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The Young Reporter

Multimedia storytelling does not change principles of good journalism

  • 2017-10-25
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Holly Chik、Erica Chin、Elisa LukEdited by: Ellen He、Emily Cheung、Melissa KO
  • 2017-10-25

The principles and basic rules of good journalism remain the same, though journalists now have exciting tools, said MinJung Kim, the Head of Visuals Asia of The Wall Street Journal, at a forum at Hong Kong Baptist University this morning. An interactive story "Five Major Risks to Flying in Asia" won Kim 2016 SOPA Awards for Excellence in Digital News and Information Graphics. Producing multimedia stories should be a content-based decision although the virtual reality, 3D modelling, data visualisation are "popular and cool" forms of journalism, said Kim, and "choosing which medium can best tell your story" is the second concern. Featured in the "No Good Choice" story is an audio of an Indonesian domestic helper who was sexually assaulted by her host family in Hong Kong. Her face cannot be shown as a victim under Hong Kong law, but the audio instead, shows the her emotions and creates a vivid image of her. As for deciding which medium to use, Kim said reporters can come up with an idea, which will later be pitched by developers who have expertise in a certain medium. Multimedia projects require collaborative efforts and early planning with involving parties. According to Kim, the team which puts moving pieces together is usually comprised of project managers, writers, developers, designers, data researchers and video producers. Another interactive story "Kowloon Walled City", which incorporates video interviews, photo archive, map, and timeline, has taken about six months to produce because a lot of time is spent on researching and obtaining permission to use the archive materials. However, for breaking news stories, Kim said they would do them incrementally - text goes first, and they will add video, graphics and interactive elements. The SOPA Forum will continue tomorrow and other award-winning journalists will share their experiences, including Nita Bhalla …

Health & Environment

Two out of 40 prepackaged juices found to contain mycotoxin

  Consumer Council said two of prepackaged juices samples were tested positive for patulin, a mycotoxin a UN committee on Food Additives say could suppress immunoreactions, damage nerves and affect the development of infants. Although patulin is commonly present in decaying fruits, especially apples, "the risk is higher in juices because mould cannot be seen", said council spokesman Michael Hui King-man. The distributors have instantly removed the two cold pressed apple and blended apple juices, in which the amount of patulin have exceeded the Centre for Food Safety's action level. The council also found that the dietary fibre content of all 40 samples, including those with fruit pulps claims, was lower than the detection limit of less than 1.1g/100ml of fruit juice. Vitamin C content in apple juices was also found generally lower than 2mg/100ml, whilst that in orange juices, on the whole, was higher, ranging from 11 to 52mg/100ml. High sugar content in all samples also entailed that they are "not deemed as a low-sugar food" under Hong Kong's current nutrition labelling standards. For the sample with the most sugar, drinking 1 bottle of 360ml of juice would amount to 46g of sugar intake. In other words, it is equivalent to 92% of an adult average daily intake of 50g free sugars limit. The council urged consumers not to substitute fruit juice for fruit because juices contain less vitamin C and fibre but are more expensive. Reported by Holly Chik Edited by Daisy Lee

Silent voice of Russian graffiti

  • 2017-10-12
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Nicole Kwok、Daisy LeeEdited by: Nicole Kwok、Daisy Lee
  • 2017-10-12

Street art is never welcomed in Russia. With high level of censorship, the authoritarian country does not allow much expression amid the existence of discontented undercurrents. Some said russian graffiti first took off in the days when the Western influences, especially American cultures, were introduced in the USSR. To be exact, breakdancing, derived from American hip-hop movies, partially brought the beginning of Russian graffiti subculture in the 1980s. Breakdancers became graffiti artists as they have to create eye-catching backdrops for performances. At the same time in late Soviet period, graffiti became a rebellious medium for the public, especially youth, to express non-conformity. Russian hippies use walls to share ideas of peace and kindness, while pacifists and anti-war groups began to use graffiti as a way to spread moral wrongs of war and their opposition to the Soviet Union in declaring war in Afghanistan. Russian graffiti artist Dmitri Aske once wrote, "A city is a large sandbox, and graffiti is one of the ways of existing within that sandbox." He thinks that street arts, graffitis or patriotic drawings on the facade or fences of Russia reflects currents events of the place. In Russia, ‘Bombing' is an important expressing method for local graffiti artists. It is a technique of quickly covering large areas with graffiti by tagging public transports, such as trains, or simply a whole street. Legal liability is one of the crucial concerns for graffitists all over the world. Though there is no typical law regulating graffiti in Russia, some Russian lawyers pointed out that anyone who is caught for painting graffiti can still be penalised by law enforcement under criminal code. Hurriyet Daily News reported in 2013 that Russian police had pressed charges of vandalism and graffiti which mocked Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia.  According to the law, …

