Leanne Wang, who received her Master of Journalism diploma from the JMSC in 2008, turned freelancing into a staff job at a leading mainland business news organization.  She recommends this path to other writers:

Leanne wang

Leanne wang

I did a part-time diploma at the JMSC in 2007-08. Taking the course was the first step for me to make a change into journalism.  Before that, I had quite a few years of experience, mostly in the marketing communications field.

The second step was to practice, and the way I chose was through freelancing.

When I was a freelancer, I wrote for China Business News, or CBN, Hong Kong Securities (a trade magazine belonging to the Hong Kong Securities Institute), and a business news website, www.chinastakes.com. Most of my work was for CBN.

CBN, which belongs to the Shanghai Media Group, is a leading financial medium in China. It has six platforms: TV (on NOW TV, Channel 338 in Hong Kong), radio, a daily newspaper, a weekly magazine, a website, and a research institute. I started working for the newspaper as a freelancer in May of 2008, and within a half year, I had about seven stories hit the front page. I was invited to join the Shanghai headquarters of CBN early this year, and now cover overseas financial markets and commodities.

Hong Kong is an important gateway for mainland companies (including government funds) to get access to the international capital markets. Therefore, the financial media in China pay a lot of attention to Hong Kong business stories, which created a very good opportunity for me (and people with similar background and skill sets) to write for them as a freelancer.

Freelancing offered me a unique opportunity to explore different areas of financial journalism. I covered company news, such as the Citic Pacific forex loss scandal; the stock and property markets; funds, including mutual funds, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds (such as the China Investment Corp and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange); government economic policy; derivatives such as the Lehman Brothers minibonds, and alternative investments such as Islamic finance. I attended many press conferences, forums and seminars, including the Clinton Global Initiative and the CLSA Investor Forum.

Since many mainland companies are listed on the Hong Kong stock Exchange, they have to disclose information to HKEx and hold press conferences in Hong Kong. This created chances for me to report China stories from Hong Kong. One example was the melamine scandal, in which Mengniu, the leading diary producer in China, and others were found to be putting the dangerous chemical melamine into their milk products.

English skills and international exposure are also highly desirable in writing for the mainland media, as executive readers in China are eager to know about the international financial markets and the global economy. I have interviewed analysts from leading investment banks and western economists, which has given my news stories a global perspective.

I don’t think I could have ever learned so much and grown so fast to become a mature and versatile financial reporter without this freelancing experience. I think journalism students who have solid working experience and knowledge about business should consider freelancing as a way to break into this competitive industry, especially while the industry is under heavy pressure due to the global economic crisis.

15 April 2009

JMSC Alum Uses Freelancing as Route into Mainland Media

Leanne Wang, who received her Master of Journalism diploma from the JMSC in 2008, turned freelancing into a staff job at a leading mainland business news organization. She recommends this path to other writers:
15 February 2009

Some Billionaires Are Just Regular Folks, as JMSC Alum Learns

Journalists are usually lucky if they can get big-time businessmen like Hong Kong’s Li Ka-shing to talk to them at all. JMSC alum Samantha Wang (BJ 2008), who works as a reporter for the Chinese-language Ming Pao newspaper in Hong Kong, got a brief interview with Li in early February – and then received a call back from Hong Kong’s richest man, to make sure she had understood the points he made the first time around.
15 December 2008

“The Dragon and the Crown:” Hong Kong in the 20th Century, Told by a Man Who Was There

Anyone who has ties to Hong Kong will find things in the book that he or she can identify with, says Nicole Kwan (MJ 2003) referring to The Dragon and the Crown (HKU Press 2009), the memoirs she co-wrote with her 83-year-old uncle, Stanley Kwan. Why? “Because these are really our collective memories,” she says.
19 November 2008

Rikkie Yeung’s Book, “Moving Millions”

Corporate mergers normally affect the public only indirectly. Dr. Rikkie Yeung’s well-received new book, Moving Millions, published by the Hong Kong University Press, examines a merger that has a direct impact on millions of Hong Kong lives on a daily basis: that of the Mass Transit Railway Corporation and the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation in 2007.
21 July 2008

Alums win big at the SOPA awards

Journalism and Media Studies alum Annie Zhang Jieping (Master of Journalism 2006) won big at the Society of Publishers in Asia Awards for Editorial Excellence ceremony in Hong Kong on June 4.
21 July 2008

Alumni Chiu Loi-Fat appointed chief editor of new culture magazine

Christopher Chiu Loi-fat (MJ 2001), has been appointed the chief editor of a new culture magazine, C for Culture to be launched in Hong Kong this Friday.
21 July 2008

Recent graduates take lead writing roles in Wall Street Journal’s new China blog

JMSC alumna Sky Canaves (MJ 2007) has been named lead writer of the China Journal, the Wall Street Journal's newly launched China blog.
19 November 2007

Four JMSC alumni win Society of Publishers in Asia awards

Simon Song (MJ 03), Zhang Jieping (MJ 06), Albert Wong (MJ 05) and Juying Qin (MJ 05) were awarded prizes at the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Awards for Editorial Excellence in May 2007.