Ms Cheung Chui-yung, the first female war correspondent of Hong Kong, was invited to give an inspiring lecture on war reportage writing at Lingnan University on 20 June 2011.
Ms Cheung, who had worked for BBC News (Chinese channel) and Inter Press Service, witnessed numerous international events, including the 1998 Presidential Election and the disarmament of Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the Anti-Chinese Incident in Indonesia in 1998, and the Iraq War that dragged on for seven and a half years. Ms Cheung says while first-hand, on-site reporting is important, war correspondents must control their emotions to write impartial stories when facing the utter devastation of lives and properties.
In addition, Ms Cheung urged reporters to use words that can “penetrate” the minds of readers and avoid the straightforward, matter-of-fact way of reporting. She suggested reflecting the cruelty of war by presenting the stories of ordinary people like women, children, hawkers and taxi drivers. Opposing points of view from rival sides should be included in the news story, so that readers could better understand the conflict from different perspectives.