A graduate of our journalism course joined a local Hong Kong paper as a reporter. He was sent to write a story about an elderly mainland Chinese couple who regularly overstayed their two-week tourist permits to run a quilt shop in Kowloon. They would come across the border for the good business season before the lunar new year and go back when things quietened down, with border officials apparently turning a blind eye. A small story, with a little guilt for the reporter because he was instructed by his editor to tell the pair he was actually promoting their shop. But he was as surprised as the couple were when he found himself later assigned, along with a photographer, to cover the “exclusive” story of their arrest – the editor had called the immigration authorities, who swooped on the shop and took them away.
Recommended CitationClarke, Judith, Commentary: Journalism education and the reality of journalism practice, Asia Pacific Media Educator, 20, 2010, 225-230.