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Three decades with the Post: we have changed, my principles haven’t

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On the South China Morning Post’s 115th anniversary on Tuesday, I’ve got a milestone of my own to relate: I’ve been working for the Post for more than a quarter of its existence. It’s a different place from when I began in June 1988, with dramatic changes in the reader and staff profiles, office and the manner in which news is collected and circulated.

The focus of the news has also shifted; China now takes priority whereas, back in the era of British colonial rule, it was treated just like any other country, albeit one with close connections. Of one thing there has been no change, though: the desire of the journalists for editorial independence, quality and accuracy.

I never intended to stay more than two years. My employment terms included a paid airfare from where I was then working, Melbourne in Australia, and which I would have to pay for if I left within 24 months – a time frame that became my target. Thereafter, my plan was to travel the world with my profession as my passport, as most major cities had English-language newspapers.

That was set aside, however, when a partner and children came along. I was promoted........

© South China Morning Post