Telum Talk To... Chor Khieng Yuit, Senior Editor, Money Mind (CNA)
How did you get into journalism?
I got into journalism by chance. I wanted to be a macroeconomic analyst when I graduated but I couldn’t make the cut. Then I saw a job ad for a Producer at Mediacorp and I sent in my application just to try out. They called and asked if I was interested in being a Business Producer instead and I said yes. That was how my journey with journalism began.
Can you tell us a bit more about your role and what it entails?
I produce stories for Money Mind. Each week, I either react to a business news headline and do analysis or I pitch my own story ideas to produce. I also script the podcast scripts for my stories. In addition, I am constantly trying to get business CEOs to do one-on-one interviews with us.
Money Mind is a weekly programme that broadcast every Saturday. What is the production / editorial process like in preparing for each show?
I pitch my story ideas. When it gets approved, I conduct further research on the topic, look for analysts to speak with, script the story, get the footage ready for the video editor to edit after story has been vetted. If I must react to business headlines and the timeline is tighter, I have a few days to a week to work on it. So, I will have to read up on the headline, get my analysts, do my interviews and script story.
What do you look for in a good press release / pitch?
The pitch should highlight the key points of the news release. I usually look for the main idea or main highlight and subsequently think of how it can apply to any of the stories that I am pursuing. Alternatively, if the main point of the news release is interesting, I will think about pitching a story around it. The details can come later. This is because I don’t really have time to read through unless something catches my interest.
How do you decide what’s going to make news for your readers, what story interest you and what don’t?
If a pitch relates to a business news headlines, yes, I will consider it. I am generally keen on corporate governance, fintech, money laundering, terrorism financing stories and social psychology. I am always interested in social psychology and believe the psychology of investors play a part in how they invest and make or incur losses. I am also into health and wellness, but it is kind of challenging to find a business angle. So yes, if there is a business angle, I will be keen to pursue. I ask myself: will this interest the viewer? If it does, yes, then I will probably consider this story.
Business and finance can be complex industries. How do you simplify them and engage audiences?
Minimise financial jargon, explain in layman terms, use graphics to illustrate complex ideas. To me, if I don’t understand my viewer won’t too. So, if I don’t understand something that my guest mentioned, I won’t be embarrassed to ask until I understand.
If you could cover any story, what would it be and why?
I would like to venture into producing stories that are more related to data journalism. Data can tell stories and I hope to grow in this field. I am currently working on a property special which will air on 13th November, after which Money Mind goes on season break for the year. This will be my first time analysing data for a story. It is similar to what I did for my academic exercise during my BBA years, just without the benefit of time now. However, it is a challenge I will take on to learn and grow.