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Coming into this internship, I only expected to be involved in production – finding stories, contacting talent, and editing audio into a package. Being on the program itself? It was going to be a bonus, if I did really well.

My last day, with Sharon in studio. Photo: Linda Jeon

I was therefore pleasantly surprised when I realised they intended for me to interview the guests for the piece I had pitched on recycling in Korea, and then be in studio with the host, Kurt, to wrap up the piece. For that story, I interviewed the head of an upcycling centre whose goal was to turn waste into art and usable furniture, as well as the vice-secretary general for the Korea Federation for Environmental Movements. Both had prepared answers to the questions I sent them beforehand.

In studio. Photo: Linda Jeon

As I wrapped up the piece in studio with Kurt, I realised I needed to be less ambitious about how much analysis, nuance, and new grounds could be covered in a segment. I had been inspired by ABC’s War on Waste and my original pitch was to explore:

* living a zero-waste lifestyle in Korea,
* people’s attitudes towards waste reduction,
* how recycling is sorted in Korea (it was also sent overseas before China’s ban on recycling imports),
* the incongruence between laws on household recycling (a fine if items weren’t sorted properly)
* recycling behaviour in many public recycling bins,
* other “green” laws in Korea, e.g. limiting air conditioning temperatures to 26-degrees in government-owned buildings versus what else they could be doing, e.g. encourage less meat-eating and regulations on disposable packaging.

I realise how ridiculous it was to want to cover so much. It wouldn’t have been possible even if I had two hours to dedicate to this topic: the zero-waste Korean I wanted to interview about the lifestyle only spoke Korean, the vox pops section on people’s attitudes was canned because our resident reporter only had time to go out the evening before the broadcast, we were rejected by all the recycling centres for an interview, and we couldn’t find any English-speaking professors who could discuss the social aspects of recycling and Koreans’ relationship with waste. Nonetheless, I was quite happy with the final product.

Link to the segment: http://www.podbbang.com/ch/10121?e=22667929

The last time in this studio. Photo: Kristi Cheng

About the Blog

Parallax records the experiences of final year students of the B.A. (Media & Communications) degree who have won competitive overseas internships to work in Asian, Indian and Latin American media organisations.