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June 17, 2017 Board minutes

June 17, 2017 Board minutes

Income Statement – June 2017

Income Statement – June 2017

Me and the Media: Francis Moriarty’s career highlights – and a missed golden opportunity

Francis Moriarty was senior political correspondent for RTHK. Photo: realhongkongnews Francis Moriarty was senior political correspondent for RTHK. Photo: Apple Daily

Francis Moriarty is a freelance journalist and former Secretary & Correspondent Governor of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong.

Previously: Senior Political Correspondent, RTHK; founder of Human Rights Press Awards.

What made you want to work in media?

The media – a term that did not appear in its collective form taking the singular until well into my career – was never that I sought to join. Not unlike other callings, journalism came out to find me. A nun teaching the eighth grade at St. Mary the Morningstar school volunteered me as the editor of the class newspaper. That led into being subsequently volunteered, also by the Sisters of St. Joseph, as a competitor at the statewide speech festival in the radio broadcasting category. My voice had not yet changed and I still had peach fuzz. I found myself finishing as a runner-up to a guy who looked like he needed to shave twice a day and sounded like a young Walter Cronkite. It was a crushing experience but a learning one. Several years later, I saw a student-wanted post on a school bulletin board seeking a part-time writer on the local paper’s sports desk. I’m not sure if anyone else even applied, so they hired me. That was exactly 50 years ago and the paper was the Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I now write a regular column for them. Such is progress.

What has been a career high point?

I’ve been extremely fortunate in my career and have had a lot of high points. Hitchhiking across the United States and ending up in the MJ degree program at U.C. Berkeley was one early high point. Another game-changer was being selected as a visiting fellow in the Journalists in Europe fellowship program in Paris, France, a decade on. This would turn out, years later, to lead me to Hong Kong.

One of the more satisfying career moments was getting sacked as editor a weekly paper in California after doing a lengthy series of articles that really angered some of the paper’s major advertisers. The publisher caved in to the pressure. Though it stung, and felt like a low at the time, it led to my moving from Silicon Valley up to San Francisco, opening a whole new world of opportunities and major stories, including the People’s Temple, the arrival of the Boat People from Vietnam, the rise of the gay political movement and the double assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and gay Supervisor Harvey Milk. One of the more dramatic moments was being in Chicago for the first election of Barack Obama and seeing him and his family on the election night. There’s a fairly lengthy list of other major stories, including 4 June 1989, and the many events leading to Hong Kong’s handover.

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t just do jobs, interesting though they may be, but conceive of a longer-range career and then seek to manage it – while remaining flexible and spontaneous. Also, should anyone ever again offer you the chance to be a full partner in the world’s first computer-game company, this time say yes.

The FCC bids farewell to long-time member Francis Moriarty

FCC members gathered on Tuesday evening to say goodbye to Francis Moriarty in the traditional way: by raising a few glasses on the verandah.

Francis, a long-time resident of Hong Kong and former political reporter for RTHK, is to embark on a new life in America.

FCC president Juliana Liu presented Francis with a framed painting of the club. But it wasn’t the only gift presented on the night: Francis – founder of the Human Rights Press Awards – gave the club some souvenirs from his time as journalist for the club’s archive.

Watch Francis Moriarty’s leaving speech and scroll down for our gallery

FCC supports FCC China’s calls for end to intimidation of journalists reporting Liu Xiaobo’s death

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, supports this statement from our colleagues at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China.

The FCCC is concerned by reports that foreign journalists in Shenyang covering the death of Nobel Peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo, have been harassed and intimidated by plainclothes security officers.

Reporters “were escorted everywhere by plainclothes men, who shamelessly followed them into restaurants and even bathrooms,” according to one report.

Another journalist said: “I entered the hotel lobby to catch a taxi. Four plainclothes state security officers, all men and wearing black, were already waiting. They asked me where I was going as well as where my friend, a photojournalist, was going. I ignored them. Shortly after I showed up at a nearby press conference hastily convened about Liu Xiaobo, the same men were already waiting in the hotel lobby. They stayed there for the rest of the day, glancing over at us periodically, about 15 feet away. They would follow us as we went to the bathroom or make calls outside.”

Further details described in the Tweets below have caused us concern.

The FCCC calls on the Chinese government to take steps to prevent foreign reporters from being subjected to such intimidation.

