choose my own stories and have complete freedom as to what I shoot. I love exploring Hong Kong and hearing people’s stories. I can also ask lots of nosey questions legitimately! I enjoy working in a team as well and producing the show is really a massive group effort.”
“The JMSC was instrumental in preparing me for this job – a year and a half ago there is no way I would have got this job!” Stewart said. “I am still using all the skills I learn from Jim Laurie’s writing and documentary classes, and Rob McBride’s TV production classes. My work for the ABC News project gave me the field experience to feel confident enough to take on The Pearl Report. One of the best things about the JMSC is that the tutors really do care about your career -even after leaving the JMSC I have been in touch with them to ask them for work advice!”