Technology has changed the way journalism is produced and distributed, but Reuters executive editor Gina Chua argued in favor of greater changes for the news business in a Zoom event hosted by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong.
“What we do today is essentially the same thing we did 50 years ago,” said Chua.
She said that technology should be used in smarter ways to create journalism that is more personalized and better serves readers.
“Technology is a solvable problem. What we really need, aside from capital, is imagination and culture. I think those are some of the big deficits,” said Chua, who added that young journalists will be key players in experimenting and driving innovation in the industry.
In a wide-ranging conversation moderated by FCC member and Wall Street Journal reporter Natasha Khan, Chua also spoke about the importance of language in journalism, why publications need to better understand their audiences, and how journalists should be engaging with statistics and social science methodology when working on stories “to prove that it matters.”
Chua, who transitioned in late 2020, is one of the most senior openly transgender journalists in the industry, and she also spoke about the importance of diversity in newsrooms.
“No single view is correct. Everyone’s ‘ordinary’ is different,” she said.
“Newsrooms need to be more representative of the communities they cover, and the stories need to be more representative of those communities.”
Chua also spoke openly about her personal journey of acceptance and self-understanding, and she said the experience of spending so much time at home during the pandemic had a positive effect on her transition.
“Life’s too short to be someone you don’t want to be,” said Chua.
Watch the full discussion below: