Thursday, August 03, 2006

I interviewed a Journalist

A few days ago, I received an interview request from yet another Straits Times journalist (first one's here). The email subject went "Hello fellow Singaporean" and turned out that journalist had some questions about my "I Am Singaporean" podcast. With the blessings of my Corp Comm folks, I agreed to do the interview.

Funny thing was I ended up interviewing her -- this second journalist -- as much as she interviewed me. Even before asked me questions, I was shooting her questions left-right-centre.

For instance, how they decide on an article or story (apparently it could be assigned, or they have an idea which their editor feels is worth pursuing, or they brainstorm for story ideas); what's their working hours like; how to they get assessed (in terms of performance) by their bosses.

Over the years, I've interacted with a handful of journalists/ reporters (print and broadcast). In all honesty, this young lady is the most chatty of them all. I mean it in a nice way. I'm not trying to get into her good books so that she writes something nice. Just telling it as it is.

I told her what I thought as well (about her being chatty). And she said:
"It's a two-way thing. I cannot keep asking questions only... ... That's what information exchange is about. I can't keep asking about your father and mother etc. don't know anything about me."

She said I could blog those remarks (in fact, she was apprehensive about me blogging her comments as she spoke to me, but I assured her I always ask for permission first). She's Serene Luo, btw. See if you can spot her in the Digital Life section of The Straits Times.

Know what? I didn't just have a conversation with a journalist.

I had an exchange of ideas with a fellow Singaporean.



  1. Journos are just like you and me, and they are often down-to-earth folks. For us in PR, its kind of a dance sometimes, where we try to guess each other's next steps and hopefully come up with that next big story together. The best way to engage them is to be honest, frank and candid, without too much of the fluff, puffery and bravador. In any case, I think the Singapore media scene is pretty tame and controlled.

  2. Anonymous10:08 am

    Hm...I smell Straits Times is starting to like you. Think soon you'll be a celibrity blogger, invited to blog for STOMP. :=)

  3. Hi Herry, you meant Celebrity Blogger or Celibate Blogger? LOL! Where got celebrity blogger? But if they invite me to blog for STOMP and my employer agrees, well why not? Cool to have librarian in STOMP I think, at least for a while (as for celibacy, no comment 'cos I want to keep this blog child-friendly). :)


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