Sharing By SPH Journalism Scholar

Scholarship opportunities
Scholarship opportunities
Scholarship opportunities

Sharing by SPH Journalism Scholar

By Rebecca Rachel Wong

To Mr Ma Huaqing, quality journalism is increasingly being regarded as an essential service, especially at a time of pandemic when the public needs accurate information. Photo: Lim Sin Thai

As a digital platform specialist at zaobao.sg, Mr Ma Huaqing is a firm believer in remaining agile amid changing times.

But it did not take a disruptive pandemic to teach him adaptability. He acquired this crucial skill back in 2013 when he clinched a journa lism scholarship from Singapore Press Holdings (SPH).

During his studies at the National University of Singapore, Mr Ma interned at various newsrooms in SPH’s Chinese Media Group — Lianhe Wanbao, Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily News and zaobao.sg.

“Gaining experience in various journalism formats (print, online and video), I learnt the importance of adapting well to changes,” he says. “I find that the saying ‘the only constant is change’ makes a lot of sense.”

He shares how his experience in various stints across the SPH Chinese Media Group newsrooms has helped him remain agile and adapt well to changes.

3 Memorable Moments In My Career

  1. Covering the US-North Korea summit in Singapore in 2018 I got to interact with media professionals from around the world.
  2. Being appointed co-producer for zaobao.sg’s 2019 National Day pre-parade LIVE show I was in charge of planning and coordinating the show.
  3. Being part of the Crime and Court Desk at Chinese Media Group NewsHub I had the opportunity to follow the police and Central Narcotics Bureau on anti-vice and anti-drug raids, and experience police In-Situ Reaction Team’s training first-hand.

Working amid a pandemic

When the pandemic hit, Mr Ma had to think on his feet to navigate work-related obstacles. His team had been working on a multimedia project titled 70 Years Of Waiting, which showcases the recovering of remains and artefacts from the Korean War, and includes interviews with bereaved family members.

Though filming and interviews were conducted by Mr Ma in South Korea before the Covid-19 travel bans, production timelines coincided with the circuit breaker period in April. This meant that Mr Ma’s team had to put together their project via remote communication — a task that proved challenging.

“My colleague, who is a video editor, does not understand Korean so it was difficult to explain where each video segment should start and end,” explains Mr Ma.

Fortunately, Mr Ma was fluent in Korean, having studied it at an advanced level in university. After identifying each section’s start and end point, he used his own video-editing software to obtain detailed time codes. This helped his colleague stitch together the various segments.

70 Years Of Waiting went on to clinch the Silver Award in the Best News Website or Mobile Service category at the Wan-Ifra Asian Digital Media Awards 2020, and was a finalist in the EPPY Awards 2020.


Crucial role of journalism

For Mr Ma, adaptability also means staying informed at a time when the journalist’s role is particularly crucial.

Quality journalism is increasingly being regarded as an essential service, with news website traffic increasing exponentially since the pandemic began. The proliferation of fake news has made it more difficult for the public to access accurate information, which raises the need for reliable sources of news.

Mr Ma says: “By covering new genres and constantly acquiring knowledge in various fields, I hope to contribute to quality journalism — especially in the post-Covid future.”