Samson So
9 July 2024
Pip Stewart
9 July 2024

Aleksander Solum

Norwegian video journalist shares recruitment tips, challenges from digital tech

As executive producer for video at the South China Morning Post, Aleksander Solum (MJ 2014) oversees the assignment and production of video reports from Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. They cover various topics from business and sports to lifestyle, covering Hong Kong, Asia and the rest of the world.

Looking back, the Norwegian journalist said he was glad he did his master’s study at the JMSC mid-career in 2013. Before coming to Hong Kong, he spent nearly a decade honing his video storytelling skills at established outlets like Monocle magazine in London, as well as national Norwegian media ABC Nyheter and NTB Scanpix in Oslo.

While studying at the JMSC, he also worked as a video journalist for the BBC, MSNBC and Al Jazeera.

Aleksander interviewing Hong Kong cinematographer Christopher Doyle in July 2017

“There was a lot of flexibility in terms of putting together a suitable programme, with many modules to choose from,” Aleksander said about the JMSC. “I also very much appreciated that the school was able to show some flexibility in tailoring the curriculum to my own needs or my own personal background,” especially because he had a fair amount of prior work experience. 

Aleksander interviewing Hong Kong cinematographer Christopher Doyle in July 2017

Aleksander shooting a food story for Reuters in August 2018

After graduating, he went on to work at Hong Kong broadcaster TVB, the South China Morning Post and Reuters as a reporter and video journalist, before returning to the Post in late 2022 to take up the executive producer role.

The work environment at the Post has evolved since Aleksander joined the newspaper again. “We are lucky to have producers who have a pretty diverse range of skill sets, so they can do a variety of projects,” he said, “for instance, one producer might both work on a hard news story as well as human interest stories during the same week.”

Supervising a team of four full-time journalists, as well as a large roster of freelancers, Aleksander is also in charge of recruitment and training.

They always look for candidates with a “solid track record of published stories, and a reputation for acting with integrity and professionalism,” he said.

Aleksander warns about the impact of digital technology on journalism, especially AI-generated image and image manipulation.

“At the moment, newsrooms are having to spend a lot of time and effort to verify and quality-check user-generated content,” he said.

“I wonder if we will see the same challenges in the future when it comes to AI-generated content.”