Heather Timmons, Asia correspondent for the new business news website Quartz and a former New York Times correspondent, has been named an honorary lecturer at the Journalism and Media Studies Center, in an innovative cooperative arrangement.
While she works on stories about Asian companies, consumers and economies, Timmons will also be available to help JMSC students with their writing. Starting October 25, she will be available every Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. to advise students. The JMSC and Quartz will also be exploring opportunities for student collaboration, through internships or possible freelancing. “There should be room to try new things,” she said.
“We’ve got all sorts of very ambitious ideas that center around us finding a project the HKU J-school master’s students can work on with Quartz, with the aim of the students’ work being of professional quality and published on our website.”
Jeff Timmermans, the director of the JMSC’s Bachelor of Journalism programme, said the JMSC is always looking for opportunities to work with innovative news start-ups like Quartz.
“We hope Heather’s appointment will form the basis for a new type of industry-academia exchange — an exchange that will not only foster innovation but also give students the opportunity to work with publications like Quartz that are helping to shape the new future of the industry,” Timmermans said.
Timmons recently told students and faculty at the JMSC that Quartz’s target audience is the “digitally native, meaning those that get their news online, live everywhere, and move around frequently. With half our readership coming via social media, content is created to be shared.” She said that Quartz’s web audience had exceeded three million unique readers, overtaking The Economist in the US market.
Quartz’s design reflects the evolving needs of the post-desktop era, for example, skipping the traditional homepage and taking readers directly to the stories, which roll one into the other. “People don’t get their news once a day anymore,” said Timmons. “We live in a steady stream of news and grab what’s important to us. If it’s important it will find me. This is the new ethos and how people get their news.”
Prior to joining Quartz, a publication of Atlantic Media, Timmons was a correspondent for the New York Times from 2003 to 2011 in London and New Delhi and headed India Ink, the Times’ blog on India. She was previously the Banking Editor at BusinessWeek in New York, a correspondent for the Daily Deal and a reporter for American Banker.