The rise of China is one of the biggest global stories of our times, with the result that Beijing is a magnet for journalists. More than twenty JMSC alumni have taken posts in the Chinese capital, chasing the China story.
Liu Lu (MJ 2010) is a reporter for the European edition of China Daily. Lui, who comes from Beijing, graduated this July and immediately got a job at the state run newspaper, which has the widest circulation of any English-language paper in China. She is excited to be at the heart of what is, for her, the world’s biggest news story.
“China has emerged as the world’s second largest economy amid the period of global economic meltdown,” she said. “Therefore, both China’s social and economical environment is undergoing tremendous change. News generates from this change, and, I think Beijing, China’s cultural and political centre, is the most exciting place for an avid journalist to find the most interesting stories.”
Li Li (MJ 2010) is a reporter for the ‘cover story’ department, also at China Daily. She does in-depth reporting on all matter of issues. After graduating from the JMSC this summer, she did a two-month internship at CNN, Hong Kong. She then flew to Beijing and did a one-month internship for China Daily, in its USA edition department.
Li is enjoying her new job because it involves travelling, but also because she finds the subject matter so interesting. “I like doing in-depth reporting, which is what I told China Daily during my job interview,” she said. “Short reports deliver information but in-depth stories help readers really understand an issue. In-depth reporting is where I believe you can really show quality journalism.”
Li was born and raised in Chonqing in southwest China. She lived in Beijing for seven years before moving to Hong Kong to do her Master’s at the JMSC. She has really enjoyed moving back to Beijing, partly because it is “the place to be”, but also because of its “cultural and historical background – the city has its own unique flavour”. “It’s a giant city with endless things to do,” she said.
Mingmei Jiang (MJ 2008) is a reporter at CBID, a start-up media company. She moved to Beijing after graduating from the JMSC and interned at Reuters.
Her family lives in Beijing so the capital is also home for her. “I think this city has attracted lots of media elites and provided lots of job opportunities at various media companies,” she said. “It is not bad a place to work in if you want to pursue a media dream in mainland China.”
Rebecca Valli (MJ 2010) works as a news assistant for Voice of America in Beijing. The American international public service broadcaster provides content for radio, TV and the internet. Valli is in charge of setting up, recording, and editing interviews. This involves a lot of background work, research and hunting for interesting stories to cover.
Valli moved to Beijing straight after her graduation this summer to intern at VOA. The internship has turned into a full time job.
“Lots of skills learned at the JMSC have come in very useful,” she said. “In particular, the technical skills – how to record an audio-video interview, how to use FCP, and Adobe Audition.”
Shao Xiaoyi (MJ 2007) is a reporter at Thomson Reuters Beijing Bureau, mainly covering commodities, energy news and the property market. She got her job there after graduating from the JMSC.
“It’s busy, I’m always under great pressure but it’s enjoyable,” said Shao. “It’s a race against time. When you get news you should try to get it on screen as soon as possible.”
Shao enjoys living in Beijing. “I like work here because it is the place you can find interesting stories to write every day,” she said. However, as with many capital cities, the downside is that it’s expensive: “Life in Beijing is convenient and comfortable only if you rent an apartment. The city’s property prices nowadays are too expensive and most of people cannot afford it.”
Many of the JMSC’s alumni end up on-air. One rising star of the screen is Lorea Solabarrieta (MJ 2010), a news and business anchor for CCTV in Beijing.
Solabarrieta is on air during the day time in Beijing. She is grateful for the training she had at the JMSC, but says it’s her adventurous parents that made her more likely to move abroad for work.
“The JMSC was invaluable. The support from staff and lecturers at the JMSC is brilliant. I cannot wax more lyrical about the place,” she said. “Growing up with adventurous parents in Hong Kong, where HKU is situated, also helped. I have travelled to over 45 countries as a back-packer and this has helped me understand the world and connect to it from a more local perspective everywhere I go. I feel this experience makes me a stronger anchor.”
Some graduates have chose to work outside the media. Catherine Chan is an Assistant Information Officer at the Beijing Office of the HKSAR Government, where she is two years into a three-year posting.
“My job offers many opportunities for me to understand how the Central Government and SAR Governments run, and how Hong Kong positions itself in the mainland and overseas. I enjoy being out of Hong Kong to look back to the place where I come from. It helps me think about Hong Kong issues from a different point of view.”
Before working for the Hong Kong government, Chan worked as a business reporter for Next Magazine. She left the media to become an Assistant Information officer at the Information Services Department of the HKSAR Government; her former first post was in the Innovation and Technology Commission.
Chan says that her time at the JMSC helped her to think critically and take an interest in the world around her, and that despite no longer working directly in the media, she still feels that she uses the skills she learnt at the JMSC.
“I consider myself to be still working in the media as I have to face the press and reporters everyday, just my position is now different,” she said.
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