By AAJA-Asia member Lauren Hardie in Seoul
In this profession, no matter our achievements, we are all constantly learning.
Journalists from all over Asia converged in Hong Kong for AAJA Asia’s media conference New.Now.Next this past weekend. I co-led a session on “How to Land a Job in a Digital Age” and learned even more from the other sessions. Here are five journalism trends to watch from Asia.
1. The media industry is growing. From infant to mature media companies, the news industry in Asia is thriving. The News Lens, a Taiwanese start-up, has gained more than 3 million monthly unique visitors since launching in August 2013. Co-founder Joey Chung, a former manager for Sanrio, talked about the company’s success, which is built on providing fair and independent coverage. The social media news site targets readers who are mobile first. Self-funded for the first few months, the site has now attracted high-profile investors Marcus Brauchli, former Washington Post editor, and Sasa Vucinic. Check out a TechCrunch story about The News Lens.
The Wall Street Journal Asia no longer thinks about just what the U.S. reader wants to know about Asia, but what multiple audiences want to know about Asia. That includes publishing news sites in different languages, real-time blogs and the enterprise stories the Journal is known for. Paul Beckett, WSJ Asia editor, said his goal was to build a “very deep vertical.” For more, check out Jim Romenesko’s write-up of a speech Beckett gave in April.
Also, keep an eye on the many digital-only blogs started in people’s living rooms that have gained a loyal following, such as Shanghaiist, Coconuts TV and newcomers like Hong Wrong. (And these are just the blogs that serve English-speaking expats.) You must watch this Coconuts video on Thai men who embrace Mexican gangster culture.
2. The importance of mobile. Alan Soon, managing editor for Yahoo! Southeast Asia, said in countries like India and Indonesia, it’s no longer “mobile first.” It’s “mobile only.” “It’s no longer the medium is the message, it’s the distribution is the message.” This has major implications for what stories get published and how a story is told, Soon said.
3. Innovative storytelling. “Kowloon Walled City” by the Wall Street Journal explored the history of a neighborhood in video and interactive graphics. This is one of the most-viewed videos ever published by WSJ.com. And even though it took the team six months to produce, the newsroom can now build a similar project in a week. Kowloon Wall City is a strong reminder that some of the most innovative online storytelling is being done in Asia.
4. The story that never ends: Malaysia Airline’s missing plane MH 370. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, said WSJ Asia Digital Editor Adam Najburg, you learn you haven’t seen it all.
“The media consuming people of earth” are really accustomed to endings to stories, said Ted Anthony, Asia-Pacific news director for the Associated Press. Not all news ends in a distinct fashion, Anthony said. Still, there is much “quiet pain” going on in different places, Anthony said.
5. Press freedom. The most powerful moment of the conference was when a former Ming Pao editor who was critically injured in a stabbing attack appeared in an exclusive video interview. Lau is just learning how to walk again.
Steve Herman, based in Bangkok for Voice of America, said there are soldiers in Thai newsrooms after the military coup. Bloomberg decided to spike controversial stories about China. Michael Forsythe, who left Bloomberg after the incident to join the New York Times, exhorted Hong Kong media to report stories that hold the Chinese government accountable. (Here is the back story in The New York Times.)
That all tied back to the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests on June 4. Jeff Widener, the photographer who captured the famous image of a man confronting a line of tanks, talked about the experience of covering the event. I have to confess feeling some Tiananmen coverage fatigue before I got to Hong Kong (having read multiple stories and edited an op-ed about the topic before I got to Hong Kong) but after hearing Widener talk, I felt like a middle school student all over again riveted by TV news stories in 1989.
Thank you to the AAJA Asia and Hong Kong University’s Journalism & Media Studies Center for another excellent gathering. If you want to learn more, check out N3Con.com, which covered the event live in text, photo and video.
Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday to join us for an early morning breakfast with our AAJA-Asia Tokyo chapter secretary, Jason Gatewood. Jason shared some wonderful and interesting stories as a Taipei-based journalist and his experience with adjusting to a new country.
