Four JMSC Bachelor of Journalism students covered the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing for Hong Kong local daily newspaper, Ming Pao.
Chai Yi Natasha, Lo Wei, Tam Ka Kei Katie and Li Yanbei Amber were chosen for the reporting trip based on their academic achievements, the success of their previous internships and their language ability in Putonghua.
The trip was arranged and funded by the Journalism Education Foundation Hong Kong Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to raise the standards of journalism in Hong Kong.
Five tertiary institutions were involved: HKU, the Chinese University, Baptist University, Chu Hai College of Further Education and Shue Yan.
The team of three second year and one final year students received briefings before they left from the editor of Ming Pao and the Director of the JMSC, Ying Chan. Professor Chan accompanied them on the trip.
Each student was paired up a with Ming Pao reporter. Tam Ka Kei Katie was grateful to have the chance to participate in such an important event and felt she had gained valuable experience.
“Not only did I get the chance to meet significant leaders of China and Hong Kong, I interacted and worked with many experienced reporters worldwide. It was a rare opportunity of young ‘reporters’ to cover this momentous event. But with the guidance of our attached newspaper, Ming Pao, I learned the techniques, procedures and planning to cover such a complicated and chaotic event.
“I was particularly thankful to the reporters in Ming Pao. As an inexperienced reporter at such a big event, I am sure I would have been lost without them. On top of assigning and teaching us how to cover the event, they gave us a “small lecture” on the background of China and the executive branch of CPC (communist Party of China), explained the underlying meaning of the speeches and gave us a lot of opportunities to learn from them. They were truly our mentors.”
Lo Wei felt the experience helped her to hone her interviewing technique.
“One has to be smart and sensitive to ask appropriate questions in appropriate ways. I realized this when recording interviews with the delegates. Reporters would usually want to ask sensitive or critical questions to get some good quotes. But then you would risk angering or embarrassing your subject. You have to be skilled in deciding what not to ask, what to ask and how you ask.”
She added that it had confirmed her passion to enter the industry as a fully-fledged reporter.
“In this one-week internship with Ming Pao, I was moved by their reporters’ passion in their job. Although they had to work late into the night, and were always under stress to meet deadlines, they were enjoying what they were doing. They were eager to guide us in our reporting tasks, taking us as their future successors in the industry. This made me look forward even more to work as a journalist in the future.”