JMSC Alumnus Reports on Bangkok Riots for Phoenix TV

Carol Zhou, a Master of Journalism alumni, has just returned from Bangkok where she was reporting on the recent riots for Phoenix TV.

Carol Zhou reporting in Bangkok

Zhou was dispatched to Bangkok to cover the mounting tension and curfew imposed after rioting by Red-shirt protesters. She had been in Bangkok in March during the rioting.

“This time was unlike the last assignment, it was a “war-time” combat news situation. For the first time I wore a bullet proof jacket for the first time on assignment.”

Zhou explains why she needed the jacket: “Two days after I arrived as a reinforcement for Phoenix TV, an Italian photographer, Fabio Polenghi, aged 45, was killed. The news had a great impact on my crew and myself in regard to our safety measures.”

Zhou works at the Phoenix TV Hong Kong base but gets to travel on assignment.

“As I am not a Bangkok-based correspondent, I had to update myself by reading local newspapers, websites and watching local TV news whenever I had a break from my hourly live reports.

“I did live reports as early as 7 am for Phoenix TV’s morning show, hourly breaking news, plus the prime time newscast at 7 pm and 9 pm.

“Basically, my crew and I (a cameraman, an ENG and a local fixer) had to work from 6 am – 10 pm throughout that week. Apart from the TV, we had to update the online news as well. It was tough work.”

Zhou graduated from the JMSC in 2008. She says that her time at the JMSC furnished her well for the reporting role she has taken on.

“The situation made me recall those lectures of TV reporting where Jim Laurie shared a his experiences of reporting during the Vietnam War. Of course, the scale and nature of my experience in Bangkok does not match the Vietnam War, but Jim’s teachings help me a lot in judging the situation and planning my stories.”