Telum Talks To... Eric Cheung, Field Producer, CNN (Taipei)

Telum Talks To... Eric Cheung, Field Producer, CNN (Taipei)

Congratulations on the launch of the new bureau in Taiwan! Tell us about your editorial team and CNN's day-to-day operations. What is your team's main editorial focus? 
Thank you, we are very excited about opening a new bureau here in Taiwan. We have big ambitions for our coverage here and across the wider region.

We start off each day by attending a morning editorial call with our colleagues across the Asia-Pacific region, where we pitch top stories related to Taiwan. We work closely with our colleagues in Hong Kong, our Asia-Pacific headquarters, on story assignments and coverage plans. Besides breaking news, we also cover a wide range of feature stories - ranging from LGBT rights to semiconductor chips.

In Taiwan, we cover everything that an international audience is interested in. A lot of it is focused on politics and military affairs, but we also file feature stories about businesses and Taiwan's history. The main deciding factor is why an international audience should care about a story.

We also travel to other parts of Asia. This year alone, we have reported from Japan, Cambodia, Singapore, and Malaysia, covering US President Joe Biden's travels, as well as filing stories for our monthly in-depth business programme, Marketplace Asia.

Who's watching and reading CNN? Can you tell us a little bit more about your role at CNN?
CNN reaches more than 78 million households in the US and more than 347 million households internationally. But as well as the TV channel, we also have a strong digital presence - in fact, CNN Digital is the world’s number one online news destination with more unique visitors and video viewers than any other news source. Having multiple platforms gives us lots of flexibility in telling stories in the right format to the right audiences.

We usually try to publish our stories on different platforms for maximum impact. For example, after we go on a shoot, we produce content for TV, CNN.com and social. There are also dedicated sections on our digital page for Business, Travel, and Style, so these are additional platforms where we can find a home for our stories as well.

Will Ripley is our Senior International Correspondent, and he reports on everything in Taiwan. He regularly travels around the region (and the world) reporting on different topics, including North Korea, having been there 19 times. I am the Field Producer, responsible for chasing breaking news, producing TV stories and writing digital articles. I am the go-to person for story pitches in Taiwan.

What stories are you most interested in? What advice would you give to PRs hoping to have their pitches get noticed?
Some of the areas we are interested in include Taiwan's self-defence capabilities, the semiconductor industry, as well as renewable energy and sustainable development. CNN is also committed to covering the climate crisis, so we are always on the lookout for interesting projects relating to sustainable development. We are open to different ideas and would welcome any pitches.

We regularly receive a large number of emails from PRs. We find some of the ideas quite interesting, but the key questions to ask is “why is this of interest to an international audience?”. If a project is the first of its kind in the world, or is related to topics such as renewable energy or Taiwan's self-defence, it stands a higher chance of being picked up. Please do not be discouraged if we are unable to give you a reply; we do welcome pitches at any time and we will let you know if it is something that we are keen on pursuing.

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  • Eric Cheung
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  • CNN Taipei
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