The Young Reporter

Health & Environment

Hong Kong's first solar-powered food truck wins catering award

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Holly Chik、Michelle NgEdited by: Choy York Borg Paulus
  • 2017-11-07

Hong Kong's first green food truck won the Gold Prize of Catering in Traditional Cuisine of CLP’s Greenplus Award Programme. The solar-power panels, which cost over $20,000, are installed on the vehicle's roof to supply electricity for fans and for customers to charge their electronic devices. “The eye-catching panels also demonstrates the eco-friendliness of the vehicle whereas other energy-saving measures are usually not obvious,” said Trevor Ng, Managing Director of Pat Chun, who has been operating the $800,000 truck since March this year. The company also adopts an energy management system which can be operated with a smartphone to improve energy efficiency. “With the system, we can collect real-time energy consumption data and adjust the use of electricity,” said Ng. For example, they can use the remaining heat generated by the automatic rice-fryer to cook their stewed beef brisket. To reduce interior temperature, they opted for a heat-resistant automatic rice-fryer. The solar panels on the roof also serve as a heat barrier during hotter days. A centrifugal range hood and a grease trap are also installed to collect used cooking oil that will be converted to biodiesel for the car. Ng said they save about 25% on their electricity bill after implementing these measures. Such environmental protection measures “mitigate climate change, lower business cost and create new business opportunities,” said Philip Yung Wai-hung, Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Commerce, Industry and Tourism).  

The Silent Struggle of Trafficking and Slavery victims in South Asia

  • 2017-10-26
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: CHAN Yeuk Hang ErinEdited by: Winnie Ngai、Jianne Soriano
  • 2017-10-26

Reporters: Erin Chan and Sherry Zhu    Editors: Jianne Soriano and Winnie Ngai The HKBU-SOPA Award Winners Forum has invited Nita Bhalla, a South Asia correspondent at Thomson Reuters to talk about Human Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery in South Asia at Hong Kong Baptist University this Thursday. Human trafficking is the second largest crime in the world with about 32 billion people fall victim to it every year, according to Bhalla. About 60 per cent of human trafficking victims are women and children, especially in North Africa and South East Asia. Six hundred thousand to 8000,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. Worse still, the average price of a slave has increased from $40,0000 to $90,0000 today. As Bhalla explained, modern slavery comes in different shapes and sizes. The common ones include forced marriage, commercial exploitation, sexual exploitation and debt bondage. “In the US, prisoners being forced to work may be considered as a form of contemporary slavery. Likewise, children working in the agricultural sector in Pakistan, which is required by law, can also be counted,” said Bhalla. “People being trafficked were told that they get to work in a nice and wealthy home, you get three meals a day. But most cases is that they have to work 24/7, they may have no food and freedom of movement,” she added. She added that having documents withhold is one common practice among people bounded by slavery. “In the Gulf State, for example, there is this Kafala system in which employers can take away your passports for two years. The employer worries that slaves may switch jobs and therefore pay in advance to an agent so that the employee immediately becomes a bonded worker, “ said Bhalla. Bhalla illustrated her experience of witnessing a 19-year-old girl struggling in silence, …

Culture & Leisure

Hip-hop geeks leap forward with local rap battles

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Daisy Lee、Jianne SorianoEdited by: Daisy Lee、Jianne Soriano
  • 2017-10-26

At eleven o'clock on Saturday night, when it's past bedtime for the city, the nightlife hub in Hong Kong's Lan Kwai Fong just kicked off its day. Standing at the entrance of an underground club, Hector "SCF-SAiNT" Telmo, in a plain black t-shirt with the words "Straight Outta Home Kong" was busily distributing leaflets for his hip-hop show held later night. Unlike others, he's looking for the chance to break the deadlock of hip-hop on the 'cultural desert' by organising regular rap battles in Central hipster clubs. Straight Outta Home Kong is a underground music project co-founded by two non-Chinese rappers, Telmo and Mohit "DJ Mojito" Kailandasani. Telmo has been stuck for a while in developing his career as a rapper. "Nobody opened the doors for us, nobody gave us opportunities. We felt like outcasts, so our mission was 'how do we bridge the gap, how do we connect, how we get to work with them,'" he said. Though the road to success is not as simple as he expected, the 25-year-old didn't stop. Instead, he started searching for way-out for his fellows—to connect Cantonese, English and Tagalog rappers, who were also looking for a place in the hip-hop industry for a long time. "Now that there's a platform, an opportunity and the fact that the younger generation can see this...at least they have something to look up to, especially on the ethnic minority side," he added. Invited by Telmo, Eric "Heartgrey" So, a Hong Kong beatboxer who debuted about 10 years ago, sees hip-hop battles held in bars as a chance 'to show [their] passion and energy to the local people'. "It's already hard to do music in Hong Kong so if there's a platform...why don't you perform and participate?" Describing the times when he was still starting as …

