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Weekend Review: Handwritten signboards reveal Hong Kong's culture and history

Two of our reporters joined traditional signboard calligrapher Lee Kin-ming on a tour to rediscover the hidden gems of Hong Kong on signboards along streets in San Po Kong.

Uncovering invisible slavery: the underbelly of Taiwan's fishery industry

  • 2017-10-26
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Michelle Ng、Ezra Cheung、Alexandra LinEdited by: Choy York Borg Paulus
  • 2017-10-26

"Taiwan is an island, surrounded by ocean, but it seems that most people are not familiar with its fishing industry," Cheng Han-wen, a Taiwanese investigative journalist said. Initially, Cheng and her team wanted to write about the decline in capture fisheries. However, when they were carrying out an interview with a fishery overseer, they discovered the industry's enslavement of young Indonesian fishermen by accident. "The stories about the exploitation of fishermen are rarely covered," added Cheng, "because the Taiwanese media often focus on the epic grandeur of its offshore fishery." The discovery later guided them to an Indonesian village, where eight in ten villagers said they had been to Taiwan, as some of them were proficient in Mandarin. A villager who used to work in Taiwan's fishing industry was mentally traumatised; another "jumped to his death", according to Cheng.   Cheng and her team have won three SOPA awards in 2017 on reporting about the exploitation in the Taiwanese fishing industry . "The ship master has also beaten me up," Cheng quoted from her interview with Supriyanto, a fishery labourer from Central Java, Indonesia and was later found dead in a Taiwanese commercial offshore fishing vessel due to sepsis. Reduced to a bag of bones, his dead body was then sent back to his home in Central Java. Although his story had been covered by several outlets, no one went as deep as The Reporter: An award-winning alternative media composed of ten journalists and three photojournalists, specialising in investigative and in-depth reporting. "If a fisherman and a fish were to drop into the ocean at the same time, no doubt the fish would be rescued first." said Cheng.  Despite receiving international recognition for the story, the young journalist still feels powerless about the issue because the coverage has not brought about immediate change in the society. …

Reporters still hold a crucial position in tech-centric data news production

  • 2017-10-25
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Jade Li、Caroline Kwok、Elly WuEdited by: Daniel Ma、Sean Hsu
  • 2017-10-25

Comparing to computer science students that possess coding knowledge, journalism students still have advantages to enter the data news industry as they are better at making sense of data, said SOPA award winner Ashely Wei. The Caixin Vislab data news designer gave a sharing lecture on basic tools used in data news industry with students of Hong Kong Baptist University on Oct 25 at the SOPA Award Winners Forum. Ms Wei said cooperation between journalists, programmers and art directors is crucial in producing a news piece with data visualisation. "One of the biggest challenges for web designers is they know the technical aspect of presenting data but they don't know how to represent data in a sensible way and that is when journalists come into play," Ms Wei said. Wei also introduced "ready-to-use tools" to help journalists who have no prior knowledge of coding to represent data such as three.js, d3.js and Tableau. "In data journalism, trends and patterns are more important than data itself. People don't want to see details but the trend," said Wei. She divided data journalism into data and building news website. She said the main purpose of data journalism is to keep readers involved in the stories. "Data is broader than information. Journalists not only need to write stories but also need to find proper ways to present them," said Wei.  

"As Simple As Possible" - Developer of CaiXin VisLab Talks About Data Visualization

  • 2017-10-25

The HKBU-SOPA Award Winners Forum with the award-winning journalist- Ashley Wei, reveals the principle of data visualization is making things "As Simple As Possible" and shares the skills of  data visualization.  Ashley Wei, a data visualization designer and developer of CaiXin VisLab since 2015, has been awarded the SOPA Awards for three times since 2015. Wei revealed how to integrate arts and programming methods into projects to explore data news storytelling. "Data journalists should have a basic idea about programming to keep a good relationship with visualization developers and control the whole journalistic project" she said. "Data visualization is all about mapping, and there are two kinds of data- geographic coordinates which can be transferred to screen coordinates and even 3D, and value which can be changed to attribute." Wei said. "The importance of data visualization is showing the trend of the issue." she added. Three architecture ways were raised by Wei for organizing data- long-form (the story is shown in one page), slide show (the story is presenting in PowerPoint); and full screen (the story is shown within one screen), among which slide show is the most powerful presentation on mobile phone. Also, Wei pointed out that Excel is not as technology-lacking as people think. In fact, it's a good tool to visualize data since it can convert data to different types of chart efficiently.   The HKBU-SOPA Award Winners Forum is a 4-day event inviting SOPA-award winners to participate in lectures and discussions on the journalism profession. Students are welcome to join from now to October 27th in designated venue in Hong Kong Baptist University.  