He died a hero. A democratic one: Ilaria Maria Sala’s poignant tribute to Liu Xiaobo

Activist Liu Xiaobo died on July 13, 2017. Activist Liu Xiaobo died on July 13, 2017.

I have never seen Liu Xiaobo as much as in the past few days. His picture comes up every other tweet. He’s all over my social media, in the newspapers and magazines. On TV.  Among all the sudden snapshots, I look for those of the one I knew. The ones before the last jail term, and before we all saw him in that striped pyjama.

It is unexpected: to see someone I had badly wanted to see again, except that now there is no hope left. Now, after the hastily arranged “sea burial” to prevent even a tear on his grave, the only thing we can do is offer flowers to the ocean.

As I parse through the pictures I look for his smile, hoping to find the right angle, the one I remember. I have no pictures of Liu Xiaobo: our friendship was before smartphones and selfies, and I am weary that these other pictures, of the last days, may come in canceling my own memories.

We met often at the coffee shop of a hotel near the old CCTV tower, in Western Beijing – not too far from the Military Museum.

I had heard him give a lecture at university, but we became friends after I read a short, serious but humouristic piece he had written for the Hong Kong magazine Cheng Ming. It was an autobiographical essay about smoking his first cigarette at age ten, as an act of rebellion during the Cultural Revolution. The story – how he had stolen the cigarettes from his father  (a rebellion against the patriarchal family structure) and smoked at school (a rebellion against the reactionary education system) and got punished for it, was his own way of “coming clean.”

It was expressed in a fun way, but it wasn’t a joke: Liu Xiaobo couldn’t tolerate the endless blame-shifting of China’s post-Cultural Revolution literature. “We must tell the truth”, he would say serious, smoking, stammering: “about ourselves, about what we did. Why does everyone only talk about their own suffering? How come China pretends to be a country of victims, and never of perpetrators?” he asked. His description of that small-time theft was his way of admitting the truth – but he was also hoping to provoke, and make more people think about the boiler plate stories they were churning out. He didn’t succeed.

We kept meeting, after that, and I kept being struck by how no gesture was too small for him to reflect on its political significance. Once, as we were sipping coffee and talking about the role of dissidence, I said to him: “I don’t like heroes.” “Why not?” he asked. “Because they often become autocratic and anti-democratic.” He nodded, while taking a long drag from his cigarette – at the time, smoking indoors was allowed everywhere in Beijing. I thought of this conversation as I watched horrified as he died of neglected cancer, and as the authorities decided for his remains to be scattered in the sea.

He died a hero. A democratic one.

Ilaria Maria Sala is a former FCC Hong Kong president, and writes for The Guardian, ChinaFile, and Quartz

How to help solve Hong Kong’s housing shortage? Reclamation, reclamation, reclamation

Stephen Wong, Deputy Executive Director of Our Hong Kong Foundation, discussed the city's housing problems. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC Stephen Wong, Deputy Executive Director of Our Hong Kong Foundation, discussed the city’s housing problems. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC

Hong Kong needs to find 9,000 hectares of land to reclaim in order to help ease the city’s housing crisis, according to public policy expert Stephen Wong.

The Deputy Executive Director of Our Hong Kong Foundation – a non-profit organisation seeking to promote the long-term and overall interests of Hong Kong through public policy research, analysis and recommendation – told the July 13 club lunch that a lack of long-term coherent debate on the matter, coupled with more than a decade in which there has been little or no reclamation in Hong Kong, had contributed to a shortage of land on which to build much-needed housing.

Wong said that 9,000 hectares of land – or 1.26 million units – was needed to ease the city’s shortage of housing, and that the government’s existing land development plans would only provide 5,300 hectares of land. He suggested that the remaining 4,000 hectares come from reclamation and change of use of industrial units, such as Kwai Chung Container Terminals. He said Hong Kong was built on reclamation, and suggested a large scale project would make up the government shortfall.

Wong concluded: “There can be no new towns without reclamation. Without reclamation… our inventory is depleting.”

A slide from Stephen Wong's presentation. A slide from Stephen Wong’s presentation.

In the past decade, he said, land shortage in Hong Kong had slowed down economic growth and led to a serious undersupply of housing, which in turn had created skyrocketing property prices that are unaffordable to the majority of people living in the city.