Politics

Highlights on Carrie Lam's responses in her press conference

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor further justified her plans for Hong Kong in a press conference Wednesday afternoon, following the announcement of her first policy address in the morning. Responding to the saying that her policy address highlights only livelihood issues but avoids political matters, Lam said Hong Kong has not had a proper atmosphere for such a discussion yet. Lam mentioned the acts of some legislators that morning in the Legislative Council, which she considered as disrespect, are a sign indicating that the city is not ready for much political discussion. She said political reforms, especially those regarding Article 23 and universal suffrage, could only be progressed when time is suitable. Concerning measures to ease housing problems, Lam said the best way for now is to increase the supply of flat units. She promised to make transparent discussions in the near future to confirm how the schemes can work feasibly in detail. While public doubts if the "Starter Homes" plan could solve pressing issues related to housing soon, Lam clarified that it is more important to provide every the opportunity in purchasing flats. Another focus of Lam's address is regarding to innovation and technology. Lam agreed that the industry in Hong Kong has been lagging behind that in the Mainland for years. Apart from the increase in research and development funding, Lam said she will put in extra effort to this field by supervising the whole process of development herself. Regarding Hong Kong audience booing the national anthem at a football match on Monday, Lam thought the irrational audience are only the minority of the whole. She reaffirmed that Hong Kong is part of China and such acts are considered deeply disrespectful to the home country.

Society

Government plans to provide subsidies for university hostels construction

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Elly Wu、Elisa Luk、Erica Chin、Holly ChikEdited by: Angela Cheung、Daniel Ma
  • 2017-10-11

Carrie Lam, the city's Chief Executive, announced in the latest Policy Address the setting up of a $12 billion Hostel Development Fund, offering subsidies for universities to construct student hostels. Lam said the lack of on-campus accommodations could hinder international students from studying in Hong Kong, thus making the local tertiary campuses and learning environment less international. Lam believed that establishing the development fund could speed up the executive procedures. The University of Hong Kong, which has the highest percentage of international students of 39% among all University Grants Committee(UGC) funded universities, accepted less than half of international students who applied for dormitories in the year 2014-2015. Meanwhile, all international students applied for hostels in Lingnan University were accepted. However, only 15% of applicants are international students, which is the lowest among local universities. Hence, the "internationalisation" of a university campus has no direct relationship to the provision of residential halls. The "internationalisation" of a university campus has no direct relationship to the provision of residential halls. "The policy would help to attract more international student only if they are prioritised to apply for on-campus accommodation," said Annie Chan, associate professor of Lingnan University. Kevin Yue, Resident Master of one of Hong Kong Baptist University's halls, pointed out that universities' policies on arranging residential hall units to local and international students affect the effectiveness bringing diversity to the campuses, especially when there is not enough dormitories even for local students. Less than half of the 63 international students studying in Hong Kong Baptist University reached by The Young Reporter said they would study in Hong Kong without a dormitory place Out of 63 international students reached, 48 percent of them claimed that they would come to Hong Kong to study even without a dormitory. "I would still come to Hong …

Health & Environment

Parents and students criticise Carrie Lam's neglect of student suicides

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Angie Chan、Ezra Cheung、Japson Melanie Jane、Michelle NgEdited by: Winnie Ngai、Jianne Soriano
  • 2017-10-11

