Through the lens

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 April, 2007, 12:00am

Name: Diana Wan Yi-tak Age: 30 Occupation: Assistant TV producer

Young Post: How did you end up working in television?

Wan: When I was a student, I watched a thought-provoking movie which made me want to be a journalist.

Starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, All the President's Men was about two journalists who brought down the president of the United States following the Watergate scandal.

The movie made me realise the important role a journalist plays in society. From then on, I was determined to work in the media industry.

Upon graduation from university, I was offered a job at RTHK and have worked there ever since.

YP: What does your job entail?

W: My job is similar to that of a reporter. I have to come up with story ideas for TV programmes, do research, write scripts and conduct interviews with people.

I'm also responsible for filming and editing the final footage.

YP: What programmes have you made?

W: I have produced English political programmes, such as A Week in Politics. I've also worked on Media Watch, the weekly current affairs programme on TVB Pearl. Now, I'm developing The Works, an arts programme being shown on TVB Pearl every Tuesday at 7pm. I look at different cultural elements in the half-hour show.

Every week, we invite a band to stage a live performance.

The programme also explores current trends in the local art scene.

YP: Of the many programmes you have produced, which is the most interesting?

W: Four years ago, I did an episode for Media Watch about the famous Yuen Long crocodile Pui Pui. The crocodile captured the attention of many people. Reporters from the BBC and other overseas news organisations were stationed in Yuen Long for several days to catch a glimpse of the elusive reptile.

The episode explored why an animal in a dirty river in the Hong Kong countryside created such a stir among international media.

I set up filming gear along with hundreds of other reporters next to the river in Yuen Long and waited for two days for the crocodile to appear. Despite the long wait, the crocodile never showed up. But, the sight of a river bank bristling with tripods and cameramen was funny.

YP: Do you enjoy your work at RTHK?

W: Absolutely! While more and more local media organisations adopt an overt pro-Beijing stance, RTHK enjoys a high degree of editorial freedom.

I'm not under any pressure, I have a lot of freedom to create my stories.

YP: The arts programmes produced by RTHK are generally regarded as highbrow material only of interest to the small local arts circle. How do you plan to extend the reach of The Works?

W: Instead of catering to the artistic tastes of a small group of people, our programme explores indigenous artistic and cultural trends in Hong Kong.

People say Hong Kong is a cultural desert, but there is actually a very vibrant arts scene.

Instead of portraying cultural ideas through highbrow channels aimed at the artistic elite, we use mediums that are accessible to the general public.

For example, we did an episode on local comics and another on local antique camera collectors. These subjects can be enjoyed by the general public.


1995: Completed Form Seven Studies

1995: Enrolled in the department of translation at the Baptist University of Hong Kong

1997-98: Worked as an intern at ATV to fulfil the requirements of the translation programme

1999: Completed the translation degree and began working at RTHK

How to get there

Course: Bachelor of Social Science (Journalism and Communication)

School: The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Duration: Three years

Characteristics: Students learn about the history of public broadcasting and the principles of mass communication, advertising, public relations, multimedia and telecommunications. To help students learn about the inner workings of the media industry, each student gets to work as a summer intern in a media organisation.


Course: Bachelor of Social Science (Hons) in Communication

School: The Baptist University of Hong Kong

Duration: Three years

Characteristics: Students choose from five areas of specialisation: cinema and television; digital graphic communication; journalism; organisational communication; and public relations and advertising. Also includes general courses, such as media ethics and principles of journalism.


The path

Graduates can work in corporate communication, movie production, entertainment and broadcasting. They can work as reporters for newspapers, TV companies and radio stations. Creative graduates can work as script writers, directors, computer animators, graphic designers, or as creative directors in advertising agencies. Some government positions are available too.