He explained: “In Hong Kong we only have 24% of land that is used to develop, so the remaining 76% is green areas.” This, he said, compared to 73%  developed land in Singapore. “We have high density compared with rest of the world,” he added.

Building new towns, he said, would take 20-30 years, and Hong Kong was already falling behind other major cities so needed to act now: “In the past 10 years we have no new towns. Where is our next new new town? In completion in the next 20-30 years. Of course there’s a problem in Hong Kong because we’ve done nothing for 30 years.”

Watch Stephen Wong talk about Hong Kong’s housing shortage

Me and the Media: Elaine Ng on the challenges of covering the arts in Hong Kong

Elaine Ng. Elaine Ng.

Elaine W. Ng is the editor and publisher of ArtAsiaPacific, a 24-year old publication dedicated to contemporary art from Asia, the Pacific and the Middle East.

Previously: Hanart TZ Gallery, Videotage.

What made you want to work in media?

My very first job out of university in the mid-1990s was working at Hanart TZ Gallery. It was a pioneer in Hong Kong, focused on promoting contemporary art from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. There was virtually no market for contemporary art, especially from China, back then. As we were hardly selling in those days, the work that my colleagues and I did entailed a lot of research – helping edit the essays, and even assisting museum institutions in the US and Europe in their initial research on Chinese artists. This aspect of conducting research and interviews with artists was appealing, so working on ArtAsiaPacific—one of the two only publications focused on contemporary art from the Asia region (at that time)—was a pretty seamless transition.

 

What has been a career high point?

One highlight of my career was being invited to speak to European central bankers in Florence, Italy, about investing in the arts after the 2008 economic crisis. I wanted to point out that art can flourish with or without a booming art market. The bankers were amazed by the artistic scenes in Asia which I introduced that were dynamic, colourful and fascinating. I even got a handwritten letter afterwards thanking me and ruminating on some of my points that I made by the former governor of Bank of England, Lord Mervyn King.

What has been a low point?

It’s not specifically a low point to me directly, but I think the general atmosphere for publishing and editorial work has not been encouraging, in part as a reflection of politics (all over the world today) along with Hong Kong’s unique situation. It’s also been challenging to find good young art writers and editors in Hong Kong who can work in English, I hope this might change with the evolution of the art scene here, which will attract more talented young people. 

What career advice would you give to your younger self?

I would say go for the difficult route, on a path that will challenge you, which you will grow from. Even if you find yourself with a tough, terrible boss, you can learn something from that experience. An easy job usually leads to boredom and eventually dissatisfaction. If you are young, follow your dreams to the extreme, no excuses. The art world turns out to be pretty dreamy, as well as hard as nails. It is only when you “grow up” that you realise you had very little to lose when you were young, and a whole life ahead of you to gain.

Elaine, right, at the 1998 opening of the Hanart TZ Gallery. Photo: Hanart TZ Gallery Elaine, right, at the 1998 opening of the Hanart TZ Gallery. Photo: Hanart TZ Gallery

Hong Kong Media Moves: July 2017

Find out who’s moving where in Hong Kong’s busy media landscape, in association with Telum Media. Also, see job listings for the region.

 

July 20

July 20

Apple Ho promoted at Hong Kong Commercial Radio

Veteran Financial Journalist Apple Ho has been promoted to Deputy Director, News and Public Affairs at Hong Kong Commercial Radio. She now helps oversee the programming of the radio station, in addition to co-hosting Financial Plaza every Monday to Friday 5pm to 6pm.

Matthew Thomas is now Euromoney’s Asia Bureau Chief

Matthew Thomas rejoined Euromoney this month as its Asia Bureau Chief, overseeing content development for the broader Euromoney Group of businesses in Asia. He joined from FinanceAsia, where he was an Editor for the past year.

CNN’s Jo Shelley relocates to Hong Kong

Jo Shelley has joined CNN’s Hong Kong bureau as a Field Producer. She previously worked as a Senior Producer on CNN’s Amanpour programme in London.


July 10

Harper’s Bazaar promotes Winnie Wong

Executive Editor Winnie Wong has recently been promoted to Content Director at Harper’s Bazaar. She is now in charge of the content of its online version, and continues to be involved in the print version of Harper’s Bazaar and Harper’s BAZAAR ART.

