We have given a new direction to Mongolian television and journalism

G.Iderkhangai, deputy editor of Hugjil Studio at the Mongolian Mining Journal, talks to O.Khostsetseg about the recently completed first year of its work.

It has been just a year since the first Hugjil program was aired, but now we have viewers who wait for your program. How did you achieve such success in such a short time?

First of all, we at Hugjil Studio would like to thank our dear viewers whose support gives strength to us.
Our studio was opened in April, 2011 to air mining- and economy-related programmes. The MMJ team has played a major role in popularizing Hugjil programmes. Mining and economy are big topics. Covering issues of responsible mining has given us special satisfaction, gratifying our sense of responsibility as professional journalists. We are happy that Hugjil programmes have become so popular and are compulsory viewing for so many.

What was the subject of the first Hugjil programme?

This was an interview-based programme showing how local families were adjusting to the growth of mining in Umnugobi province.
We did not have many difficulties then or later as the MMJ has a team of experienced professionals who have worked in television for many years. Of course we have had many memorable moments: our first trip abroad, our first flight abroad as a team, etc. In October, 2010 our team covered aninternational investment conference in Hong Kong and then witnessed the historic moment when a Mongolian company first had an IPO at the Honk Kong Stock Exchange. This was the start of our overseas programming, and it has been followed by several others, including one from Vienna where the International Atomic Energy Agency discussed the fallout of the Fukushima accident.

Every television channel has an evening programme on the economy, mining and business.Has it been difficult to stay ahead of the competition?   

Until now, we have prepared and aired about 50 programmes, covering a wide range of topics related to mining and the economy. We produced programmes on the stock exchange, shares, how to estimate the value of a mineral resource, infrastructure, environment and ecology, technology, construction, legal environment of the mineral sector, regulating investments, ownership of strategic deposits and these were shown on three major television channels every week.

I can think of several reasons our programmes appeal to viewers. We have access to widespread resources, we keep an unbiased position, we present accurate information, and our approach always is fresh and to look to the future. Indeed, our programmes on use of modern technology in mining have given a new direction to Mongolian television and journalism.

Viewers favour programmes where both the reporting and the analysis are done with professional skill and sensitivity by qualified people. Since they get this from us, it is no surprise that MMJ and Hugjil Studio command the lion’s share of the special market.

When exactly areHugjilprogrammes shown on national channels?

Hugjil programmes can be seen onTV25 channel and C1 channel on Sunday, at 6.40 pm and 7 pm respectively, and on Eagle TV on Wednesday at 9 pm. I take this opportunity to thank all the three channels who work with us.

How can anyone watch a Hugjil programme already shown?

We do get such requests. Our archive of previous programs is uploaded to www.news.mn, www.gogo.mn and also to our own www.mongolianminingjournal.com.
This reminds me that “Global trends in atomic energy use and Mongolia” -- a programmeour journalist E.Odjargal producedwhile covering an international conferencein Vienna – is available at the International AtomicEnergy Agency’s archives. We are honoured that the work attracted the notice of such an influential organization.

Have programmes prepared by Hugjil journalists competed for or won any awards?

There are a few awards such as Golden Falcon for television artists and journalists, and in recent days, some organizations have held competitions. Our colleague S.Bold-Erdene’s "Debts of Europe, America and Mongolia" won a prize in the "Stable development of economy" section in a contestn organized by Uurchlugch, an economic journalists’ association.

We were very happy when another colleague, B.Tugsbilegt, well known to television viewers for his productions, wasthis year chosen at the Coal Mongolia conferenceas the best journalist writing on coal. 

I hope there will be more such competitions to energise journalists, especially in television. But it is important to have judges withthe skill and the independence to make the right choice.

Does Hugjil Studio produce commercials also?

Requests for commercials started coming in soon after we started. Among our first clients were big companies such as LiebherrMonnis, Hitachi, Wagner Asia, Elgen, Falcon Drilling, and the domestic TavanTolgoi. The short commercials we produce for our clients are shown during airing of Hugjil programmes.

How do you see the future of your work?

We will not step back from our mission of delivering reliable and unbiased information to our viewers. Mongolia has been attracting the attention of the world as THE mining destination, and we believe only responsible and professional journalism can servethe industry in a positive way.

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