Telum Talks To... Elaine Lo, Editor-in-Chief, SportsWorld Malaysia

Telum Talks To... Elaine Lo, Editor-in-Chief, SportsWorld Malaysia

Elaine Lo is the Editor-in-Chief of SportsWorld Malaysia and was previously the Senior Editor with Green Warriors Publication writing for both Cycling Malaysia and Running Malaysia magazines. As an active runner and outdoor person, she has travelled almost every corner of Malaysia and to many countries covering local and international sports events, and took part in the events herself.

You have been writing on sports since graduating from university in 2016, why did you pursue sports journalism as your career?
Writing has always been my passion since I was 17. Having also been an active and sporty person, it is great to combine passion into professional career. That was how I decided to pursue sports journalism. Every individual has a different tale to tell. While many people put the focus on athletes’ glory and triumph, I hope I can utilize my writing skills to produce more inspiring and insightful stories and let more people read about athlete’s stories behind their success.

You established the SportsWorld Malaysia with Joseph Seow, the former Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Green Warriors Publication. What is the impetus to launch this multi-sport digital platform and what do you want to achieve?
Joseph Seow has more than 10 years of experience in sports journalism, while I have about five years of working experience in the sports and media industry. We want to integrate our experiences, skills, and connections into bringing different communities together. We aim to engage with all types of sports enthusiasts and provide a platform for them to share and receive information about sports.

Can you give us an overview of what content the site focuses on, and what you have planned for the site for the coming year?
SportsWorld Malaysia focuses on three main sports – cycling, running, and hiking. In the past, we interviewed numerous people, covered several sports events, wrote umpteen pieces of articles, and published them on the print. Thanks to the digital revolution, we are planning to develop SportsWorld Malaysia a video-oriented multi-sport media platform by incorporating more visual aids into the contents for the coming years.

What difficulties have arisen from covering local / community sport, especially given the current restrictions on the industry?
Covering local or community sport hasn’t been difficult in general. One of the challenges that we’ve faced in Malaysia is that the government is not seen introducing and promoting certain sports. For instance, the BMX and Fixie. The community is popular and huge, but there’s a lack of sports development in the country, for example, the lack of proper sports facilities and youth development programmes.

What are the stories that you find best resonate with your audience?
So far, SportsWorld Malaysia audiences are often stimulated by personality and real-life stories that are encouraging and inspiring.

Are there any particular sports you feel aren’t covered as extensively as they should be?
BMX and track cycling should be covered and promoted more extensively. Malaysian athletes are talented and performing well at the elite level, unfortunately the weakness in the sports system was found to be the lack of talent scout programs, strategic planning in national sports associations and holistic competition structure. 

How do you work with PR professionals and how can they make your work easier?
Being a media, we work closely with PR professionals to create stories and engage audiences. Press releases, latest updates, and contacts provided by PR are useful and helpful in building relationship and maintaining trust between the companies and media.

You also took part in some of the sports events previously, could you share with us more about this?
They say if you want to be a good writer, you need to first be a reader. If you want to be the best mechanic, you must have spent hours and hours of driving. If you want to be the best musician, you have to first listen to music. It’s true that the bottom line is you need to know what you’re doing if you want to be good in it. I’m an avid runner and hiker, and taking part in many sports events allows me to associate myself with the community. My job scope also includes interviewing people and writing stories, so being a part in the sports allows me to be closer to the other sports enthusiasts with a common interest. Having cycled in numerous countries, run in a few marathons, and climbed several mountains, I can often relate to my interviewees (sportspeople) and create compelling narratives that are able to attract and influence audiences.

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