Veteran Lifestyle Editor Sue Wai returns to she.com

Sue Wai, who was a Senior Beauty Editor with she.com, has returned to the company as a Senior Editor of the shemom platform. She will produce content relating to parenting, family life and education, in addition to fashion and beauty tips for stylish mums. She has worked with a variety of websites and magazines, including Jessica and ME!.

Cosmopolitan’s Sally Tse promoted to Managing Editor

Sally Tse has been promoted from Beauty Director to Managing Editor. She now manages the editorial team, print and online content of Cosmopolitan Hong KongCosmopolitan Bride Hong KongCosmoGIRL! Hong KongCosmobody and CosmoCAMPUS. Sally is responsible for the content and features relating to fashion, beauty, lifestyle and weddings.

Cosmopolitan’s Rain Shum promoted to head up features content

Rain Shum has been promoted from Senior Features Editor to Associate Content Director, Features. She now oversees the features of its print and online version, including Cosmopolitan Hong Kong and Cosmopolitan Bride Hong Kong.

Cosmopolitan’s Karen Cheng promoted to Senior Content Manager, Beauty

Web Editor Karen Cheng has been promoted to Senior Content Manager, Beauty. She is now responsible for overseeing online content relating to beauty, health and fitness. She also writes articles for CosmoGIRL!.

To notify Telum about your move, or to sign up for Telum’s free alerts, please visit www.telummedia.com

Job listings

RTHK: Assistant Multimedia Reporter (English News and Current Affairs Section, Radio Division) (Salary: $18,840 – $22,560 per month, depending on experience)

Do you have a good broadcasting voice and sound knowledge of public and current affairs? RTHK is hiring an assistant multimedia editor – details here.

China Jobs

Antena 3 – News assistant

The Spanish TV channel Antena 3 Televisión is looking for a news assistant to work in Beijing. The contract is for approximately one year and the working time would be Monday to Friday from 13.00 to 18.00. Looking for a person with some experience in the media industry, able to gather news from Chinese websites, social media and newspapers on a daily basis. The candidate should also be keen on pitching original stories, conduct research, produce and arrange interviews and translate. Good English is essential, Spanish a great plus. For more information about the position, please contact Sara at this e-mail address: [email protected]

NPR – News assistant

NPR’s Beijing Bureau is hiring a news assistant, with additional duties as radio producer and office manager. We’re looking for someone with proven (or at least demonstrable) ability to dig out original and incisive story ideas, and then nail down the necessary interviews. Passion for journalism, tenacity and skill at prying loose stony lips required. Audiophiles most welcome. For the right candidate, opportunities for training and advancement. Send resumes to [email protected].

Hong Kong journalists: here’s how a Lion Rock Spirit Fellowship could get you into the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Applications are now open for a fellowship to spend two terms at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Photo: Global Initiative Applications are now open for a fellowship to spend two terms at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Photo:Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Are you a journalist resident in Hong Kong with a minimum of five years’ experience? Do you want to take part in a unique opportunity to learn more about the world’s media industry from some of the best in the business?

Applications are now open for the Lion Rock Spirit Fellowship, which will see one journalist spend two terms at the world renowned Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism – part of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford – which runs a series of Fellowships open to journalists from different corners of the globe in a range of specialisms. The Fellowship is open to journalists resident in Hong Kong.

If you’re successful in your application, you’ll spend two terms (six months, starting in January 2018) in historic Oxford, at one of the oldest and most renowned universities in the world. You’ll gain in-depth knowledge and insight into the rapidly changing media industry as you attend seminars given by high-level industry experts, academics and thought leaders. And you’ll work with an experienced Oxford academic supervisor to produce a piece of academic research of publishable quality.

You’ll also expand your network as you work alongside a diverse peer group made up of journalists from all over the world. Trips to news organisations, which in the past have included Thomson Reuters, The Financial Times, The BBC and The Guardian, mean you’ll gain insights into how many of the UK’s industry leaders are evolving their practice in a dynamic world.

The deadline for applications is midnight on Friday 28 July 2017.

Newly established in 2015, the Lion Rock Spirit Fellowship for a journalist resident in Hong Kong is founded and sponsored by Sharon Cheung, herself an alumna of the Fellowship Programme (2004-5). The Fellowship covers Programme fees, a modest living allowance while in Oxford and return travel expenses to the UK.

More details on how to apply here can be found here.

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