A huge thanks to Yuriko Nagano for organizing the event. Ken Moritsugu Angela Erika Kubo Carmen Chan Jake Adelstein, it was a great seeing you all! We hope to see you all at our next event.
As a reminder to everyone: The 4th annual New.Now.Next Media Conference, June 6-8, 2014, in Hong Kong is just around the corner. Apply here: http://www.n3con.com/
If you are thinking of attending the AAJA National Convention in DC (August 13 – 16), you can apply for a $500 travel stipend from the Asia chapter. The application deadline is May 18th. A planned announcement date is set for around June 1st. See here for more details:http://aajaasia.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/aaja-asia-travel-stipend-part-ii-d-c-or-bust/
We encourage you to attend these upcoming events. Thanks you.
I am pleased to announce the winner of AAJA-Asia’s inaugural Professional Development Travel Stipend Program.
On behalf of the AAJA-Asia board, I’d like to congratulate Lauren Hardie, in Seoul, who will receive $350 for expenses toward the chapter’s annual New.Now.Next International Media Conference in Hong Kong this June 6-8. For more on N3Con, head here: www.n3con.com
We received applications from five well-deserving AAJA-Asia members in Japan, South Korea and Thailand. Points were granted based on the applicants’ responses to three questions about their past and potential contributions to AAJA-Asia, how they would benefit professionally from attending N3Con and their financial need. Points from each of the three judges were combined with the points from the board as a whole to reveal the applicant with the highest number of points.
The AAJA-Asia chapter board thanks all who applied. This is our way of investing in the success of our members. We have seen phenomenal growth over the past four years and have won AAJA’s chapter of the year award consecutively the past two years – thanks to you.
Details on future stipends will be announced shortly so stay tuned.
More than a dozen AAJA members from Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok, New York and Honolulu gathered in Yangon, Myanmar, for the East-West Center International Media Conference, from March 10 to 12. The theme was “challenge of a free press,” and Aung San Suu Kyi kicked off the conference with a keynote address.
AAJA members not only attended, but many spoke on several panels, sharing their journalism experiences and lessons. Watch what they had to say in the links below:
You can also catch the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #EastWestMedia
AAJA’s premier leadership-training program, the Executive Leadership Program, has chosen key AAJA-Asia leaders Yuri Nagano and Hannah Bae as part of its exclusive 2014 program.
Yuri, vice president of AAJA-Asia’s Tokyo sub-chapter, is an American freelance reporter with long-time roots in California and in AAJA. She has reported for Bloomberg BNA, the Los Angeles Times, AP, International New York Times, The Economist and many other news organizations. Learn more about her work here.
Hannah, former vice president of the Seoul sub-chapter, recently moved from South Korea back to New York to join Newsday as social media coordinator in late 2013. She formerly worked in the public affairs division at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, as well as for CNN Travel and Yonhap News. Bae is prolific on social media and you can follow her on Twitter.
For more on AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program and how to apply for the 2015 program, click here.
Please join me in congratulating Yuri and Hannah — two of AAJA-Asia’s brightest leaders!
Together we rise,
What is diversity and does it matter for journalists in Asia? One of the core tenants of AAJA is to promote diversity in newsrooms in the US and to advocate for fair media coverage of communities, but these issues are also important in our part of the world. Diversity is not just about gender and ethnicity, according to the following video.
The video clip is from the New.Now.Next Media Conference, held in Hong Kong in May 2013. The panelists are Doris Truong, multiplatform editor at the Washington Post; Paul Cheung, global interactive editor in New York for the Associated Press; Sharon Chan, associate opinions editor at the Seattle Times; and Bobby Calvan, chairman of AAJA’s MediaWatch. The moderator is Ken Moritsugu, enterprise editor at the Associated Press.
Chan points out that AAJA’s diversity mission IS important in Asia: The leaders of many large US media organizations do not reflect diversity, nor do their bureau chiefs. The fact remains that white editors in New York still control white editors in bureaus in Asia and other places abroad. Watch the discussion here: