Good news lies in the right way to tell

Jake Berstein sharing his experience with HKBU students. (Photo: Alice Zhao)


HONG KONG – Good news story is not just about getting the content, the way to present the news also matters, said a Pulitzer winner journalist Last Friday.

Jake Bernstein , one of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize Winners, gave two lectures to journalism students from Hong Kong Baptist University sharing his investigation on a series of stories on questionable Wall Street practices triggering the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

During the lectures, Jake emphasized their efforts to make the business news jargon free. He encouraged young journalists don’t be afraid to question their interviewees even for consensus.

In their stories, technical terms like CDO are explained through comics.  Bernstein and his team even created videos to promote the knowledge.

“I don’t think it has to be a music video, or a comic, but I do think, especially as financial journalist, we are challenged to be more creative when we present the facts,” Bernstein said.

Chinese Business news seems to be exclusive to the specialized-finance group.  “Most of the business stories just bored me to tears,” Molly Cheung Ting, a business and finance journalism student said, “Even as a college student, I still found myself totlly illiterate while reading them.”

Most of the students at present are from mainland China. From their perspective, investigative journalism seems noble but difficult to practice judged from the current media sphere in mainland China. They raised questions to the Pulitzer winner mostly on how to deal with the obstacles during interview.

Questions like these usually end in Berstein’s expression on his own luck by having the “luxury” to work for ProPublica, which is a humble statement to downplay his own excellency.

Berstein, together with his colleague Jesse Eisinger, won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for its series, “The Wall Street Money Machine”. The reports are on one of the most complicated subjects from one of the most sophisticated group—the Wall Street bankers.

After the lectures, Berstein stayed one more hour with the future journalists for a sharing session.

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3 Responses to Good news lies in the right way to tell

  1. yoyopan says:

    It’s quite informative…I’ve learned a lot and thanks for helping me make up my missing session of his lecture:-)

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks for the post. What did he say about getting past censorship, whether government or individual?

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