The JMSC is involved in numerous collaborations with other faculties sharing, exchanging and transferring knowledge between departments.
For more than a decade, the JMSC has enjoyed extensive collaborations in teaching, research and conferences with the Faculty of Law at HKU.
JMSC Associate Professor Doreen Weisenhaus, director of the Media Law Project, has given lectures on freedom of expression for law students in the LLM Human Rights programme and taught Media Law, Regulation and Policy in Asia for the Asia-American Institute in Transnational Law, co-hosted by the HKU Faculty of Law and Duke University School of Law.
In 2008, the Hong Kong chapter of Creative Commons, a new international system of intellectual property rights management, was launched as a joint project of the JMSC and Faculty of Law.
Other joint research and writing projects with law faculty members involve such topics as freedom of information, national security, privacy and defamation.
“More than ever, journalists today need to understand the law as it impacts them, from defamation and privacy to copyright and online liability,” says Weisenhaus. “At the same time, law students and lawyers need to understand the media’s perspective on press freedom. Collaboration between the JMSC and the Faculty of Law is a natural fit.”
The JMSC has also collaborated with the Faculty of Arts on research, exhibitions, seminars, symposiums and lecture series. One notable example is the Project for Public Culture study about popular Chinese author, Eileen Chang. The Eileen Chang Project recently held a book launch for Eileen Chang’s English language novel The Fall of the Pagoda. The Project for Public Culture is dedicated to enhancing public cultural life in Hong Kong and Greater China.
Velentina Ma, who manages the Project for Public Culture says, “With the support of the Faculty of Arts, Hong Kong University Libraries, Crown Press, HKU Press and Muse Magazine, we are helping to foster partnerships between academia and the public in Hong Kong by offering an open platform for the sharing of ideas.”
Nancy Tong, a filmmaker who teaches documentary making at the JMSC, recently joined hands with Sze Wei Ang, a cultural critic from the Department of Comparative Literature, to give a symposium on the History of Chinese in America at the Hong Kong Arts Centre. This gave students a rare chance to see the screening of seven video segments written by prominent Chinese American authors and playwrights. It was followed by a lively discussion.
Another highly successful collaboration is between the JMSC and the Faculty of Medicine.
Thomas Abraham is Director of the Public Health Communication Programme and Assistant Professor at the JMSC. The project he runs works with the Faculty of Medicine on research, articles, supervising PhD students and teaching.
“Collaboration between the faculites is absolutely essential,” says Abraham. “The Faculty of Medicine does research on public health that we report on. Researchers at the medical faculty are also really keen to learn how to better communicate their work to the public.”
Professor Abraham is also working alongside the Faculty of Science on a new Core Curriculum Course called ‘How the Mass Media Depicts Science, Technology and the Natural World’. Starting in September, the course will be taught by Abraham and Dr. H.F.Chan from the Department of Physics.
Abraham sees this kind of interdepartmental cross-fertilisation becoming more common in future: “We hope to offer more courses on reporting health, science and the environment in future, so these sorts of collaborations can only increase.”
The JMSC has also collaborated extensively with the Faculty of Business and Economics. The JMSC’s Rob McBride, Jim Laurie, Ka Ho Ng and Roy Ching co-produced a series called Asia Business Leaders for BBC World. These programmes were subsequently used as a teaching tool for the Faculty of Business and Economics who co-produced and funded the project.
Another successful example of teamwork between the Faculty of Business and Economics was the lecture that billionaire speculator and philanthropist George Soros gave in February 2010 at HKU. In Conversation With George Soros provided a fantastic opportunity for HKU students, staff and other guests to hear Soros answer questions from the floor.
The JMSC also works together with many other faculties and sections of HKU in making promotional videos for them and also training their staff in writing and online media so they can improve their websites and other written information.