Young Post runs a cadet programme over the summer for secondary school students interested in journalism. It's a two-week stint at South China Morning Post's headquarters in Tai Po, shadowing reporters as they research news stories, writing features and reviews, and pitching story ideas.
Here's what some of our cadets got up to …
Working for a small, fun team means doing all sorts of different activities
When I applied for the summer cadet programme at the best English-language newspaper for teens in Hong Kong, I envisioned two weeks of being out of the office, chasing stories and taking photographs.
We did indeed get out of the main Tai Po office during our first week, but it wasn't quite what I had in mind. We ended up in the South China Morning Post's Causeway Bay office, in the middle of the busiest junction in the area. This is where the photo studio is, and we ended up in front of the camera, rather than behind it. We were going to be models for the front cover of Young Post's important Teachers' Edition! This is one of the best things about working with a small team like Young Post; it's so flexible that you're free to do almost anything - even modelling.
The photo shoot wasn't easy. We had to come up with our own poses, and it wasn't easy. However, the entire experience was a lot of fun, and certainly not what I expected when I joined.
Meeting fellow cadets from schools all over Hong Kong, posing awkwardly, and getting sore cheeks from smiling were all part of the experience.
I was impressed by the diverse range of activities the cadet programme offers. Don't get me wrong, there is still a fair bit of writing involved, but I was really surprised that I was given opportunities to go out and do different things, which is just one of the great perks of working for a small and fun team like Young Post.
Ruby Chung and Melory So
Reasoning behind the photo shoot
When confronted with the challenge of designing a "not lame" (words from our self-appointed creative director John, who's the junior reporters' manager at Young Post) set-up to display the front of the Young Post newspaper in the photo, we had to dig deep into our creative reserves.
We needed to present the Young Post cover in a fun, exciting way, but also in a way that would look good in a photograph. Dreams of framing Young Post in a dazzling array of lights, or aerial shots of us walking up the Hong Kong skyline made out of Young Post covers were suppressed, and we had to look for a more back-to-basics approach.
We brainstormed what the Young Post meant to us - a place of solace away from our electronic gadgets and gizmos to read about current issues, a number of interesting articles to share with our friends, and a means to learn about many different things, such as sports, films, upcoming events, Hong Kong politics, student services to the community, and debating competitions.
To encompass all of these ideas, we decided that a set-up of us reading and sharing Young Post, or, alternatively, cutting out the words, "I <3 YP" from old copies of Young Post, would be the best way to show what Young Post means to us.
Intimidating at first, but it gets easier
I was really nervous about the photo shoot. It wasn't the first time I had modelled, but I was very tense. I had been to the Causeway Bay office before for other photo shoots, but this time, the atmosphere was way more nerve-racking. The harsh lighting, enormous camera lens and awkward silence between us (the cadets) amplified the already intimidating mood.
My insecurities grew and I got more and more nervous as we waited. Even having the other cadets there failed to calm me down or reassure me.
The girls were frantically pulling out red lipsticks, mascaras and hair pins, and I realised I didn't even have a comb to fix my rather messy hair, which I was suddenly extremely aware of.
The shoot started and my nerves were all over the place. I was too self-conscious and ended up being a nervous wreck. However, it got better after a few minutes, as I got used to it, and I gained a lot of confidence from the experience.
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