SOPA award winner says patience and ethics is key to investigative stories

  • 2017-10-26

Reported by Michael Shum and Kenji Chan Edited by Nicole Kwok Aun Pheap, reporter at The Cambodia Daily and co-winner of the SOPA Award for Excellence in investigative reporting, said doing an investigative story could be dangerous and demanding, but staying patient and ethical is crucial in getting the story done.   Being a journalist in Cambodia, Pheap sees how corrupted the Cambodian government is.   He had once entered a military area with his colleagues in Zsombor, where they found a bunch of luxury-grade timber stocked there. They were discovered by the military and were arrested as well as interrogated.   “The military officials said they would not allow us to leave if we don’t reveal our intentions. We disclosed our identities as journalists,” said Pheap, “they suddenly became friendly to us.”   “They invited us for coffee and offered gasoline, hoping that we will not write anything about the luxury wood stocked in the military base,” he added.   “The military commander found us a driver to a guest house, but we left the city right after the driver drove away, for we are afraid of the commander changing his mind. After that, we put everything into the article.” said Pheap.   He also received a direct request from a government official before, asking him not to publish an negative coverage on government officials. But instead of giving in, he reported the situation to his chief-editor. The Daily decided to disclose that whole conversation between him and the government official to the public.   “I always got hung up on after revealing that I am a journalist,” Pheap added. “Government officials will call and scold us with very bad words.”   “However, I usually try to stay friendly. I want them to answer my questions,” he said.   …

Wall Street Journal Head of Visuals introduces content-driven multimedia journalism at SOPA Forum

  • 2017-10-26
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Raphael Blet、Sharon Pun、Wong Yin TingEdited by: Melissa KO、Emily Cheung、Ellen He
  • 2017-10-26

It is important for media to be content-driven – certain medium should be adopted because it suits to tell the story, not because it looks fancy, said MinJung Kim, a Society of Publishers in Asia Awards winner in 2017. Speaking at an award winners’ forum this morning at Hong Kong Baptist University, Ms Kim, the Head of Visuals for the Wall Street Journal, shared some insights of her work. She emphasised the importance for news organisations to have multi-platform multimedia resources. “People consume more news online, and on mobile. You have to consider different platforms when planning,” she said. In addition, she highlighted that collaboration and advance planning are the keys because various stakeholders have to be involved in multimedia projects, including editors, reporters and IT specialists. “On average, it takes two to four months to complete a project,” she said. Despite acknowledging the fact that larger news organisations are more privileged in a digital age, Ms Kim said that the smaller ones can still create quality multimedia journalistic works. The SOPA forum will continue until this Friday.  

Dark sides of Taiwan’s pelagic industry uncovered

  • 2017-10-26

  A report revealing the abuse of migrant fishermen and the dark sides of the country’s pelagic industry won 2017 Excellence in Investigative Reporting and in Human Rights Reporting of SOPA Award. Cheng Han Wen, a journalist from the Taiwanese non-profit newsagent The Reporter, said their work drove the government to look into the working condition of migrant crewmen, during her speech on the HKBU-SOPA Award Winners Forum in Hong Kong Baptist University yesterday. They traced back the death of Supriyanto, a Indonesian father-of-two, who came to Taiwan alone to support his family but lost his life on a fishing vessel. He was proclaimed “dead of disease”. Reading unconvincing official document and proof about his death, Cheng started to investigate the case for the truth about the treatment to migrant fishermen in Taiwan. According to a report of Greenpeace Taiwan, over 1.6 million foreign fishermen work for distant water fisheries in Taiwan with a monthly wage of around US$100 ($780). Given the fierce competition in the domestic fishing industry, lives of labour are perceived cheaper than fish, especially when it comes to foreign fishermen, said Cheng. Cheng elaborated on the recruitment of the fisherman. She said they were mostly recruited by the agents in South-east Asia. Once they arrived the airport, they were brought to a dorm with poor living environment. “They are locked away from people like a criminal, ” she said. The agents will arrange fisherman to get on the fishing boat as soon as possible to prevent them from escaping. In most cases, they can only get off two to three years later.   “They are often abused by the captain and treated inhumanely,” she said. From getting on board a ship to plying timelessly, what those crew members earned will only be exploited by brokers, agents …

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

  • 2017-10-26
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Michelle Ng、Ezra Cheung、Lin Si HanEdited 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.  

Society & Politics

Lifelong suffering of Women in India

Women in India suffer from violence throughout their lives, according to a veteran journalist covering the issue for years.   The violence starts from infancy, from infanticide and infancy neglect to domestic violence, said Nita Bhalla, the chief correspondent in South Asia at the Thomson Reuters Foundation, in a forum of Hong Kong Baptist University today. Based in New Delhi, Nita Bhalla works as a foreign correspondent for about 20 years and wins an award for her coverage on human rights. Meanwhile, since females are often considered inferior to males, if a family can only support one child for education, the opportunity always goes to the male ones, resulting in deprived opportunities in education, said Bhalla. About half of Indian women get married under the age of 14, according to a government report, and the youngest was only aged 6, said Bhalla.   After they get married, sexual abuse within the family, wife-sharing and domestic violence tend to follow, she said.   Six out of ten men admitted they have committed domestic violence, including hitting their wives, confiscating their money and devaluing them, according to a United Nations report. At the end of her talk, she says because there are still many positive stories, she can recover from overwhelming frustrations after witnessing disasters. A famous case of brutality to females is the Delhi gang rape, in which a 23-year-old female student was raped by six men in a bus, resulting in her death and worldwide attention.   Under social pressure invoked by the protests, four attackers were sentenced to death by the government, while one of them, who was under 18, was charged with a three-year sentence.   “The death penalty can’t solve the problem as we find in researches,” said Bhalla.   “Our main focus should on the change …