Telum Talks To... John Wan, Creative Editor, Ming Pao
How did you start your career as a journalist? What made you keep going?
I started my career in the media industry as an Art Director because I wasn’t trained as a Journalist. But the more I have done it, the more I have noticed you can’t really separate visuals from content. So this was how I eventually became an Editor. My current job duties include editing, hosting interviews and art directing. The good thing about being a Journalist is that you get to listen to all sorts of people, and they often give you a fresh perspective on things. Being in the media industry also made me more outgoing and more open-minded.
Can you briefly talk about your typical day at work and the types of content you are responsible for?
I am responsible for Ming Pao’s “life&style” section. As previously mentioned, my scope of work is fairly diverse, including attending in-person interviews and editing colleagues’ drafts alongside providing creative and art guidance for fashion photography features.
Please tell us more about the operation of Ming Pao’s supplement pages?
There are multiple layers of work in a newspaper. It involves editing, proofreading, typesetting, and the dispatch of online versions, among other things. We usually decide upon the themes and angles for our feature stories based on the information and materials we have gathered. That’s before we move on to conduct research, interviews and shooting sessions.
What should PR professionals be aware of when they make a pitch to you? How do you prefer to be contacted?
The international brands I have worked with are all well versed in what they do, and they know us in the newspapers well. However, we sometimes hope to approach things from a fresh angle, so it would be great if all of our PR counterparts would be more open to ideas despite the restrictions from their respective global headquarters.
It goes without saying that mutual respect and communication are equally important in any partnership. I talk to my PR friends on WhatsApp and via email, but I also occasionally meet up with them during press events when I can. They give me an opportunity to understand them better.
What news stories are you planning in the upcoming months?
Over the years, we have covered international fashion brands and lifestyle trends fairly extensively. But we have noticed it’s often hard for local talents to make a mark or even find a job after they graduate from school. So we have hoped to do more to support young people who want to set up their own brands or promote their products. I’m pleased to say that some of the local brands in town are much better recognised than before, and it’s easier than ever before to set up a shop online.
In this connection, we have been giving coverage to young designers, local creative brands and shops.