Culture & Leisure

All I Want for Christmas is Food: Delighting Food Tours, Sydney

by Julianna Wu Hanging out in a block that's full of nice snacks and cuisines in a sunny day, eat whatever you like until you can't have anymore. This is every foodie's dream. Especially in a city like Sydney, which has more than 20 different cultures and regions, which means, over 20 different kinds of food and cuisine? In this huge city that's approximately eleven times bigger than Hong Kong, foodies are luckily enough to have professionals that would lead them through streets and corners to find delicacies, teach them how to eat properly, and most importantly, tell them the stories behind the food and the reason why it exists. Tours led customers through various cultures' authentic restaurants and foods were started in Sydney a decade ago. Eventually it grows into a popular thing across the city. Now Sydney has up to 17 different organizations offering nearly 100 food tours around the city: ranging from focus tours on wine or chocolate to certain culture's food. Taste Food Tour is one of the companies that bring customers into the broad Western suburbs of the city for Persian, South-east Asia and other more kinds of foods with a price ranging from 400 to 600 HKD for an adult. The tour of Babylonian Delights - Fairfield for example, includes two sets of meal, two typical snacks stores, one grocery shop of the Persian or Turkish culture as well as a rich explanation of the culture background and how do people make food within a walking distance of the local suburb Fairfield. The tours' schedule has been set to meet different kinds of customers' need. Food tours in Chinatown, which is a hot tourism spot, are set during weekdays for the convenience of travelers. While far Western or outer central city food tours are …

Photo Essay

Americans remember: 15 years after 911 in New York

  • 2016-11-10

The second Sunday of September marks the 15th anniversary of the 911 terror attack by Henry Wong Many memorial events were held around New York city, to mourn and remind Americans of their loss. Apart from the major 911 memorial ceremony which held the morning at Ground Zero (former World Trade Center site), memorial events were held at St. Paul's Chapel and other places as well. A parade was also organised by the New York City Police Department to honour the police officers who scarified their lives in this terrorist attack. "I feel that more people have come to the memorial events this year,"said Alexandra De Rose outside the 911 Memorial and Museum, "I was eight when it happened." Ms Rose, 23 years old, is an Italian who often visits her family members living in New York. "I remembered I was in school when it happened. It really resonates with us because a lot of the victims were Italian American,"Rose said. "I was little when it happened. When I saw these images on TV, I could not really comprehend, I just thought it was horrible,"she said. Ms Rose thought the national security has become better after the attack, especially security check at the airport.   (Edited by Aaron Au)


The Night Before Election - Taiwan Election 2016

  Tsai Ing-wen (Democratic Progressive Party) Tsai Ing-wen, presidential candidate of the DPP, finished her election campaign in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei this evening. Speaking to thousands of supporters, she said their votes will be the first step towards reform. "We are here not to defeat any party. We are here to fight against the dilemma confronted with our country," she said. Democracy, she said, is not just about elections but about people's everyday life. "Go back to your home towns and vote," she told them. "The vote you cast tomorrow will bring a new era in politics, the economy and a new future for Taiwan," Tsai said. By law, election campaigns in Taiwan must end by midnight. The voting will begin at 8 am on January 16.   Eric Chu Li-luan (Kuomintang)  Eric Chu Li-luan of the KMT, who has spent the past two weeks sweeping through rallies across Taiwan, ended his campaign in Taipei this evening, in the city where he is the mayor. Chu visited the eight legislative constituencies in Taipei today and attended a climactic rally in Taichung His final stop was Banqiao Stadium in New Taipei where he's joined by other KMT leaders,including the former vice president Lien Chan. In the rally, Chu admitted that the KMT has made a lot of mistakes. However, he hoped the Taiwan people can give him as well as the KMT another chance He also expressed his view towards the union of the pan-blue camp. "Regardless of whether it is the KMT, the People First Party or the New Party, the pan-blue camp should be united and construct a better Taiwan." Wang Ju-hsuan, 54, the vice president candidate of KMT, said KMT's past policies have protected women by making the sexual harassment prevention law and family …

