HKU Journalism: Was this the first time your attended a press conference? What was it like?
Connor Mycroft (CM): Yes, this was the first time I attended any event of that scale. I had been to press conferences before, but always on the side of the government. I did an internship with my local provincial government in Canada during my undergraduate degree. So yes, this was the first time I could actually see it from the side of the press. It was really neat to see that.
HKU Journalism: Since you’re from Canada, this must be your first experience with Hong Kong politics?
CM: Directly, yes.
HKU Journalism: And immediately you get to see Carrie Lam. That’s a pretty big deal.
CM: Yeah, it was obvious that any small move she made meant something. At one point she bent down, just to pick up a different pamphlet, and all the cameras went off at once. You could basically see the reporters diving across chairs trying to get their shot.
I was also struck by the fact that it was just her. Normally, where I come from, it’s the leader plus their cabinet, a group of people, so it was surprising to me that it was quite literally just her, by herself, at the podium.
Another thing I found very interesting was the fact that they switch between Cantonese, Mandarin and English, very fluidly throughout the whole process. They said, “Okay, we’ll take questions in English now,” and it just sort of flows and changes from one to the other.
HKU Journalism: What was it like being among the press attending this event?
CM: Obviously so much has happened in this city, and I could feel the weight of it on my shoulders, being selected from my program to go there. I followed Hong Kong politics before I came here, but so much has happened every month and it’s so hard to keep up with and then all of a sudden you’re there, and she’s there. And you’re surrounded by a pool of others who are all there to ask questions and know more. It was just a very enlightening experience.
so much has happened every month and it’s so hard to keep up with and then all of a sudden you’re there, and she’s there.
HKU Journalism: So how did you find out you were selected to go to this press conference?
CM: Ting (Shi, MJ lecturer) pulled me out of class on Monday evening. She said, “As you’re probably aware, Carrie Lam is holding a press conference for the policy address on Wednesday, and I’d like to know if you want to go.” And I said, “Of course!” (laughs) I wasn’t going to say no to that opportunity!
HKU Journalism: You’ve been at the program for little over a month now. Do you feel you look at these events differently?
CM: Yeah! I want to pursue the more visual kind of journalism, so I really enjoyed being able to walk around with all the other photographers and videographers. When you’re on the periphery, you can explore as much as you will and have conversations with people, being able to understand some of the techniques they’re using. The past month and a half has given me an appreciation, or more of a full understanding of what’s happening and why it happens that way. Why the questions are asked that way.
HKU Journalism: Are you keen for more?
CM: Honestly, I would love to go back there. I’m just looking for any opportunity to get out there again. It was a really good experience.
Connor was joined at the press conference by Alysha Bibi (HKU Journalism BJ ’24). Read her story here!