This year, 20 MJ students received scholarships to help them with their studies at the JMSC.
The scholarships are either full, half or quarter and come from a variety of donors including the South China Morning Post Wah Kiu Yat Po Scholarship Fund, the William F. Woo Memorial Journalism Education Fund, the Hong Kong University Graduate Association (HKUGA) Journalism Fund, the JMSC Overseas Talent Scholarship and the JMSC Journalist Scholarship. As well as raising capitol for scholarships, the JMSC manages all the funds that are awarded.
Andrew Willis (MJ 2011) is a Canadian who studied international business as an undergraduate at Bishop’s University in Canada before coming to the JMSC.
He benefits from a JMSC Overseas Talent Scholarship which helps him cover his tuition. He says this is “essential for the success of my endeavours, especially with the high cost of living.”
“Hong Kong University and its reputation first drew me to the JMSC,” said Willis. “Once I discovered the JMSC, I was sold. The division seemed up-to-date, comprehensive and serious about the success of its students.
“So far, the JMSC has opened up my mind to the basic concepts of journalism, while also teaching me how to best utilise these concepts in a dynamic environment. The professors are highly experienced, yet keen to keep up with current issues in the industry.
“This has been an all-in-one opportunity for me to best appreciate the practices and values of the modern media sphere.”
Willis is keen to pursue a career in either television news or to help develop media strategy for government or private entities. He is grateful for the financial support he receives from his donor.
“I’d like to send a very warm thank you to our scholarship providers. You have helped make my career dream a reality and I will never forget your contribution.”
Vincent Du (MJ 2011) is from mainland China where he worked as a photojournalist and photo editor for six years for two newspapers: the Metro Express and the Bohai Morning Post.
He also works as a freelance photographer for the global news agency, Reuters. Du has received an HKUGA Journalism Scholarship, for which he is hugely grateful.
Du wanted to do a Master of Journalism at the JMSC because of the international environment, the professional tutors and the mixture of classmates with different backgrounds.
“For most mainland students, English reporting ability is the obstacle,” said Du.
“English writing and reporting lecturers Gene Mustain and Barry Kalb help me a lot. My winter internship was setting up and managing the photo database of CNNGo where I learned the significance of an appropriate way to manage the pictures, especially for the professional photographer.”
Jennifer Jett (MJ 2011) decided to study at the JMSC because of its strong reputation and location.
Prior to coming to Hong Kong, Jett, who is American, lived in Beijing, teaching English and working as a copy editor at a weekly English-language news magazine. She is a recipient of a SCMP Wah Kiu Yat Po Scholarship.
“At the JMSC, I’ve gained valuable multimedia skills and discovered opportunities that I might not have otherwise considered,” said Jett.
“In addition to its experienced and passionate teachers, the JMSC benefits from the diverse backgrounds of its students.
“The JMSC also has a strong internship programme. Over the winter break, I completed an internship at The Jakarta Globe in Indonesia. I am also interning at the International Herald Tribune here in Hong Kong.”
Jett is hoping to sharpen her skills and explore job opportunities during the course of her master’s studies. After graduation, Jett hopes to work as a reporter for a newspaper or website in Asia.
The scholarship has made her studies more affordable. “I would like to thank the scholarship providers for their generosity and commitment to the future of journalism,” she said.
Gloria Chang Dili (MJ 2011) is mainland Chinese. Chang was working in PR for the China Harbour Engineering Company before deciding to study a master’s at the JMSC.
She received a JMSC Journalist Scholarship, which has enabled her to change careers and pursue journalism.
“The courses have prepared us well for various kinds of work and they keep pace with the dynamic and changing surroundings. I am now not afraid of taking relevant media work after taking both theoretical and also highly practical technical courses.
“More importantly, I think the courses have taught us the necessary norms and criteria in order to act as a qualified journalist.”
Natalie Deng (MJ 2011) is also mainland Chinese and she too received a JMSC Journalist Scholarship. Deng worked as an auditor in Hong Kong before embarking on her master’s at the JMSC.
“I am learning basic reporting and writing skills as well as cutting edge multimedia techniques,” she said.
“I really enjoyed my internship and I’ve tried lots of things and discovered what I still need to improve. Hong Kong is a good place to study because it gives us international exposure and is a relatively free media environment.”
Deng is grateful for the financial assistance the scholarship provides and hopes to find work as a reporter when she graduates.
Richard Schuster (MJ 2011) is Hungarian. He worked for seven years as a news reporter and morning anchor for Hungary’s market leading news programme, TV2 – The Facts.
He also won an award for an independent documentary that he produced.
Schuster received an JMSC Overseas Talent Scholarship.
“Now that I can see from close up what JMSC offers to students, I feel even more privileged and grateful to be awarded a scholarship, ” he said. “It was the decisive factor for me. I could not have come to Hong Kong without it.”
Schuster chose Hong Kong because he felt it offered a “front row seat” on both journalism and Asia, a region in rapid change.
“My goal is to develop world-standard journalistic skills, to be familiar with the latest technology and methods of journalism and global communications to be able to pursue a career at an international level,” said Schuster.
“The JMSC brings this all together. Halfway through the course I already know that I am getting more out of it than I have ever thought. The JMSC not only offers the up to date knowledge in video, print and online that is essential to succeed in any media organisation, it is also one step ahead of the industry.”
“We learn how to broadcast live video through our smart phones, how iPads are changing storytelling (just a few months after the launch of the iPad), or how to analyze mass data with computers,” he continued.
“As a part of JMSC’s research staff, Professor Fu King-Wa is leading research on online public opinion focusing on social media and Hong Kong’s cyberspace. I am proud to be one of those who offered to help his research …. after seven years of broadcast news I am doing things that I never imagined.
“On top of this, I was also offered a place on the JMSC’s ABC News on Campus team, where we can pitch and produce videos for one of the biggest names in television.”
Eldes Tran (MJ 2011) is an American who was a copy editor for four years on the national desk at the Los Angeles Times. She decided to do a Master of Journalism at the JMSC because of the location and also because the course offers “hands-on, cutting-edge courses and, more importantly, a solid foundation in journalism ethics, standards and practices.”
“After working at a newspaper for five years, it’s different and refreshing to see world events from the perspective of a journalism student,” said Tran.
“The programme’s diversity gets me thinking outside the box: U.S. versus British versus Chinese journalism practices; comparing my Chinese American upbringing with those of local Hongkongers and mainlanders.
“In addition, being a newspaper person myself, I never expected I would enjoy other aspects of broadcast journalism. But video and online journalism has pushed me to think of stories in different ways.
“And after taking Jeff Timmerman’s financial journalism course last semester, I finally understand what caused the recent global financial crisis! I went into journalism because everyday is different and everyday is challenging; I can say the same thing for JMSC and Hong Kong.”
Tran is a recipient of a JMSC Overseas Talent Scholarship.
“The opportunity to just be a student without financial worries is rare,” she said. “It gives me the freedom to learn, which I fully cherish. I hope the scholarship will continue so that others may do that same.”