Those first months in Hong Kong for your Young Girl Reporter are a series of snapshots which must be connected by the memories of others. Hong Kong in 1967 was a very different place to the city I left 20 years later. My memories are small but so was I. And it was a small place, on the verge of becoming something bigger.
Traces of an older society were still visible. One day my grandmother and I were walking on Macdonnell Road when we saw an old woman hobbling on bound feet. We were amazed that she could walk at all. Continue reading
Bargirls and journalists have a lot in common. They are basically lazy, but work very hard for short periods of time – Arthur Hacker.
The numbers of foreign journalists in Hong Kong ebbed and flowed to the tides of the war in Vietnam so it’s fitting, and not entirely uncoincidental, that the Hong Kong Press Club was opened in Wanchai in December 1973, just months after the rock n roll war finally ended.
Its arrival sits right in the middle, between the end of old Wanchai, made famous as The World of Suzie Wong, and the new one, with its smart office blocks and trendy bars.
During the war of course Hong Kong was awash with young Boy and Girl Reporters who came from all corners of the world hoping to make their names as war correspondents. Many stayed and took jobs on local newspapers and magazines, both during and after the war. Continue reading
Almost from the moment we arrived in Hong Kong in 1967 my father Jack Spackman was working as a stringer, most regularly for Australia’s Fairfax newspapers. A stringer is a locally based correspondent who may sometimes be paid a retainer but often is paid only for published stories.
Jack said the term arose back in the olden times when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and scribblers were paid by the length of their work, as measured by a piece of string. I filed that little unverified factoid under “Shit my dad says” until I stumbled across a similar explanation in a book by Australian academic Rod Tiffen which, I discovered, also featured some quotes from the Old Man himself. Continue reading