Elaine I-yun Huang - Journalism in Asia Today
What is your day-to-day task in your publication/organisation?
I am working as a senior writer in the editorial department of CommonWealth Magazine, an economic bi-weekly publication based in Taiwan. I cover business and regional economy news and regularly write feature stories. Besides the printed form, I also contribute to the digital news platforms.
What is the greatest challenge in journalism today in this region?
The greatest challenge we face today in journalism is digitisation. Readers are used to receiving free content from their mobile phones. News agencies struggle with the dramatic loss of revenue from printed news, and most are still unable to find a promising profitable model from digitisation. Reporters are asked to multi-task which is a useful skill but many of us are overstretched. I hope this big shift could move in a better direction where the value of quality news is appreciated better. Content is king regardless of platform, print or the digital.
How important is journalism in Asia?
The world has long understood Asia through western media’s point of view. I think the true value of journalism in Asia lies in providing the world with an alternative perspective to show the geopolitical and economic issues in the region.
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learnt from another journalist in Asia?
When I took part in the 2016 Asia Journalism Fellowship in Singapore, I had a chance to live with a journalist from Pakistan. This gave me a close-up view of how a female journalist works hard to fight for women's right through the power of the media in a Muslim. Compared to Taiwan where women's rights in society and the working place is better, this should not be taken for granted. There are still a lot of countries in Asia, where women struggle hard to fight for their rights.
What do you think is the most important issue/story in your country/region?
Transitional Justice is the most important issue in Taiwan right now. We are working on the reconciliation of political victims from the 228 massacre that happened 70 years ago where the ruling party suppressed an anti-government uprising violently. The government and NGOs are working on unraveling this truth and hope that history will never repeat again.
What does it mean to be a journalist in Asia, as compared to the rest of the world?
Asia is a region with diverse races and cultures. Being a good journalist in Asia, we should be open minded and inclusive to other cultures. We should try to understand and view other countries’ issues with humility and awareness.
Elaine I-Yun Huang is a business reporter based in Taiwan with CommonWealth Magazine for over 12 years. Her feature reports won the Excellence Journalism Award for International Reporting, and the SOPA Award for Business Reporting. She was selected for the 2016 Asia Journalism Fellowship in Singapore, with support from Temasek Foundation International.
Journalism in Asia is a collection of portraits and interviews from influential journalists in Asia presented every Monday morning.