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Viva Voce

Requisites of a Journalist

Chung Chi College graduate Mavis Wong on her new life as a reporter

Mavis Wong
2016 Graduate of the Journalism and Communication Programme
Student Representative of Chung Chi College’s Graduating Class of 2016


Could you share with us your work and the challenges involved?

I worked as the news anchor of iNews at Television Broadcasts Limited in the past three months, and have been appointed as the reporter of the Jade Channel recently. The competition within the journalism industry is fierce; hence reporters must possess enormous intellectual and physical strengths. When Mr. John Tsang, former Financial Secretary of Hong Kong, resigned from his post, we waited outside his official residence for around 12 hours. While waiting, we continued to keep abreast of the latest development in order to be well prepared whenever opportunities arose.

What qualities do you think a reporter should possess?

Reporters should be strong runners, with keen observation and the ability to endure hunger. The Chinese phrase ‘Tie jiao, ma yan, shenxian du’, literally meaning ‘iron feet, horse eyes, fairy belly’, is an excellent metaphor describing these qualities. A strong sense of curiosity, together with an enquiring mind is also vital to bring the truth to the public. Not missing every small detail is of course equally important.

Based on your study experience in the US, what are the differences in the culture and practice between the US and Hong Kong?

I went on an exchange to the University of Southern California during Year Three and it was truly an eye-opening experience. In Hong Kong, the academic training in journalism focuses mainly on current affairs. However, sports and entertainment news are both specialized subjects in the US. American journalists believe that sports and entertainment news are as important professionally as current affairs. There are also differences in the use of photographs. Hong Kong is more on the pragmatic side, where photographs mainly complement the content. However, American journalists place high value on the originality, creativity and artistry of photographs. They believe that, on top of offering a visual image of an event, a photograph’s aesthetic value as well as the ability to inspire imagination is equally important.

You have been awarded the Consumer Rights Reporting Award and China Daily Campus Newspaper Award for your article on eco-friendly funerals. Why this topic?

My friend and I noticed that many funeral items, such as floral tributes, are brand new and disposable and thus create a lot of waste. We hope to invite the readers to reflect on whether they must select fresh flowers as tributes to loved ones, or can switch to reusable subsitutes such as silk flowers instead. We did not offer an answer. The aim of our article is to encourage the public to adopt a more eco-friendly lifestyle, so that natural resources could be used more effectively.

Could you share with us your most memorable experience in Chung Chi?

It would be my experience as part of the Chung Chi Rowing Team. I have never been a strong athlete, so I was exhilarated to have made the team. The sport of rowing is all about teamwork. The memories of all of us training hard and single-mindedly in Chung Chi uniform are still vivid in my mind.

In your valedictorian speech, you wished your fellow graduands to live out the prime of their lives. What does it mean?

I got that from a friend. He believes that one’s prime of life does not only include sunny days but also rainy ones. But as long as we embrace adversities with calm and ease, we will eventually come to relish the discomforts and fears as well. I hope that my sharing could encourage my fellow graduands to remain true to themselves throughout the prime of their lives.

This article was originally published in No. 492, Newsletter in Feb 2017.

Mavis Wong alumni Chung Chi College Journalism and Communication School of Journalism and Communication Faculty of Social Science journalism news anchor overseas exchange