Kenny Yum’s speech, Digital Publishing Leadership Award

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At last Thursday’s Digital Publishing Awards Soirée, the inaugural Digital Publishing Leadership Award was presented to Kenny Yum, managing editor at HuffPost Canada.

2017-06-01-DPA-Gala-0092The award is the highest individual honour of the Digital Publishing Awards, and was the first award presented on Thursday night. Presented by HuffPost Canada colleague Andree Lau, Kenny Yum was called on-stage to accept his award, amidst enthusiastic cheers from the audience. His acceptance speech captivated the room, which was filled with many of Canada’s best digital creators.

His words resonated with the digital publishing community, and we are happy to share those remarks with you here.

Kenny Yum’s Digital Publishing Leadership Award Acceptance Speech:

“Thank you to the Digital Publishing Awards. I’m thrilled we have a way we can recognize our industry’s great work. Thank you to my colleagues, past and current, who nominated me for this honour.

My greatest success is that I get to stand behind the amazing work people like you do every day.

No matter what position you hold in digital, you know by now that it’s always moving. And that makes it all the more exciting. My advice:

Be passionate about the stories you want to tell, and be open to how you can tell them. There are so many gaps that need covering, you can fill that void.  

Be open to learning something you don’t know. My challenge at the tender age of 42 is to treat every day as if I’m stepping into a new newsroom with new possibilities.

Be a leader, wherever you are. We used to look at our colleagues in the U.S. or Europe for innovations, but I know now that there is excellent work and done right here. The longer I’ve worked with editors across the globe, I realize we bring a lot to the table. Lead so they notice. Lead with confidence. And don’t say sorry.

Be mindful of the noise, and don’t succumb to it. There are those who like to talk about the future of journalism, and there is a temptation to be paralyzed by it. There are also those who are doing journalism. You are the doers. Carry on.

Be surrounded by good people. We are lucky in digital. I feel like sometimes we’re the nerds who the rest of the world just realized now we’re kinda cool. Hire these people, let their ideas shine, let their voices dictate your sked and if you’re not working at a place that doesn’t do all of the above, go find somewhere where that’s happening or make it happen where you are.

Finally, use digital as an opportunity to listen and reflect. For far too long journalists have proposed that they have all the ideas, but now there is no excuse. Listen to the reader, the viewer, the audience. Listen enough that you truly hear. Then go out there and tell more stories.”


Read more about Kenny Yum receiving the Digital Publishing Leadership Award.

For more information on how to nominate an individual for the Digital Publishing Leadership Award, please contact info@digitalpublishingawards.ca.

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