JMSC Adds Documentary Studies to Specialist Areas

The JMSC has added Documentary Studies to the specialist areas available for Master of Journalism students.

Nancy Tong, Visiting Associate Professor and documentary maker, with students

The course will be offered alongside Business and Financial Journalism; Environmental, Health and Science Journalism; and China Studies, the three specialist subject areas that were introduced into the Master’s programme in 2010.

Students who pick this new specialty will have the opportunity to take courses in Documentary Video Production, Documentary Films and Social Movements, and The Art and Craft of Documentary Film Editing.

“Technique is the easiest part, especially with the user-friendly camera and editing software these days,” said Nancy Tong, visiting associate professor and documentary maker from New York, who will teach the courses.  “Even high school students can make documentary films with their i-Phones.”

“The more difficult part is developing the narrative, the structure and especially the video-maker’s perspective and the message he or she would like to convey. With this in mind, I designed the courses specifically for our MJ students.”

The programme is designed to give students both the practical and theoretical understanding of documentary production, with special emphasis on the diversity of documentary styles.

“The courses will give the students a comprehensive approach to learning about documentary production,” Tong said.

“We’d like to groom a new generation of documentary filmmakers who have a solid understanding of the history and theory of documentary filmmaking; filmmakers who will think critically and be engaged with society to bring about social change and who will use this medium responsibly and effectively.”

“Upon completion of these courses, the students will have the skills necessary to work as professional documentary filmmakers,” she said, “and will be competent in all aspects of the production.”