MJ Alumnus wins Journalist of Year at SOPA Awards

Annie Zhang JiePing, a Master of Journalism Graduate from 2006 was named one of three Journalists of the Year by The Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) Awards for Editorial Excellence.

The award ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 8; the awards honour the best journalists in the region.

Annie Zhang

Zhang is a staff reporter at Hong Kong-based Yazhou Zhoukan (Asia Weekly) magazine. She scooped an award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting.

The judge’s comments were “A unique approach to earthquake coverage and sensational writing, recapturing the life of a little known man and his very touching story. The well-written article illustrated the final days of an honest Chinese bureaucrat whose faith for life was lost to the devastating earthquake.”

Zhang also shared honors for the Award for Excellence in Human Rights Reporting for a story about the difficulties Ai Weiwei and the weiquan activists face in China and an Honorable Mention for Environmental Reporting for a piece about the conflict between development and preserving areas of historic interest.

Professor Jim Laurie

The JMSC’s Director of Broadcasting Programme, Jim Laurie, was the Master of Ceremonies at the awards.

“It was exciting to see a student who I taught in 2006 become Asia’s Journalist of the Year,” says Laurie. “Annie has done consistently good work at Yazhou Zhoukan over the years. The series of awards she has received confirms her status as one of China’s up and coming best journalists.”

In 2008, she was part of a three-member team that won first place for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment and a co-winner for second place for The Scoop Award. In 2007, SOPA awarded Zhang its Excellence in Opinion Writing prize and also commended her investigative journalism for a piece about corruption among academics in China.

Former JMSC MPhil student, Olga Wong got an honorable mention for business reporting with a series on property market in Hong Kong for the South China Morning Post.

The judge’s comments on the series were: “Strong series about an important issue. I loved this series. Nothing is of more interest in Hong Kong than the property market, and this series had it all: liveliness, vivid writing, exposure of fraud, the tie-in to HK$/yuan limits from the mainland, a study, good illustrations, etc.”

Congratulations!