JMSC Welcomes New And Returning Staff

The JMSC has added three new adjuncts to its highly experienced teaching staff, and two familiar faces are returning for the spring semester.

The new members of the teaching staff are Mike Meyer, Matt Walsh and Danny Gittings.

Meyer, who has won the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing and the Whiting Writers’ Award for Nonfiction, will teach Literary Journalism.  He takes over from Gene Mustain, who retired last summer after a decade at the JMSC.

“In this course, we’ll examine how factual writing can grab and hold readers’ attention through the art of story-telling,” said Meyer. “We’ll do pen-in-hand, close readings of authors and their masterpieces of the genre, applying the lessons to our own journalism.”

Mike Meyer

Meyer’s stories have appeared in Sports Illustrated, The New York Times Book Review, Time magazine, Smithsonian magazine, the Financial Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and many other publications.

In 2009, he received a Guggenheim Fellowship and residencies at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Centre for Scholars and Writers and the Rockefeller Foundation Centre in Bellagio, Italy.

Meyer is looking forward to teaching at the JMSC as an antidote to his recent work on a book about a rice farm in northeast China.

“I look forward to being home in Hong Kong, being on campus and being inspired by the writers we’ll be reading, and the stories we’ll be writing,” he said.

Matt Walsh, who will be teaching Television News Writing, is a seasoned broadcaster with 30 years in the industry. He started in radio in the United States, and transferred into television in 1992, working for CNN in Atlanta as editor, writer, producer and trainer for CNN staff and affiliate stations. In 1999, he moved to Hong Kong with CNN International’s expanding operation here.

Matt Walsh

In 2004, Walsh left CNN to launch Media Advisers Asia, Ltd, a training and consulting company.

He worked as an editor at Voice of America’s Hong Kong bureau from 2005-2008. He has also been a field producer for programmes that air on the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel and does voice over work for TV and radio commercials, documentaries, corporate videos and educational products.

He has conducted training workshops for broadcasters and journalists in 17 Asian countries and territories and also teaches media training workshops for corporate executives and spokespeople.

His course at the JMSC, he says, is “designed to be very practical so as to prepare students to hit the ground running in any news or documentary setting they may enter after their studies.”

“Really good writing for video remains a rarity, largely misunderstood. Students coming through this semester’s TV News Writing classes have a chance to get a leg up on others in the industry by learning the ‘best practice’ approaches we’ll discuss.”

Danny Gittings is an Assistant Professor and Senior Programme Director at HKU SPACE College of Humanities and Law, where he runs one of Hong Kong’s largest sub-degree law programmes and teaches a wide variety of law courses. He will teach Media Law at the JMSC.

Gittings is also a regular host of Radio Television Hong Kong’s Backchat phone-in show. He has interviewed a wide variety of leading figures in the local community, including Hong Kong ’s chief executive.

Prior to this, he was Deputy Editorial Page Editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia for five years, travelling widely in the region to cover major events.

Gittings is co-editor of Introduction to Crime, Law and Justice in Hong Kong (Hong Kong University Press, 2009) and a barrister in both London and Hong Kong.

Along with these new members, the JMSC welcomes back some familiar faces.

Rusty Todd returns as Visiting Professor and Director of Business Journalism. He will teach two courses: Interpreting and Using Business Journalism in a Global Era, and Global Financial Journalism.

Todd has a long background in Asian journalism.  He is currently is a professor specialising in Editing and Business Journalism at the University of Texas Journalism School.

Nancy Tong, an award-winning documentary film-maker and Visiting Associate Professor, returns to the JMSC from New York to teach Documentary Video Production.