Many of the JMSC teaching staff are long-time journalists who have connections with all sorts of interesting people working in the press. As a result, professors often ask guest speakers from the industry to come to talk in their classes.
Gene Mustain, the Director of the Reporting and Writing Programme at the JMSC, is always keen to get outside speakers into his class to share their skills, opinions and stories.
Reg Chua, editor in chief of the South China Morning Post, spoke to participants of Mustain’s Reporting and Writing class on Monday, October 25.
Chua spoke about how his newspaper is incorporating new digital tools and social media to enhance its reporting and website. He brought two SCMP reporters with him: Irene Jay Liu, a graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, who showed some examples of her recent investigative and public-service journalism work, and Yolanda Ma, who graduated from the JMSC MJ programme last year. Ma works as the Social Media Editor at the SCMP; she spoke about some social media projects she will be unveiling soon for the paper.
“I think our students particularly enjoyed meeting Irene and Yolanda, their contemporaries, and hearing them talk about their work,” said Mustain. “It helps what we talk about in the classroom come alive.”
On Saturday, November 6, Maggie Leung, editor of CNN Newswires for CNN International in Hong Kong, spoke in a Q and A format before two sections of Mustain’s Reporting and Writing class. After brief remarks, she replied to questions posed by Kevin Drew, who teaches the Saturday class, and then took questions from students. Maggie is responsible for deciding what breaking news stories CNN will write about for the CNN website.
“Leung, who has also worked at the Washington Post and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, was lively, witty and informative, and she reinforced on multiple levels several of the practical things that Kevin Drew, Barry Kalb and myself have been talking about in recent classes on interview techniques and other reporting skills,” said Mustain. “Afterwards, students were asking her how they can get jobs at CNN International!”
Jeff Timmermans, a teaching consultant at the JMSC, is well known for his connections throughout the world of financial and business journalism. He mines these contacts for speakers to talk to his Interpreting and Using Business News in a Global Era class.
Michael Yiannakis, a finance journalist for over 20 years, came to talk in Timmermans’ class on Monday, November 8. Yiannakis has worked at some of the most respected and authoritative newspapers in the world, including more than nine years at the Wall Street Journal Asia in Hong Kong, where he was News Editor.
During his time in Asia, Michael helped direct coverage of most of the major news events that have affected the region, including the 2001 terrorist attacks in the U.S., the Asian tsunami, the Bali bombings, the Sichuan earthquake and the global financial crisis. He has also helped steer coverage of major health issues such as SARS, and the outbreak of the Avian and Swine flu viruses.
“One of the themes of the course is the changing relationship between the public relations industry and journalism, and how that relationship affects the way journalists cover businesses,” said Timmermans. “Michael Yiannakis recently made the transition from financial journalism to public relations, and offered insight into the way he deals with clients as a former journalist, and how his new industry is changing the way it projects its messages through – and, increasingly, around – the media.”
Stephen McKeever, Head of Equity Sales at Standard Charter, spoke in Timmermans’ class on Monday, October 25. McKeever has 15 years experience in the securities industry and has spent most of his working life in Asia, predominantly in Hong Kong.
“We spend a good deal of time in the course looking at the global financial crisis and how the media covered it,” said Timmermans. “As a long-time financial industry insider and former trader for Goldman Sachs, Steve McKeever provided a human face to our discussion about Wall Street. But instead of hurling abuse or rotten vegetables at Steve, the students peppered him with respectful and insightful questions about his role and his view of how the financial media do their job.”
Earlier in the semester, Michael Schuman, a bestselling author and Asia Business Correspondent for Time magazine, came to talk to Timmermans’ class on Monday, 20 September.
A business journalist in Asia for more than ten years, Schuman covers economic issues for the entire continent. He has also worked as a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in South Korea, Singapore, and Indonesia. Prior to his experience in Asia, Schuman was a staff writer at Forbes. He is also the author of a book on business in Asia.
“Michael Schuman shared with the class his experience authoring a best-selling book about how Asia’s embrace of globalisation lifted millions of its inhabitants out of poverty, and made many of its companies world-famous,” said Timmermans. “Michael’s book, The Miracle: The Epic Story of Asia’s Quest for Wealth, was the culmination of more than a year of interviews with some of Asia’s key business and political leaders, as well as his decade of experience as a financial journalist in Asia.”