Journalist spotlight: Clare Jim reveals how she scored exclusive on HTC

In late October, Reuters exclusively reported that Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC was scaling back production lines as cash flow worsened. Following the story – scored by Taipei Correspondent Clare Jim – the stock went limit up, with analysts crediting the scoop as a key factor as investors predicted the cuts would lift cash flow. In a Reuters Best: Journalist Spotlight Q&A, Clare offers an inside look at the reporting behind her exclusive.

Q. How did you get this exclusive?

A. I was chatting with a source in the company about different matters when the source happened to mention HTC had shut some production sites to conserve cash and was thinking of selling them off. I then took those comments to other sources with good knowledge of the company as well as industry insiders to build up a fuller picture of what was going on. And to make sure I had the right details, I visited the plant to verify that some of the production lines had indeed been shut down.

Q. What types of reporting/sourcing were involved?

A. A lot of the story was the result of what some call “old-fashioned” journalism: getting out and going to places and meeting people. It’s still valuable even in the days of instant information on the net.

Q. What was the hardest part about reporting this story?

A. The hardest part was dealing with the company’s straight denial of what I had reported. Getting around that required ingenuity and a bit of creative thinking.

Q. What advantages does working at Reuters give you in working on a story like this?

A. The credibility of the Reuters name definitely helped. Sources were comfortable about sharing information, knowing that Reuters is very strict about getting the facts right and would do its best to protect them. Support from editors and colleagues in other bureaux also helped a lot, especially the specialist expertise I benefitted from when trying to understand the financial situation of HTC.

Q. What makes you passionate about journalism?

A. I am most passionate about the unearthing of incidents and information that mean something to readers, and the adrenaline rush that comes with doing this.

To read the latest from Clare Jim, click here.

This post originally ran on Reuters Best.

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