The Hong Kong Chief Executive paid little attention to current youth problems in her maiden 195-page policy address released in the Legislative Council this morning. Various stakeholders, including parent and student representatives and social workers, expressed their disappointment with the report, accusing the leader of neglecting the lives of Hong Kong students. Covering youth policies in just five pages, she put the spotlight on their participation in politics: creating opportunities for young people to join the Central Policy Unit to be re-organised soon and different commissions under the 13 policy bureaux. Lam also focused on the provision of internship and exchange opportunities outside the city. "We will strive to do our best in youth development work by addressing their concerns about education, career pursuit and home ownership," she said during the Legco meeting, "and encouraging their participation in politics as well as public policy discussion and debate." Yet, the city's leader has failed to mention a single word about the severity of the student suicide epidemic which has claimed 432 lives since 2013. The Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides was formed March last year to tackle this issue. But no further action was done after its final report was published, according to Althea Suen Hiu-nam, the former president of the Hong Kong University Students' Union and a member of this government-appointed student suicide prevention committee. She expressed her dismay on Lam's failure to include the issue in her first policy address. "It's absurd to ignore the issue," Suen said, "a disrespect to the lives of the youth." Annie Cheung Yim-sheun, spokesperson of the Hong Kong Parents United, felt Lam had neglected a major issue given the increasing number of student suicides in Hong Kong. Cheung attributed Lam's avoidance to the sensitiveness of the sudden death of Peter Poon Hong-yang, …

Society

Carrie Lam pledges better political inclusion of ethnic minorities

  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Tracy Zhang、Jade Li、Raphael BletEdited by: Choy York Borg Paulus、Tracy Zhang、Ellen He
  • 2017-10-11

Requirements on Chinese proficiency will be relaxed to include more ethnic minorities in the government, announced Chief Executive Carrie Lam in her first policy address. "We need to increase the job opportunities for ethnic minorities to work in the government," said Lam. Civil Service Bureau has started a review on the entry requirements relating to Chinese proficiency to get more ethnic minorities working in the government. Currently, ethnic minorities willing to join the civil service are required to undergo a written Chinese proficiency test. The government launched Project Gemstone in 2013 to teach ethnic minority young people Chinese, making it easier for them to join the police. Apart from the support on language, representatives of ethnic minority have also been included in a preparatory committee chaired by Lam for children's issues. Shalini Mahtani, the founder of Zubin Foundation said it's a good start because at least Carrie Lam is looking into this issue. "We'll continue to ask Carrie Lam to get more ethnic minority members into government advisory committees to express their voices," she said. However, Pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo said the policy address showed "complete ignorance" on long-lasting ethnic minority problems. "I feel pessimistic. We should keep on fighting and can see miracles on politics including ethnic minority's political participation in Hong Kong," said Mo. Abeer, spokesperson of HK Ethnic Minority Women, said the lack of political participation for ethnic minorities cannot be solved in a short time through those limited measurements. "Hong Kong is lagging behind in almost all aspects of life services for ethnic minorities," she said. "No doctors, no police officers, so even no need to mention politicians." Kathleen Magramo, a Filipino student from the University of Hong Kong said the framework is on the right track but concrete actors need to be mobilised to see …

Government plans to further revitalise historical buildings

  • 2017-10-11

Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced her plans on heritage conservation by focusing on the Revitalisation Historic Building Through Partnership Scheme in the Policy Address released today. The 19-project scheme was established in 2007. Five batches of projects under the Revitalisation Scheme had already been taken place. According to Antiquities Advisory Board, as at 7 September 2017, there are 1,444 historical buildings in Hong Kong, among which 955 buildings were graded as Grade I to III historic buildings . Lui Seng Chun, a long-vacated Grade I Historic Building in Mong Kok used to be a shophouse. After undergoing basic repair and revitalisation, it now operates as a Chinese medicine and healthcare centre. "The project is a successful one as its new function matches with residents' need," Lee Ho-yin, head of Division of Architectural Conservation Programmes at University of Hong Kong said, "Mong Kok area has an aged community, resulting in a large demand for such healthcare centre." "The value of a building can always increase over time by effective utilisation," Lee said. "If we don't redevelop those buildings, we won't have losses. If we remove them, we may just earn a little more but the long-term loss on other aspect will be greater." Siu Ping-lam, a 67-year-old man who has lived around Lui Seng Chun for 60 years, said the revitalization is necessary. "The building becomes very educational as its original architecture has been kept and people are allowed to visit." "The cost for revitalisation should not be larger," said Lee, "the most important thing is to fit the building its surroundings." "The connection between the community and the building will be closer. It will be easy to get money if the building serves the right function as it now does," Lee said, "otherwise, the preservation will not be successful and continuable." …

