More than half of last year’s master’s intake chose to specialise in one of three specialist areas of study introduced for Master of Journalism students in 2010-2011.
Twenty-six students specialised in Business and Financial Journalism, four took Environmental, Health and Science Journalism and four opted for China Studies.
“While the JMSC has been offering business journalism and courses on China from the early days of the MJ programme, specialisation in science, public health and the environmental topics is a new initiative,” said Ying Chan, Director of the JMSC.
“The certificates offer formal recognition to students’ special training in these important areas,” she continued. “They will also help shape their careers.”
Shari Nijman (MJ 2011) chose to specialise in Environmental, Health and Science Journalism.
“I chose this track because I think that in a field so wide and diverse as journalism, it is always good to bring some extra in-depth knowledge to the table,” said Nijman. “I have always been interested in the environment and health. For me, those fields are more tangible than, for example, economics.”
“I think that in the future, I can use this knowledge to produce in-depth stories about health and environment issues worldwide,” she continued. “I hope the certificate will also show potential employers that I know how to report on these issues.”
Students needed to take three courses relevant to their speciality in order to get the certificate on graduation.
The Business and Financial Journalism students took courses in Interpreting and Using Business Journalism in a Global Era, Global Financial Journalism and Global Economic Journalism.
For China Studies the courses were Covering China, How the Media Tell China’s Story and Special Topics in Covering China.
For those wanting to qualify for the specialist area of Environmental, Health and Science Journalism, Environmental Communication, Reporting Big Issues in Science and Reporting Health and Medicine were the required options.
Reenita Malhotra (MJ 2011) took Business and and Financial Journalism. The specialism has proved useful in helping her to find work; she is in charge of developing a new business programme on RTHK 3, Hong Kong’s English language radio broadcaster.
“Although the business courses were mostly geared towards print journalism, it was particularly useful to learn about journalistic styles for organisations such as the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg,” said Malhotra.
“Their styles relate well to the type of analytical journalism that we are looking to develop for our new finance show, Money for Nothing. This new show featuring finance specialists and market and industry analysis will be broadcast on RTHK’s Radio 3 Monday through Friday at 8 am. I will be producing the show and presenting certain segments alongside the main presenter, Bryan Curtis.”
Alice Woodhouse (MJ 2011) chose to take the China Studies certificate because she studied Mandarin as an undergraduate and wanted to learn more about the media and reporting in China.
“These courses taught us how to look at Chinese media reports more objectively as well as providing an greater understanding of social media in China and the role this is playing now,” said Woodhouse.
The thing Woodhouse enjoyed most about her time at the JMSC was hearing the speakers that come in to talk to students.
“The main highlight of the course was the variety of speakers that visited over the year, from foreign correspondents who had worked in China to the Chinese investigative journalist Wang Keqin.
“This gave us a great insight in to what it’s actually like to work in China and I found Wang Keqin’s talk summarised some of the problems a journalist in China can face, as well as showing the determination that drives him to pursue complex issues that local governments and companies would rather keep quiet.
“These courses really helped develop our research skills and taught us to follow how a story develops and grows in a Chinese media environment and I think I will be very useful when working as a journalist,” she said.