Journos still eye politics

| Siu Sai-wo 16 Aug 2018

The Legislative Council by-election for the Kowloon West constituency will kick off soon, and there have been reports that former secretary for food and health Ko Wing-man will be a candidate.

I saw Ko and his former political assistant, Rebecca Chan Hoi-yan, at a function some time back. When I asked if they would team up to run, they just smiled.

But according the latest talk in political circles, Chan will run instead of Ko.

This is, of course, just talk for now, and we don't know if she would really take part.

No candidate, dark horse or favorite, will confirm a candidacy until the very last moment as under the rules, election expenses start to accrue once the intention to run is confirmed, and the expenses ceiling is not that high too.

Chan is a former journalist, and there has been a line of journalists-turned-politicians, including former lawmakers Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee of the legal constituency and the "unbeatable" Emily Lau Wai-hing.

Current lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching also used to be a TVB news anchor. Viewers still remember her trademark braided hairstyle.

The success of these politicians shows there are alternative career routes open to reporters.

News media experience is a plus to a career in politics because reporters are versed with public affairs as well as public sentiments and thinking. That is why accountability officials often hire them as aides.

These strengths are, of course, just as relevant when journalists themselves take part in politics.

And those from the electronic media have additional pluses like a public image and public speaking competency gained from frequent live reporting in front of TV cameras.

Chan is well known and popular.

When she was at TVB news, she went to the Iraqi war zone with news guru Raymond Wong.

The team donned masks during live broadcasts in case of poison-gas attacks.

The Iraqi trip showed that Chan must be brave.

is publisher of Sing Tao Daily

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