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The Wall Street Journal Asia, launched in 1976, brings attention to the region’s business and financial features to 275, 671 readers. Published by Dow Jones & Company, the Asian Journal is printed in nine different cities including Bangkok, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo. The main regional office is located in Hong Kong.
By visiting Tokyo’s bureau, we were able to gather some insight on how one of the most circulated newspapers in the world works. The Tokyo bureau itself has 15 reporters and four editors who are divided into traditional beats. Approximately half of the staff is Japanese while the other half is American or Japanese-American. Staff members can always expect to work long, diligent hours. Reporters are passionately dedicated to capturing their stories.
There is a photographer and videographer on staff as well. The Journal uses video whenever seen as appropriate and is working on implementing more video in the future. There’s a team in Hong Kong who will fly out to various locations to capture footage for larger stories. The bureaus will sometimes even hire freelancers to cover a story.
We learned that the way the Journal keeps track of developing new stories is by having their reporters keep an eye on what’s happening. Located in Hong Kong, they have what they call a “real-time desk” where editors are dedicated to monitoring news by using various Twitter feeds and various wire services to keep track of breaking news.
We learned an outline of the editorial process the Journal goes through before a story makes it into the paper. For example, if the story is a feature story, editors will sit down with a reporter and talk over ideas. Throughout the process, the editors will continue to consult with the reporter. The bureau will then give it an edit and once they think it’s ready they will file it via email either to the Hong Kong or New York desk where it will go through a more intense edit.
The Tokyo bureau does offer internships for those wanting to come overseas to work in Japan. Besides conquering the language barrier, having a deep understanding of the subject matter in the region is essential. You must be able to effectively demonstrate what you can do. Required skills needed to be able to work at the Journal are to be able to write about various topics and to be able to edit. Knowing more about a specific subject matter that interests you that not a lot of people can write about would be in your benefit.
Overall we realized that working for such a prestigious and renowned news agency requires dedication and passion for journalism.