You Can Write Better English
19 July 2010
HKU Shanghai Study Centre
20 July 2010

JMSC Alumnus Reports From Russia on Spy Swap

Tesa Arcilla is one of Russia Today’s (RT) newest correspondents and news anchors.

Tesa Arcilla

She has been covering the story of the spy swap between Russia and America – the biggest such exchange since the end of the Cold War.

Arcilla graduated from the JMSC in 2008 and has since worked in Hong Kong at TVB as a business producer/reporter and news anchor.

She has also freelanced at CNN, worked on a show for Al Jazeera English and written articles for Review Asia magazine and The Peak magazine.

Arcilla took the job at RT — Russia’s first English-language 24 hour news broadcaster — a month ago. Since then she has covered stories such as the heatwave in Moscow, the Gazprom-Beltrangaz standoff and the arrest of the famous pianist and conductor, Pletnev, in Thailand.

When the Russian spy swap story broke, RT sent Tesa Arcilla to Vienna.

“Vienna was where the spy swap was reportedly going to take place,” Arcilla said. “As we were reporting it, no officials from any of the countries involved wanted to confirm the news. As we now know, it did all happen, but the media played a big role in getting this story out and it was great to be a part of it.”

See her reports here.

“It’s a big story because it came on the heels of the “reset” in relations between Russia and the US,” Arcilla said. “And it was big news in the US as well. I think people in general are still fascinated by ‘spy stories’.”

Arcilla came across the job opening at RT a few months ago. She wrote to them and the channel invited her to Moscow for a series of tests and interviews. They liked her and offered her the job.

She says the main appeal of the job was to broaden her horizons and cover international news from a different perspective.

Arcilla shooting in Moscow

“I wanted to get to know a region that’s so unfamiliar to me, experience a new culture, learn a new language and just go beyond what I’m already familiar with. RT is the perfect place for all that, plus it gives me a different perspective on international news as it’s a Russian broadcaster — this really appeals to me.”

“Plus, I came across a number of people I interviewed for TVB in Hong Kong who all said they loved watching RT. There was even a company that had Russia Today on their television in the lobby. They were so enthusiastic about the channel that it cemented my decision to take the job.”