There may be few other areas of journalism which involve quite as many fun wine and food events, but wine journalism requires a specialist subject knowledge and an authoritative writing style, students―and some staff—learnt in a recent seminar at the JMSC.

Twenty five Bachelor (BJ) and Master (MJ) of Journalism students attended a wine journalism talk and tasting session hosted by the drinks business Hong Kong on 8 February.

Publisher Ivy Ng, News Editor Lucy Jenkins, and Online Editor Natalie Wang spoke at the seminar held in Eliot Hall’s Shum Reading Room.

Lucy Jenkins, News Editor, the drinks business Hong Kong, speaking at the seminar

“As a career, I feel it’s one of the most interesting and diverse specialisms of journalism out there,” said Lucy Jenkins, who has previous experience covering the food and beverage, interior design and hospitality industries.

“Wine journalism is certainly unique as you chat to winemakers about their passion and hobbies and turn it into a readable story for an already engaged audience,” Jenkins said.

“As with any area of specialist writing, you’ll be read by enthusiasts and professionals—sommeliers, wine critics, winemakers—who have worked and studied extremely hard to get where they are and so there’s a big difference in audience from consumer journalism which tends to have a more passive readership who prefer to be guided by the writer.”

Natalie Wang—herself a graduate of the MJ programme from 2012—also emphasised the importance of developing specialist subject knowledge.

“Research and wine knowledge are essential when writing about a very technical and specialised subject like wine,” she said, noting that most readers of the drinks business are wine professionals or connoisseurs.

“You have to be very concise, use succinct paragraphs, and adopt an authoritative writing style,” Wang added.

Students who attended the seminar said that it gave them an insight into a new area of journalism that they didn’t know very much about before.

“I was mostly covering politics and social issues during my previous internships, and so wine journalism is a totally new area for me,” said Eric Cheung, a third year BJ student.

MJ student Ni Bingyi said that she joined the session because she wanted to know more about the day-to-day work of wine journalists and discovered how “wine journalism is like business journalism, only focusing on one industry”.

The talk was followed by a wine tasting session with three red and three white wines, including one of the latter from China.

Eric Cheung said that the session was a great opportunity for the students to try out different types of wine and see which one they liked best.

MJ Carol Huang said that she enjoyed the white wine from China in particular. “It had a rich flavour and lasted for some time in the mouth,” she said.

the drinks business supplements its printed magazines with daily and weekly digital newsletters in both English and Chinese, as well as social media broadcasts.

Visit the drinks business’ website here.

(Feature image: BJ students Martin Choi, Joy Chung and Cassadee Wong during the wine tasting session)

17 February 2017

Learning about the unique area of wine journalism and how it differs from lifestyle reporting

There may be few other areas of journalism which involve quite as many fun wine and food events, but wine journalism requires a specialist subject knowledge and an authoritative writing style, students―and some staff—learnt in […]
10 February 2017

Students experiment with innovative storytelling through digital projects

Traditional Chinese characters shown through interactive graphics. A walk through Hong Kong’s recent history using scannable barcodes. And bots publishing stories and replying to reader messages on Facebook. These were just a few of the […]
23 January 2017

New partnership between the JMSC and Asia Sentinel to produce local and regional reporting

The JMSC and news and analysis website Asia Sentinel have formed a partnership to work together in producing local and regional reporting. Under the new collaboration, JMSC students will pitch stories of local and regional […]
6 December 2016

Journalism can help Cambodia find true democracy, says Master of Journalism student

Nov Povleakhena was born in Cambodia as the country was embracing the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, following decades of civil war and Cold War manoeuvring that left a trail of misery and destruction. Now a […]
5 December 2016

BBC correspondent speaks to students about how the BBC covered the missing booksellers story

Reporting and photos by Corinne Vigniel In covering the story of the missing Hong Kong booksellers—one of the biggest local stories of the year—BBC correspondent Juliana Liu described weeks of chasing reliable sources and one […]
28 November 2016

Killer course: Students act like soldiers to answer the question, ‘Why do we kill in war?’

They wore body armour fashioned from cardboard and helmets that looked more like highway cones. Some carried rifles laser cut from plywood stencils. No one was going to mistake Lecture Hall 4 in HKU’s Chong […]
25 November 2016

JMSC helps non-journalists ‘Make Sense of the News’ starting January 2017

Feeling overwhelmed by the news lately? You’re not alone. With the emergence of citizen journalism, more online news aggregators, and the sheer abundance of information at our fingertips, the sea of news can be tough […]
18 November 2016

From Zimbabwe to Hong Kong: training to become a humanitarian journalist

Thandiwe Moyo—who comes from a small town called Chiredzi in the southern part of Zimbabwe—has just started her Master of Journalism degree at the JMSC. She hopes to use the course as a stepping stone […]