I first met Nadia in a photography event several months ago, and at that time I was both impressed by her beauty and her occupation of working as a journalist for a major international news network, based in Hong Kong. I just couldn’t hide my delight to tell my friend who was in the event with me that the girl was so gorgeous and I definitely had to know about her. Sometimes I do feel myself as a playboy chasing pretty girls all the time, but just like another beauty once said “Instead of being jealous, I’m rather appreciative of other attractive females.” Wise words I couldn’t agree with more.
After getting along with Nadia, I found somehow this girl just has to live under the spotlight; her beauty and aura always remind me of our timeless goddess Audrey Hepburn, and another of my favourite Hollywood actress Natalie Portman. However, beauty is only a part of my criteria for an illustrious woman, and the way Nadia keeps impressing me is not only with her appearance of course, but more importantly, her intelligence and personality which I can sum up in three words: glamorous, consummate and urbane. Therefore, an interview with her and let more people know about her is something I have put on the top of my agenda.
Nadia Daly: I grew up in Australia, in the capital, Canberra. Canberra gets a bad rap for being the boring little brother to Sydney and Melbourne. But it was a great city to have grown up in: the streets are safe, the air is always clean (something I do miss a bit here in Hong Kong!), it has a (generally) liberal-minded populace, a great sense of community and there’s nature and parkland everywhere. I started volunteering at a radio station in high school, presenting a weekly show about the local music scene. Looking back now, it was pretty amateur – but it was a great experience to be in charge of my own show. I had a blast chatting with local bands and going to gigs around town.
Nadia Daly: I think growing up in a smaller city also gave me my insatiable appetite for travel and desire to learn more about the world. I went on exchange during University. I studied in The Netherlands and worked for a student-run TV station while I was there. I would recommend every student goes on exchange if they have the chance. It was one of the most memorable chapters of my life – and I think after one semester away I came back half a decade older! Later in my degree (I studied Journalism and Government & International Relations at Sydney University), I was awarded the Myer Fellowship and worked for a newspaper in Malaysia for a few months. That was probably one of the most influential experiences in my career to date. I learnt a lot, very quickly. And I still keep in regular contact with some of the friends and colleagues I met there.
Nadia Daly: I actually desperately wanted to be a Vet from when I was little until about half way through high school. At that stage, I started to become more and more interested in journalism – and my experiences at university and in work experience placements cemented that idea for me. As I mentioned, I worked for a radio station in high school. But I didn’t officially start working in journalism until my last year at university, when I got a part-time job at an Australian TV station. I juggled that job with my last year of study and went on to work there full time after I graduated. Since then, I’ve met some fascinating people and worked on some hugely rewarding stories which have just reinforced to me that journalism is really what I want to do. Journalism challenges and broadens my mind and constantly teaches me about the world and my fellow human beings in a way that I don’t think any other profession could.
Cynthia Lo: I know you’re currently working for a major international news network and based in HK. I studied media in university but never worked in the industry (excluding my own dabbling with my own website) So I’m curious what your working day looks like at your position? Could you share your daily working process with us?
Nadia Daly: It’s a very exciting time to be working in the news media – the industry is sort of at a crossroads right now. It is interesting seeing the ways in which old and new media are converging. Online media, such as blogs like your own, are fundamentally changing the media landscape. My working day starts with a large double-helping of news from a wide variety of sources. I’ll also go through the huge stack of work emails that have built up overnight from our network of news gatherers around the world to make sure I’m across all our coverage. When I get in to the office, we have a news meeting to discuss the agenda for the day and then I work on putting together stories for the show. It gets really busy right before our show goes to air because often stories have to be updated or completely re-written in the space of a few minutes – especially if there is breaking news. We have to work quickly. Accuracy is always our first priority, but of course the writing must be strong and engaging. There is a big production line and everything I write gets copy-edited and overseen by several others. It’s always a team effort.
Cynthia Lo: How do you follow major new stories? Take the current issue about the vanishing Malaysian airliner MH370 for example, how do you follow the story line? What’s your take on, what really happened?
Nadia Daly: I follow the details very closely for any major ongoing news story as I may be asked to write about it any day at work. I constantly read news wire, such as Reuters, etc. And I’m always checking Twitter, major news sites and other sources for updates and developments. As to my take on what happened with the missing Malaysia Airlines flight – well, I know as much as our audience! For now, it remains a very curious mystery.
Nadia Daly: Well I’m very much just at the start of my career so my advice is mainly based on what I’ve observed in the more senior journalists I’ve worked with. I think any journalist needs to have, above all else, an interest in the people around her or him and the society s/he lives in. You need to have that passion for understanding the world, and an inquisitive mind – one that is always asking questions, and questioning your taken-for-granted assumptions. You also need to take interest in new developments and technologies in all fields – and be willing and able to change.