Labour Unions: Government Fails to Reach out to Elderly Home Workers

  • 2017-10-11
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Wing Li、Dorothy Ma、Kobie Li、Alexandra LinEdited by: Richelia Yeung、Tiffany Lui、Celia Lai、Isabella Lo、Daisy Lee、James Ho
  • 2017-10-11

The government will consider importing labour to elderly care units and provide additional resources to increase wages for care workers, said Carrie Lam as she introduce her first Policy Address this afternoon. Hong Kong's aging problem is escalating as reflected by the projected growth of elderly population from 16.6% in 2016 to 31.1% in 2036, according to the Census and Statistics Department. Due to the acute shortage of workforce lies in the local elderly-care sector, the city has been employing non-local care workers to cater the needs in self-financing elderly care homes. Now that the government calls for labour importation to its subsidised care homes, some labour unions criticised the government of lacking long-term consideration, attributing the issue to low salary and long working hour of care workers. Poon Wai-yin, chairman of Hospitals, Clinics and Nursing Workers Union, said that increase in wage alone is not enough to tackle the issue. "The government cannot force the employers to increase the wage of care workers. There is no legal binding except for the minimum wage," Poon emphasised The Union demands an eight-to-nine-hour long standard working time. Care workers now could work up to 11 hours per day with a basic salary of $9,800 and a ceiling of $13,000, according to Poon. Tsang Kei-nam, Organizing Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, is concerned about the qualification of foreign care workers, which is hard for the labour department to verify if their overseas training can provide sufficient techniques  for caring work in Hong Kong. Yet, Chan Chun-wing, a senior nurse from Yan Chai Hospital Lee Wai Siu Kee Elderly Home stated that "it will not be a problem to have foreign or mainland care assistants as long as they have qualifications," Labor Union argues that the shortage of manpower in …

CE to rebuild housing ladder with "Starter Homes" scheme

  • 2017-10-11
  • The Young Reporter
  • By: Erin Chan、Caroline Kwok、Michael Shum、Candice WongEdited by: Lam Ka Sing、Nicole Kwok
  • 2017-10-11

CE to rebuild housing ladder with "Starter Homes" scheme Reported by Caroline Kwok, Erin Chan, Candice Wong,  Michael Shum Edited by Alfred Lam, Nicole Kwok,  Sean Hsu, James Ho Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor revealed details of the "Starter Homes" scheme in her maiden policy address today. The scheme is to provide more affordable private housing for young, middle class first-time home buyers who are struggling with the city's endless price growth in private housing. The scheme's applicants must have an income level not exceeding $34,000 a month for singletons and $68,000 for households with two or more members, about 30 per cent higher than the income limits for Home Ownership Scheme applicants, she said. Land supply for the units will come from sites owned by private developers or bought by the Government. Lam said the government will dictate the scheme at the end and developers will only help building the homes. Poon Wing-cheung, senior lecturer of Building Science and Technology at City University of Hong Kong, agreed that the government should work with private developers to speed up the scheme. "Developers are well-equipped with land resources and are experienced in maximising land use," Poon said. Thomas Lam, senior director of property consultancy, Knight Frank, also thought that "Public-Private Partnership" can provide certain incentives for both parties. "For example, developers will supply farmland for "Starter Homes" in exchange for discounted land premium arrangements," Lam said. However, he also pointed out some limitations of the scheme. "The targeted income-group of the "Starter Homes" scheme  only makes up around  one-tenths of the labour force. Large number of "Starter Homes" units may also affect the private market of small-sized units," he said. Sammy Po, chief executive of Midland Realty's residential division, said the application requirements and resale restrictions of "Starter Homes" should be tight …