Journalism students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) spent a morning enjoying a unique insight into the rapidly changing world of newspapers at the South China Morning Post.
As part of DMU’s mass #DMUglobal trip to Hong Kong, they visited the influential English-language newspaper’s stunning new hi-tech offices in Times Square, a prime spot at the heart of the island, and got the chance to quiz journalists with decades of experience.
Luisa Tam, senior editor at the paper, who welcomed the students before taking them on an extensive tour, told them: “This is one of the best setups of its kind in the world. We’re not really a newspaper any more; we are a news organisation. We’re digital first at the moment and I think it could be digital only within five years. There are fantastic opportunities for young people in multi-media journalism – make sure you leave your CVs.”
They then had nearly an hour talking with training editor Phil Smith, who spent most of his career with the world-famous Reuters news agency, starting out delivering mail to the editor before working his way up to become a war correspondent reporting on key conflicts around the globe.
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He said: “My best advice to you is make it your business to learn about business. Getting into newspapers is tricky, but once you’re in it gets a lot easier. I started in journalism as a business reporter. It’s really all about the global economy and even a sports journalist has to know the economies of sport. I was at Reuters for 34 years – why would you want to leave? As long as you write the truth, it’s the best job in the world.”
The second-year students – who also heard “characters make a story special” and that “in the end it is always about people” – came away inspired by what they saw and heard.
Seb Old said: “We got to speak to top professionals and it was incredible to tap into their years of experience.”
Toby Jeffery said: “We had a tour of a modern, advanced newsroom here in Hong Kong. It’s really independent, while supporting quality journalism and the readers it wants to engage. It was fascinating and really beneficial for my course.”
Senior journalism lecturer David Penman, who arranged the visit, said: “#DMUglobal offers students a fantastic opportunity to experience things they couldn’t in the UK. This morning we’ve seen probably one of the most advanced newspaper digital offices in the world and it gives them an entirely different perspective on the media industry as a whole.”
Student Sara Cardoso Torres Vinagre agreed: “I’d actually like to apply to work here one day – it’s amazing here.”
Posted on Wednesday 21st March 2018