North East vs. South East- A Hong Kong Conference Write Up

Twenty seven hours of pure journalistic workshops over a period of three days can do wonders for a still-budding high school newspaper. On November 27th, the Warrior Journalists returned from their partnered news conference with the Hong Kong International School.

Characterization and tension were two themes that were focused on heavily at the conference, and the journalists participated in workshops to hone these important skills.

To start off the conference, Mallika Kapur, a Hong Kong based CNN correspondent illustrated how paramount it is to give a story a protagonist to capture the viewer’s attention. Jeong Bin L, summarized her visit. “Mallika Kapur’s visit and lecture was probably the most engaging lecture I have experienced. I would love to hear from her again. Since her speech made such a great impression on me, I was very excited for the rest of the trip.“

View out CNN (1 of 1)
North Point and Tai Koo from the offices of CNN.Photo by Michal Korczewski.

To add onto that, on the second day of the conference, Bloomberg Businessweek correspondent Bruce Einhorn gave a lecture on how to write tension into a story. He described that it was essential to add more than one perspective into an article to give the story dimension and depth. Amelie R commented that, “he did a really good job explaining to us what makes a story worth telling.”

Of course in this day and age, Fake News is a topic that cannot be avoided when talking about any form of journalism and Doctor Masato Kajimoto and Professor Keith Richburg of Hong Kong University gave an enrapturing presentation on the worldly effects of Fake News. The effects can be seen as consequences of media outlets publishing it

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Keith Richburg speaking to the students of HKIS and ASW. Photo by Michal Korczewski.

unintentionally, like the way it has the potential to ruin careers or sway elections. Yoo Jin L, a new fan of Professor Richburg said, “I loved how he shared his interesting experiences of reporting in field and explained how it helped him to share authentic stories about wars, it was so inspiring.

Unlike the chilly Warsaw November weather, Hong Kong for the most part was sunny and warm. This of course was a welcome surprise for the journalists as they spent every break they had in between lectures and workshops to soak in the Southeast sun. However, one thing that was strikingly similar to Poland’s weather was the political climate of Hong Kong. Self censorship of the media is becoming an increasingly large problem for both countries. A lecture by Dr. Francis Lee at the Foreign Correspondents Club was dedicated to the subject. The problem seems to lie in the fact that many news outlets tend to self-censor their more controversial stories in order to appease higher-ups in the company with ties to the government. Incentives like money and promotions prevent some journalists from speaking out about issues the government would rather avoid.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. The conference ended with a round table dinner at a wet market where the journalists were served traditional Hong Kong cuisine like fried chicken liver, fried rice, and prawns. 

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Vendor throwing fish back into a bin of water at the Java Road Market. Photo by Michal Korczewski.

Overall, the Warrior News staff came to the conclusion that these conferences are completely worth it. The value of learning journalism techniques from professionals and interacting with high schools that all have the same common interest is paramount to what keeps the world’s cultures connected to each other.

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