Young hosts of internet radio bring music and information to a computer near you, writes Wong Yat-hei
UChannel (www.uchannel.hk), run by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, is an online radio station that provides information and entertainment for young people. The website hosts several online programmes for youths. Young Post talked to some of these young show hosts about their exciting job.
Ho Tai-wa 'MC Pocket', 20, and Andrew Chan King-tung, 21, known as the Rap Brothers, host a programme that talks about social issues and rap music. A new episode is put on the website every Saturday night and internet users can download it any time.
King-tung said they have been hosting online radio programmes since they were classmates in secondary school. 'Our show talks about hot, current issues like the Haiti earthquake or the recent public demonstrations against the funding for the high-speed railway [linking Hong Kong to Guangzhou]. But it is not news reporting. In every show we will make up a rap song about the social issue to let our audience enjoy music and get to know something.'
Tai-wa said: 'We share our views on social issues with the audience in the show. We want to be entertaining and informative. I also want to promote hip-hop and rap culture through the show because I know that culture is not well received by society.'
The Rap brothers said their most unforgettable experience as hosts was when they got to meet famous rapper MC Jin at the first anniversary ceremony of uChannel last November. Tai-wa said: 'It was unbelievable not only to meet him but to have the chance to perform with him. He was really nice to us and was very willing to share tips with us and teach us how to be better rappers.' The Rap Brothers are still in school. Both have a strong interest in broadcasting and hope to pursue it as a career.
A host on U21 (the youth group's website) is Richard Cheng Tung, 21, a second-year student studying for a bachelor degree in business administration - specialising in information systems and organisational management - at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He loves the digital world and the internet, and is active in various online forums. He is going to begin hosting an online, live broadcast programme on U21 late this month. It will invite guests - such as professors and representatives from government and business - to discuss their viewpoints on various issues related to their fields. Richard will interview the guests and play host to viewers' questions. Interacting with so many celebrities will not be an easy job for Richard, as he must research his guests extensively before every show. 'You can find loads of information on the internet, but making sure it's true is another story,' he said. 'Getting accurate information is a huge part of my preparation.'
Richard also wants to teach young people about the internet world. 'All young people surf the Net, but many do not know how it all works,' he says.
'For example, it's simple to click on the button to download an MP3 from a website, but how many people can describe how it works? I want to share my knowledge with audiences to help them understand the policies and rights involved, and be aware of the impact of technology on their lives.'