Now this is our idea of a talented global 'brain'.
She is also a humble and nice person. Educated at Journalism School
in the US, Karuna anchored Asia Business News from Singapore which started every
business day when Hello! Tai Tai lived in Asia. Subsequently she
joined CNN but halted her career to have a family in Hong Kong.
Here's a transcript from CNN page.
A chat with Karuna Shinsho
Karuna Shinsho, CNN International anchor, joined the
CNN.com chat room on February 3, 2000 to discuss the programs she anchors,
Morning, Asia edition."
Shinsho joined CNNI from NHK Television in Japan,
where she anchored the programs "Japan Weekly", "Today's Japan
Weekly" and "Japanscope". Prior to that, she was CNN's acting
Tokyo bureau chief and correspondent in June 1997.
Shinsho participated in the chat from the CNN bureau
in Hong Kong. The following is an edited transcript of the chat.
Chat Moderator: Welcome Karuna Shinsho!
Karuna Shinsho: Hi everyone, thanks for logging
on! Well, as you saw today, it was a pretty hectic day... with breaking news out
of Kosovo today!
Question from Torrence: How did she find the
transition from Japanese Television to a worldwide channel like CNN
Karuna Shinsho: Hi Torrence. Well, it was a
pretty big change. I worked at the national broadcaster and a lot of what we
reported on was controlled. It was a great experience, and it has brought me to
CNN in the end.
Question from ajm: Ms. Shinsho...what dramatic
changes have you seen in Hong Kong since the Chinese took over the island?
Karuna Shinsho: Hi ajm. I have to be honest. I
just moved here to Hong Kong to help launch the morning shows in April of last
year. So I cannot profess to be an expert on China. But it does seem to be as
lively economically and culturally as everBut of course, as you see in the
news... still a lot of challenges for Hong Kong in terms of being under Beijing
Question from Lars: How about freedom of speech
at CNN: Is there anyone who screens what goes online and what not?
Karuna Shinsho: Lars hi. Not
"controlled" in the big brother sense... but is moderated by our
colleague in Atlanta to keep things running smoothly.
Question from Kato-chan: What did you mean
"controlled" in Japan?
Karuna Shinsho: Hi kato-chan. What I meant by
"controlled" was that we had to report on whatever NHK (the national
broadcaster) wanted to. Which is fine... but it was a challenging position to be
in because they were hiring outside journalists to help them launch a new set of
programs (in English) for viewers overseas. So the content of our news was very
regulated and confined.
Question from Torrence: Karuna, you speak
exceptionally well in English. I understand that many Japanese do not speak
fluently in English. Were you educated internationally when you were young?
Karuna Shinsho: Hi again Torrence. Yes, I have
Japanese parents and I was born and raised in the US. But I lived in Japan
later. So I speak both Japanese and English.
Question from Obuchi: Are relations between
Japan and China becoming better?
Karuna Shinsho: Obuchi? Are you the Prime
Minister? or just a fill in?
Obuchi: No, but it is my name.
Karuna Shinsho: We have been covering some of
the challenges between Japan and China despite the fact that the war has been
over for many years. But I hope that we can contribute in some way so that the
younger generation of both countries will get along better than their parents'
Question from JimB: Karuna, how much pressure
is Beijing putting on Taiwan not to drop their position on independence?
Karuna Shinsho: Jim b hi. I am not a
spokesperson for Beijing ... but we have been reporting that Beijing is still
reserving the right to use force if Taiwan does indeed declare independence. But
of course, everyone is waiting to see what happens in the upcoming presidential
elections in Taiwan in March for signs on Taiwan's future position on
Question from Jim: Karuna How old are you?
Karuna Shinsho: Hi Jim. I am 31 going on 13.
Question from BJ: Can you read and write
Karuna Shinsho: Hi BJ. Yes, I can read
Japanese. Writing, I can with the help of a dictionary. But I would say my
writing in English is much stronger.
Question from BJ: Is the news on CNN this
morning and other Asian based programs written by the controllers in Atlanta?
Karuna Shinsho: BJ, the news here at CNN, as
well as in Hong Kong, is written by a team of journalists that are familiar with
the content and CNN's format. Atlanta does not control the news. Staff there may
step in to help with breaking news, but we operate fairly independently.
Question from Lars: Everything on CNN runs very
smoothly. Are the news shows really live or do you record them to look that
Karuna Shinsho: Hi Lars. We are live throughout
all our shows... from 6 in the morning Hong Kong time to 9:30.
Question from Candyce: Does CNN This Morning
have any plans for upcoming specials?
Karuna Shinsho: Candyce, we are going to be
covering the Taiwan elections in March extensively. And other ambitious projects
are being planned so stay tuned!
Question from David: All of the CNN viewers I
know in Japan are very dissatisfied with the balance of coverage on your show.
You seem to ignore or downplay important stories from the U.S., Europe, the
Middle East and elsewhere in favor of stories of very limited local interest.
How can we register our complaints?