Nadia Daly: A journalist also needs to be a wonderful collection of contradictions: extremely patient – but tenacious and persistent when required, and able to act quickly at the drop of a hat; compassionate and caring towards their interview subject – but careful not to get too emotionally involved in the story; open minded with the ability to consider views that challenge your own – but also very shrewd, approaching everything with a healthy dose of scepticism. Finally (though I could probably continue writing a shopping list of qualities here – journalists need to be multi-skilled jacks-of-all-trades!), if you are working for a community-based company (for example, a local newspaper) you need to have strong ties with your community as well as a genuine and substantial interest in your readers or viewers. But either way, you need to be in tune with your audience – whoever they are.
Nadia Daly: I really admire Christiane Amanpour for her bold and fearless reporting in some of the world’s biggest conflicts over the past few decades. Some of her work was absolutely groundbreaking. I’ve met a lot of extremely talented people from whom I have learnt a lot, in my various posts in Australia, Malaysia, France and Hong Kong. A senior journalist at the Malaysian newspaper I worked at was and still is a very influential figure in my life. She really pushed me to find interesting angles to stories and taught me the importance of always challenging yourself, keeping an open mind, learning and adapting. Though I would have loved to, I’ve never been lucky to have any sort of career mentor – but I have managed to accumulate little bits of advice here and there from observation or direct conversation with some of the journalists I admire the most.
Nadia Daly: That’s right. In 2013 I worked briefly for Euronews (a multi-language TV network. It is Europe’s most-watched news station, in fact) based near Lyon, France. I absolutely loved my time there. It was very different to any other newsroom I’d worked in before. For each shift we worked in teams of 14 journalists, who each report in a different language. Basically Euronews has several different TV channels, each reporting the same story simultaneously – in a different language. So we all work on the same story – researching, writing and reading the news on air – in our own language. Working with such a diverse group of people was inspiring. And I had a really cool bunch of colleagues so work was always fun! The office had a great sense of camaraderie, everyone was helpful and supportive, and there wasn’t the same feeling of competitiveness that many newsrooms tend to have.
Nadia Daly: To never take criticism too personally (I try but don’t always succeed in this!), and learn something from it, always. But having said that, you absolutely cannot let negative feedback dissuade you. And while you should incorporate feedback, you must also consider that the person offering it might not be right, regardless of their position. When you’re just starting out, you must have the drive and persistence to keep trying despite any setbacks – or people who don’t support – or discourage you.
Nadia Daly: Above all else, I have learnt – and would urge others – to treat everyone you meet with respect, regardless of their hierarchical position, how you think they could be useful to you or what you think you know about them. I have been treated badly or simply dismissed by some people when I was working in very junior positions. Those same people are now contacting me to help them get a job. That sentiment also applies more generally to the profession. Some of my most powerful stories have come from leads I got talking to people just out of curiosity, with no agenda. If you take a genuine interest in the world and other people, you can be a good journalist. I find that everyone has something interesting to say, if you give them a chance.
Nadia Daly: I love to get out of the city and hike around Hong Kong. It’s one of the best things about this place – its proximity to nature. I usually spend my weekends catching up with friends, trying out new restaurants and going on little adventures around the city. But I’m never far from my phone. I check my work emails and news updates regularly. Sometimes my job requires me to come in to work on weekends at short notice. My hours are excellent, but this industry really requires that you’re always switched on – literally and figuratively.
Nadia Daly: I’m certainly a bit of a book worm. I read all the big international English-language newspapers every day. Just to name a few: the New York Times, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, as well as weeklies like The Economist and Time. I read French newspaper Le Monde regularly (though my French is not always strong enough to understand some of the more complex geopolitical terms!), always keep up to date with news back home with my favourite Australian papers and websites – and of course I read Hong Kong broadsheet The South China Morning Post daily.
Nadia Daly: I read a lot of these online, as well as periodically watching the TV channels – and checking the websites – of major international news outlets. Throughout the day I browse a lot of blogs and constantly scroll through my Twitter lists, which I organise into various topics. For books, I always have a large pile of (half-read!) paperbacks on my bedside table: fiction, non-fiction, guides. Right now I’m reading a few non-fictions and re-reading Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie – one of my favourites.
Nadia Daly: I’m still a bit of a newbie here – I only arrived last August. I love Hong Kong’s diversity, its energy and its vibrancy. There’s so much to do and it’s always changing. I don’t think you could ever discover every corner of this place. It really is one of a kind. Hong Kong is also a remarkably safe, efficient and clean city to live in. The population is overall quite well educated, and Hong Kongers are not afraid to take a stand – be it through peaceful protests, or witty satire.
Nadia Daly: I hang out wherever my friends are. I tend to spend most of my time on Hong Kong Island but some of my friends live on Kowloon side so they always try their best to get my lazy self across the harbor to explore more of the city! HK is certainly not for the lazy – you need to be energetic to keep up with the pace of this buzzing city!
I don’t think any man can not being attracted by this illustrious girl, and women as well, and brilliant persons always push me to better myself, for which I call them an – inspiration.
Called: Nadia Daly
Location: Hong Kong
Occupation: Journalist / Writer
Set: Tai Koo / Central, H.K.