Journalists give voice to the voiceless, forum speakers say

Journalists give voice to the voiceless, forum speakers say

By Chris Wei Journalists should talk to people who do not have a voice, the East Asia bureau chief of TIME magazine told around 250 students and faculty at a public forum on journalism last Tuesday. “Unless they talk to you, they have no other way of being able to share their story with the world,” Hannah Beech, one of six forum speakers, said. Beech is known for her 2103 TIME magazine cover story on a Burmese Buddhist monk that linked him with anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar. The issue was banned in Myanmar, and Beech was not allowed into the country for a year. Beech was threatened online after the story came out, but she said it was still important to give voice to “both the scary nationalists and people who are unable in horrible circumstances to find remediation.” “Journalists can speak for the people who cannot have a chance or opportunity to express their story,” said Yi-Shan Chen, the deputy editor at Taiwan’s CommonWealth Magazine, also speaking at the forum. Reuters’ Special Correspondent Greg Torode said, “Not every story you do will change the world. But you are giving voices to people, and I think that’s a very important point.” The journalists are three of six SOPA Award winners who attended the forum, organized by Hong Kong Baptist University and SOPA. “The public depends on the journalists to give them the correct information and empower them to make good decisions. It’s a passion for journalists. It’s a calling,” said Nancy C. Carvajal, a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Didi Kirsten Tatlow, the Beijing-based correspondent for The New York...
Instinct and freedom of information are the cornerstones of investigative reporting, veteran reporters say

Instinct and freedom of information are the cornerstones of investigative reporting, veteran reporters say

by Féliks Cheang Investigative reporting is all about judgement call and following your own instinct, Reuters’ special correspondent Greg Torode said at a forum Wednesday. Torode went from covering the transport beat to being an investigate reporter this way, he said. A reporter should never stop one’s curiosity nor neglect the details, Torode said. “Follow the money and figure out who owns it,” he said. The more reporters go out on their beats and meet their sources, the more likely they are to find newsworthy stories, Nancy Carvajal, a reporter for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said at the forum. “Everyone has a story to tell,” Carvajal said. Torode and Carvajal, veteran investigative reporters, are two of six SOPA Award winners speaking in a weeklong forum at Hong Kong Baptist University this year. “Investigative journalism is a story no one wants you to tell,” said Dr. Cherian George, a journalism professor at HKBU and the moderator of the forum discussion. Both speakers agreed that freedom of information is essential to investigative reporters. “A free press has an empowered people,” Carvajal said. Carvajal said most Filipinos now take press freedom for granted. Torode said there is “very little” information that should be kept secret from the public. Often, information is not controlled because it is detrimental, he said, but “just because the government can.” Some pro-establishment leaders have had an influence on journalism in Hong Kong, said Torode. Reports from the Hong Kong Journalist Association indicate press freedom in Hong Kong is declining. Torode said he is afraid that less information will become available. He added, however, that the HKJA is...

Hannah Beech (full video)

Drafts of History: How politics and censorship shape news coverage (start at the 6 min...