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JMSC Alumnus Wins International Herald Tribune Award

Isak Ladegaard, a recent Bachelor of Journalism graduate from the JMSC, has won the International Herald Tribune’s , ‘Word (World) of Yours’ Writing Competition 2012 in the university category.

Isak Ladegaard

Ladegaard won the prize for his story on the economic inequalities in Hong Kong, and how they are reflected in the booming wine industry here. The IHT is the global edition of the New York Times newspaper.

“I went to a wine auction a while ago to observe how the rich in Hong Kong spend their money, and I used elements from that experience in a piece about the economic inequality in Hong Kong,” said Ladegaard. “It’s a pressing problem here and it’s right in your face.”

Ladegaard graduated from the JMSC in 2012. He is now working as a freelance journalist in Seoul, South Korea.

“This is the first physical trophy I’ve won since I was a football player, in my early teens!” said Ladegaard. “It means a lot because it’s the IHT, arguably one of the best newspapers in the world, and I’m thrilled about seeing my article in print.” The article will be published this Autumn.

After leaving the JMSC, Ladegaard travelled the world sourcing stories before settling in Seoul.

“I flew to Kenya to write about solar power for low-income families and wrote another piece about how the marketing of manual water pumps in Africa is key to feeding our growing world population,” he said. “I also went to a Burmese refugee camp in Thailand, and covered the July 1st protests in Hong Kong. Now I’ve settled in Seoul and for the time being I’ll continue freelancing from here. I love the city so I’m quite happy about where I am and there are plenty of stories to tell so I have my hands full at the moment…..luckily!”

Ladegaard thanked his instructors at the JMSC for guiding him in the right direction.

“The JMSC instructors have been wonderful. They have years or decades of work experience from the best media companies in the world and I always felt they were pushing me in the right direction. I’m especially thankful to Jeffrey Timmermans for his help both in and outside classes. Also, Barry Kalb helped me improve my writing. Kees Metselaar gave me great advice in photography, and thanks to Masato Kajimoto, I got to report from the tsunami anniversary in Japan. I went to HKU and the JMSC because I thought it would be the best place to study journalism in all of Asia, and you know what, I was right!”