Press freedom taking a nose-dive and traditional business models for media failing is old news. But around the world journalists are working hard on being sustainable and independent.

In this edition, we're bringing you three interviews with journalists based in Hong Kong, Japan and Myanmar. Our friend and colleague Rohit Upadhyay interviewed them at Splice Beta 2023, a media startup festival. Rohit spoke to journalists about making journalism financially sustainable, covering a country while being exiled, fending off government pressure, and mobile journalism.

Journalistic independence in the face of political pressure, with Hong Kong Free Press' editor-in-chief Tom Grundy

In this interview, Rohit spoke to the editor-in-chief of Hong Kong Free Press, Tom Grundy, about what it's been like to run a media outlet in Hong Kong in the last few years.

Tom spoke about some of the considerations they've had to make as a newsroom to continue covering stories. He and his team have had to rethink how they approach the idea of balanced journalism, who they grant anonymity to, and where they accept funding from.

"To be honest, it's very difficult to get people to speak," Tom told Rohit. "People on the opposition side are scared. Their name is going to appear on Google forever and they will ask for anonymity because what do they gain when the red lines and the goalposts are ever-changing? You don't know if what you're saying now is going to be problematic tomorrow... So we've had to change our ethics codes and our standards to, you know, cope with that."

Watch or listen to the full interview here:

Tips for journalists who want to become video creators with YouTuber Kanta Hara

In this interview, Rohit spoke to Japanese YouTuber Kanta Hara about building a sustainable income as an independent creator. Kanta spoke about how he's diversified his revenue stream and built a niche for himself and his audience.

"My advice is please do not focus on the results but instead enjoy the process while maintaining your passion for conveying your stories," he told Rohit. "The biggest reason I can keep creating is that I enjoy making videos. For example, I relish studying the topic before I start making a video. Or I find it enjoyable to go out into the field to communicate with local people. And I always try to enjoy the process."

Watch or listen to the full interview here:

The power of mobile journalism, with multimedia journalist Jack Aung

In this interview, Rohit spoke to multimedia journalist and trainer Jack Aung. Jack shared his experiences with using mobile journalism for reporting in Myanmar, and how it can lower the barrier of entry for journalists who are interested in getting started with video.

"[I] started training journalist to use smartphone for their reporting and you know doing [such] sort of thing because you know a lot of journalists don't have a camera, like a fancy camera, and they don't have anything and they don't have [equipment] but they have smartphone," he told Rohit. "So I see this potential and also growing in a developing country where it's most [needed]."

Watch or listen to the full interview here:

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