Diving into DSE results day reporting

Diving into DSE results day reporting

YP cadets Henry Lui, Joshua Lee and Julia Cheung were tasked with covering the DSE results, the most important day for local secondary school students and for Young Post. This is what they thought ...

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Students who got their results apply to the Central Admission Scheme.
Students who got their results apply to the Central Admission Scheme.
Photo: Sam Tsang/SCMP

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Melody Tam Lok-man (left) and James Kwok Chun-kan pose with their DSE results at HKUGA c
Melody Tam Lok-man (left) and James Kwok Chun-kan pose with their DSE results at HKUGA c
Photo: Nora Tam/SCMP

One of the pack

Having never conducted an interview before DSE results day, I was understandably nervous.

I wasn't sure what questions I was supposed to ask, or even who to interview.

After a crash course in interview techniques, we were sent across Hong Kong on a hunt for this year's top scorers.

When I arrived at St Mary's Canossian College, I was rushed into a room where a dozen other reporters were waiting for the top students to be revealed.

The atmosphere was tense as the rival news teams waited. I joined with a journalist from the main paper and we worked together to prepare our line of questioning.

Suddenly there was a buzz, and everyone rushed into another room.

The two top scorers - Wong Chi-yiu, and Vienna Chin Hoi-yiu - entered amid a flurry of activity.

There was a scramble to take photos, and I had to push through the crowd to get the shot. Then, after a few quick updates to Twitter, the interview began.

Questions came thick and fast from all angles and it was a struggle to write it all down.

What's more, the interview was conducted in Cantonese, so I was forced to both translate and jot down their responses on the spot.

There was a torrent of enquiries and I attempted - most of the time unsuccessfully - to interrupt with my own questions.

Thankfully there was a short break where I could approach the girls to ask any follow-up questions.

When the interview ended, we were escorted out of the room to make way for a second batch of reporters with film cameras.

It was then my responsibility to quickly type up and send off the story.

Although the experience only lasted less than an hour, being able to get the quotes that we needed and the information for our story at the speed we did was a very rewarding and exciting experience.

Joshua Lee


Live: The students' emotions and stories behind HKDSE result day


A long and draining day

At first, I thought that live reporting would be a fun and exciting experience, but now I can safely say I was wrong.

Having woken up at 5am, I was deprived of sleep, but in high spirits nonetheless. I set off to my assigned school, Diocesan Boys' School, and expected it to be crowded.

However, I was met by an empty campus because, surprisingly, there were no top scorers from the elite school.

Disappointed, I had to wait a tedious 90 minutes before finding some action.

I was redirected to HKUGA College, a school with two top scorers. The two star students were surrounded by reporters and snapping cameras.

My excitement was restored by the buzz and I managed to gather a lot of information. I barely had time to breathe as I typed up my scribbles into a coherent email.

I had to juggle my notebook, phone and pen alongside my duty to post updates on social media and take in any new information.

It was hectic but thrilling.

Although I was drained of energy after an intense and exhausting day, I was proud to be part of one of the first newspapers to announce the DSE results, so it was worth the effort.

Julia Cheung


Lowbrow scooping

Being an international student, I had a very limited understanding of the local education system. I still don't understand why they award 5**s instead of 7s.

The day offered a glimpse into the mysterious world of local school education, as well as an opportunity to practise reporting on time-sensitive events with journalists from other newspapers.

Although this was the third time I was covering the DSEs, there were still things that were tricky for me to grasp. It was the first time we had to do live tweeting - reporting on live events is not an easy job.

I found it interesting how journalists from other papers sought controversial angles.

When a top student, Wong Chak-kui, expressed his wish to study physics at CUHK, one gung-ho reporter asked if he could explain the issue of high lead levels found in water in several public housing estates in Hong Kong. Another even asked whether his political apathy caused him to receive a lower grade in liberal studies. Needless to say, Chak-kui was visibly annoyed by their lowbrow attempts to get a scoop. Though I don't agree with such sensationalist tactics, I admired the reporters' audacity.

Being able to create news from nothing is a trait of gossip writers - seeing it from serious journalists was quite a surprise.

Henry Lui


Young Post runs a cadet programme over the summer for secondary school students interested in journalism. During a two-week stint, they shadow reporters while researching news stories, writing features and reviews, and pitching ideas.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Top marks for reporters

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