career month: editor skii chung.

Aug 1, 2013

When you memorize a direct quote that someone has given you, you know the advice has been endearing enough to mean a whole lot to you. While reading Skii Chung's answers to my interview questions, I immediately took some of her wonderful words to heart. For an aspiring journalist like myself, Skii's experience in the journalism field in Singapore – as managing editor of pop-culture website Popspoken – has been more than inspiring for me. Having met the editor in the past, it is lovely to have known her from personal experience. Skii's biggest advice for a journalist? Be fiercely real. For anyone who is looking to work in journalism, which is the aim for a multitude of fashion bloggers, read the interview below for an enlightening slice of knowledge from a Singapore-based editor! 
1. What is the history behind Popspoken?
It all began when I met Shah, my current co-editor, at Men's Fashion Week 2011. Since the inception of Popspoken in early 2011, there have been many changes but one thing does not change - our passion for writing. Together, we restructured the curatorial team and re-branded the website in late 2011.
2. Tell us a little bit about the website. What do your writers focus on? What is the intent of the various sections you have?
Popspoken is a news site that comments and curates entertainment and lifestyle news locally and around the world. We have 8 main sections, with 4 sub-sections under entertainment. Having a range of sections ranging from wine and dine, entertainment, fashion and more keeps the Popspoken reader interested as there is variety of subject matter. We always welcome new writers as I believe everyone should have a platform to voice their views. As a whole, we tell Popspoken writers / curators not to regurgitate what is said in the media releases and provide their own personal input, be it positive or negative. We take our writers' views very seriously. After all, we are a news site, not an advertorial blog. This is why the editors try not to alter the substance of a writer's work unless it might land us in a defamation suit. 
3. How does your role at Popspoken differ from the role of one of the writers?
Aside from writing, I ensure Popspoken's curators are given opportunities to attend events they are keen on by liaising with the PR side. I also answer general queries that land in our inbox and look out for various opportunities for collaboration with others. In addition, I manage the recruitment of curators and introduce them to our Popspoken family. From time to time, I have to vet articles but that only happens at the start to ensure the new writer is attuned to the publishing system. Once they are familiar with the publishing system, curators can go ahead and publish articles as and when they feel like contributing. 
4. What do you look for in a story?
Two things. Would our reader's interest be piqued? Most importantly, would I enjoy writing the story?
5. What has been your most exciting achievement at Popspoken?
This is a tough questions because every event is different and exciting to me.  But if I have to pick, maybe meeting and interviewing luminaries in their field? For instance, Patricia Field, Afrojack, Porter Robinson, Andrej Pejic and more. 
6. How much of your time is dedicated to this role? Has it been hard to juggle various other writing jobs at other publications?
Back then while I was still pursuing my studies, I spent a fair bit of time sourcing for contacts, ensuring events are adequately covered and getting new writers in sync with our brand vision. Initially, it was tough having to cover events and manage schoolwork at the same time but I got used to it. Ultimately, it is about how one chooses to prioritize things. At present, my full-time job is at Drew & Napier's Intellectual Property & Dispute Resolution Department. For me, managing Popspoken is a fun pastime. As the site has already taken off and we have a dedicated team of talented writers - I have since loosened the reigns. Now and then, I still attend events albeit selectively, since I no longer have the luxury of time.
7. What do you see yourself doing in the future, and is it something along the lines of writing and editing?
For now and for the foreseeable future, my attention is fully focused on my full-time job. But I do hope that some way or another, my job and pastime can one day intertwine. After all, the media industry is rife with potential intellectual property rights issues.. So we'll see. 
8. What are your future goals for this website?
My main goal is to be able to monetarily reward our writers for their time and excellent articles. Content-wise, we hope to provide more sassy, insider reads. At the moment we have no active income and no plans at the moment to make Popspoken a business but we are always open to new ideas. 
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring editors and writers?
Be fiercely real.
10. How is the experience of being an editor in Singapore different from being an editor elsewhere?
At the moment, I don't have the chance to explore editorial opportunities abroad. That said, should such an opportunity swing my way, I wouldn't mind trying it out.

Be sure to check out Popspoken, an amazing website that is one of my regular reads. Thank you for the amazing interview, Skii!



  1. love this interview! I guess this was so amazing for you?!:)


  2. Hi dear :)
    Thank you sooo much for your nice comment, you left on my blog <3
    xoxo from Munich

  3. Nice! I really liked reading it:)

    xx Marianne

  4. Such a great post :)

  5. Hey Meera!!
    I love the is lovely and very helpful... I was so fascinated by your blog and to get to know you better went through the "about" section... it is very impressive!! And also so glad to know you are an Indian... <3
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment...Would you like to follow each other? Let me know...:)
    Let's talk about everything

  6. great interview!


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