Ramy Inocencio is CNN International’s Asia Business Analyst in Hong Kong. He can often be seen CNN’s World Business Today and Global Exchange which focuses on the world’s emerging markets. He is also the Hong Kong Vice President for AAJA-Asia.
Describe your involvement with AAJA over the years.
I’m the Asia chapter’s Hong Kong Vice President and have been an AAJA member since 2007. Right now I’m in the final stages of organizing our chapter’s second annual Asia media conference in Hong Kong, set for May 12. Like last year, we’re pulling in the expertise of big names to talk about this year’s news, social media and public relations stories – like CNN International’s Kristie LuStout, Ogilvy & Mather’s Thomas Crampton and Wang Xiangwei, editor in chief of Hong Kong’s flagship English-language paper, the South China Morning Post. Also, since becoming Hong Kong VP this past January, I’ve started up monthly “last Sunday” brunches so members and friends can catch up and share what they’ve been up to. This year we’ve also had some well-attended networking events: In January we kicked off the Chinese New Year with a Year of the Dragon networking social. Out of the 70 or so people who attended, more than a dozen registered as new AAJA members. Year on year, I’m happy to share that the Asia chapter’s membership has doubled, to more than 100 members, thanks to efforts in our hub cities of Beijing, Seoul and Hong Kong.
Why did you decide to become a journalist?
It was just about a decade ago, in 2002, when I met a now-best friend who worked at CNN International in Beijing. I remember thinking at the time: “Wow that’s a really cool job and a really awesome company. You get to have your finger on the news pulse of the world. I want to be a part of that.” Some 10 years later – after working at CCTV International in Beijing, Channel NewsAsia in Singapore, Public Radio International in Washington, D.C., and CBS News in New York, I’m now happily at CNN. I love my work as a correspondent because I get to learn about what’s happening in the world every day, I get to work with an amazing diverse team of professionals and I even get paid to work at my dream company. Are the hours long? Yes. Can the work be stressful? Sure. But when I close my eyes at night I feel fulfilled and happy and can honestly say, “Yes, I love what I do.”
What do you love most about being Asian American?
As an Asian American, I’m thankful for having that one proverbial foot in the United States and that other foot in Asia. It’s given me a deeper personal connection with my heritages on both sides of the Pacific and afforded me a deep appreciation of diversity. And for me it’s not just a matter of “East” and “West” but something even a bit more diverse. My father is from the Philippines and my mother is Singaporean Chinese – and I feel just at home in both of those countries as I do in the United States. I love the feeling of just slipping into one country, feeling comfortably “at home” and going about my business like I was a local in the crowd.
Learn more about other AAJA members profiled for AAPI Month.