"Rats in Central" overcome challenges and raise fund

  • 2015-10-28

By Tsui-see Au Yeung It is the tenth year that "rats" were running around the skyscrapers in Central, this time joined by savage, minions and muscular supermen. Yesterday's Central Rat Race was a fun run held annually to raise money for mental health causes. About 500 participants dressed up in costumes ran through obstacle courses, which symbolised the challenges faced by those working in the business centre. The highlight was a tough team relay with eight legs joined by members of various companies. Participants said this charity event reflected what happened inside the tall buildings in Central: corporate employees work hand-in-hand to tackle the enormous pressure of Hong Kong's business world. Children and representatives from mental-health-focused organisations competed in alternative races. The money raised would go to Mindset, a registered charity with goals to promote mental health and help people suffering from mental illness.   (Edited by Viola Zhou. Copy-edited by Joey Hung.)  


Judicial review a controversial next step for supporters of Johannes Chan

By Joanne Lee   As various groups seek to overturn the decision preventing Johannes Chan from becoming the deputy head of the University of Hong Kong, judicial review remains an option under debate. After Johannes Chan's appointment of pro-vice-chancellor was rejected in a 12-8 vote by HKU's governing council, the Student Union president Billy Fung Jing-en said the group was considering judicial review to resolve the case. However, most of Professor Chan's supporters are not enthusiastic about this proposal. Kevin Yam Kin-fung, convenor of Progressive Lawyers Group, said the student union has the autonomy to apply for judicial review and he respects their decision, but the group will not provide any legal assistance. HKU Alumni Concern Group member Patrick Wong Chun-sing said whether to apply for a judicial review depends on Professor Chan's will. "As far as I know, Professor Chan has expressed that he does not have the intention of doing it in a RTHK radio programme," Mr Wong said. Nevertheless, some are open to the suggestion. Carmen Chan Wai-men, a HKU alumnus who co-organised a protest against the council's decision on Sunday, shows support for the Student Union. "I don't know much about the legal system, so I can't tell if a judicial review would be plausible," Ms Chan said at the protest. "But I support the student union's decision." HKU's governing council stays silent towards the plan. Council member Lo Chung-mau said he had expressed his view in his statement and declined to comment further. However, he restated that Mr Fung's action would bring major impact to Professor Chan. HKUST Professor Francis Lui Ting-ming, who once publicly advised Professor Chan to withdraw from the selection process because of Chan's clear political stance, wrote in a recent column that a judicial review would not alter the council's decision. The …


National Day wrap-up: another day of post-Occupy political debate

By Charlotte Yang and Christy Leung   Even before the national anthem was played for the Flag Raising Ceremony at 8 am, protestors outside Golden Bauhinia Square were ready with their five-star flags, colonial flags, banners and yellow umbrellas. Police officers were nervously standing by. As the Hong Kong government celebrates the 66th Chinese National Day with ceremonies, concerts and fireworks, various political groups are seizing the opportunity to voice their demands in the post-Occupy era. This morning in Wanchai, about 20 activists led by lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung protested to demand that the Communist Party rehabilitate Tiananmen victims and release jailed human rights lawyers in the mainland. They were carrying yellow umbrellas and coffins representing those who died due to the military crackdown in 1989. On the other side of the road, young activists who call themselves "localists" held different opinions. People wearing masks and waving colonial flags said they were not Chinese and democracy in China was not Hong Kong's business. Their separatist sentiment irritated members of a pro-Beijing group, who brought out national flags and yelled "Go Away" at their opponents. Conflicts did not end as people began leaving Wanchai. Right after the ceremony, Tiananmen Mothers, along with other pan-democratic groups, staged a Tiananmen-focused march towards the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government. Along the way, participants got involved in quarrels with people carrying Chinese flags, who accused the democrats of "messing up Hong Kong". Meanwhile in Tsim Sha Tsui, about 100 democracy advocates gathered to raise awareness of defending the city's core values. "Rule of law, press freedom, everything is getting worse," said one of the organisers, hedge fund manager Edward Chin Chi-kin, "It is not really a day to celebrate the National Day. It's a day to mourn if China starts premature influence over Hong …