Grand Jury Confidential: Lai Ngar (Jace) Au

New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Grand Jury Confidential profiles the 2016 award-winning Grand Jury members. Each interview provides a sneak peek into the brilliant careers of prominent radio executives from around the globe who are recruited from all facets of the radio industry to select the World’s Best Radio Programs℠.

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au, Controller (Radio) for Radio Television Hong Kong

This week, NYF takes a few moments to connect with 2016 Grand Jury member  Lai Ngar (Jace) Au, Controller (Radio) for Radio Television Hong Kong. Her team produces discussion programs on news issues and public policies. In her earlier years as producer and presenter, Jace was awarded numerous journalistic awards including the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Prize and the Hong Kong Human Rights Press Awards.

Jace received the British Chevening Scholarship in 1997 and was invited by the European Union to join its Visitors Programme (EUVP) in 2000. In 2008, she was featured as one of the outstanding alumni in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of British Council in Hong Kong.

Keep reading to find out more about Jace, including the most important things she learned from her first job, how her company encourages creativity, the defining moment of her career and much more.

NYF: Who or what were your early influences in your career?

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au: As a junior reporter, I had the opportunity to witness how senior journalists in TV newsroom covered the stories in Tienanmen, Beijing, in June 1989.  I was never so sure about the value of journalism to mankind and my career path until then.

NYF:  What’s the most important thing you learned from your first job?

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au: Exercise and maintain good health … so that you can work long and irregular hours!!!

NYF:  What were some early leadership lessons for you?

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au: Be open and honest with colleagues as much as possible.  Remember you are working with a bunch of really smart people and you are likely not the smartest.

NYF:  What qualities are the most important to have?

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au: Integrity.

NYF Tell us a bit about your evolution in the radio industry?

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au: I started from reporting, then presenting and producing. Now I have to use other sections of my brain as a manager.

NYF:  What was a defining moment in your career?

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au: When I won the ABU Prize almost 20 years ago…

NYF:  Will you share how the culture of your company encourages creativity?

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au: We are very open and forthright to express our views across all levels.  Trust among colleagues is essential for genuine discussion and brainstorming.

NYF:  What’s your favorite radio program that you created?

Lai Ngar (Jace) Au: It will have to be my programme which had earned the ABU Prize.  The programme encourages listeners to call in to donate second-hand but serviceable items to the needy. Besides those within imagination such as used computers, refrigerators, TV, etc, the programme had collected unusual but costly items including respiratory apparatus for cancer patients, antique books from dying owner and a one-year lease of an office space dedicated to any small self-help group!! Callers also volunteered their time to help transporting items from donors to disabled recipients. It was encouraging to find out that Hong Kong people are not that selfish at all.

NYF:  What are the hallmarks of award-winning radio programs?

Award-winning radio programmes should be able to deliver messages of significance to their target audience. The sound picture should be vivid yet still allow room for imagination by the listeners. Always think of the need of your target audience first before deciding the programme format and the themes.

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