Karuna Shinsho: Hi David. Everyone feel free to
e-mail your comments and criticisms on our shows at CNNthismorning@CNN.com.
We'll be watching out for them! That is something CNN has been working on since
we have started the "regionalization" of our operations. The challenge
of covering everything from everywhere is enormous. And we do try to bring in
news from all over the region. Within Asia, we try to cover all the big stories
without compromising our strength of covering global events. Use the e-mail
address above to give us more of your feedback. Thanks.
Question from BJ: Other than Inside Asia, there
are no other Asian programming on weekends - especially on business. Is there
any in the pipeline?
Karuna Shinsho: BJ, CNN is continuing to
strengthen our operations here in Asia. CNN.com will also be launching a new
operation in Asia. So weekend programming is something that is being discussed.
Question from ajm: Ms. Shinsho...you speak of
the Taiwanese elections coming up next month...can you tell us what interest
Asians have taken so far in the upcoming US presidential elections?
Karuna Shinsho: Hi ajm. What do you think? Are
Asians interested in seeing more coverage of the US presidential elections?
Maybe others on-line could comment.
Question from Torrence: Karuna, How is the
workload as a news anchor at CNN.. i.e. work hours per week? Exhausting?
Karuna Shinsho: Torrence, it's a tough
schedule. Up at 3 and in at 4. Then I'm usually here till early afternoon.... if
not later, depending on interviews I need to prep for the next day. Aside from
the abnormal hours, I really enjoy this job.
Question from pslk116: Karuna, when do you find
time to have breakfast?
Karuna Shinsho: pslk116 hi. I eat before the
shows and sometimes if I can dash out of the studio into my office between
shows, I eat something... to keep me going.
Question from David: AJM raises an important
issue. All of the Japanese people I work with every day have a great interest in
the U.S. election, but very little in that of Taiwan.
Karuna Shinsho: David, yes, I saw that trend at
NHK as well. Given historical links, it's not surprising that Japan thirsts for
so much us content.
Question from Fred: Is the media in Hong Kong
more circumspect since China took over?
Karuna Shinsho: Fred, there are differing views
on that. Some would say that things haven't changed that much. There have been
some legal and freedom of speech challenges of late, but the media here have
been reporting them. But others say that, though there isn't outright
censorship, they do feel the need to self-censor the news.
Question from Arthur: You were hosting
"Your Money" while at ABN several years ago. But now you anchor
general news program, what's the difference?
Karuna Shinsho: Hi Arthur. Yes, I was anchoring
business/financial news at ABN. It was a great opportunity and challenge. But I
enjoy general news(politics, culture, etc.) more.
Question from ShirtlessGuy: Are you planning
coverage of the anniversary of the fall of Saigon in Vietnam?
Karuna Shinsho: Yes, we are planning to do
that. It's a big milestone and we are going to cover that for you.
Question from David: Japanese people's
preference for U.S. news over that of SE Asia certainly reflects some historical
prejudice. But doesn't it also reflect a realistic recognition of the relative
importance both regions really play in the world as a whole?
Karuna Shinsho: David, you make a good point. I
don't think anyone would argue against the global importance of the U.S. and
Japan. It's our hope to try to balance our news from all parts of the world,
Question from arthur: I enjoy "CNN this
morning and Business news" as well as "Moneyline & Moneyline
Newshour". Money line will be replay in the afternoon, but Moneyline news
hour does not. Can CNN Asia replay that program?
Karuna Shinsho: Arthur, send that comment to
CNNthismorning@CNN.com, and the relevant people can address that issue.
Karuna Shinsho: Before we wrap, anything you
viewers would like to see more of or less of? That is, on CNN this morning.
Guyin40s: Karuna it is really nice of you to
spend so much time with us!
Karuna Shinsho: Guyin40s... thanks for that.
It's really been a pleasure... I wasn't really expecting so many of you to log
on to talk to me.
Question from BJ: How about profiles of Asian
Newsmakers - politicians, entrepreneurs, etc.
Karuna Shinsho: BJ Asia business morning does a
weekly segment called "Entrepreneurs." Only that highlights successful
people in the biz world here in Asia. In terms of politicians, we have gotten
many high-profile leaders for some exclusive interviews... and we'd like to
continue to do that.
Robert: Karuna I'm from Jakarta, your coverage
of Indonesian events is very good.
Karuna Shinsho: Robert, thank you. There has
been a lot of news coming out of that region and that is still the case now. We
will continue to cover Indonesia. Plus, we have an excellent bureau
chief/correspondent Maria Ressa, who has been helping with our Indonesia
chris2000 : I hope that there will be more of
this in future (with Karuna) as I did not get a chance to have my questions
answered this time. Thanks all the same for the time.
Karuna Shinsho: I'm sorry I couldn't get to all
of your questions. But I want to thank you all again for logging on. Perhaps, we
can do this again so that I'll be able to answer more of your questions about
the shows and CNN. Happy Lunar New Year everyone!
Chat Moderator: Thank you Karuna Shinsho for
joining us today. - CNN