She congratulated the students who come from Canada, UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Germany, US, Australia, Austria, Tanzania, Zambia, Hong Kong and mainland China, for getting through the rigorous selection process which saw six people apply for each place.
“We want you to enjoy Hong Kong — all the facilities at the university, the events, the talks — that’s why we made a mini semester. Two is just too packed,” Chan said at the orientation event.
The JMSC added a month-long extra semester to the MJ programme in the 2010-2011academic year.
Several of the JMSC staff welcomed the students and told them about the courses on offer.
“Business journalism is not just about numbers; it’s something that affects us all – which is something we felt especially during the financial crisis,” said Teaching Consultant Jeff Timmermans.
Thomas Abraham, Director of the Public Health Media Project and Assistant Professor, and Associate Professor Miklos Sukosd told the students about the Covering Health and Public Science programme and Environmental reporting programme.
The JMSC was the first journalism school in the region to make online courses compulsory.
“Online is more than just watching pretty websites — the point is it’s about journalism,” said Stormont. “It’s important to choose the right tools to be able to present information.”
Veteran journalist, HKU alumnus and China expert, Ching Cheong, gave a talk as a guest speaker.
Ching, a HKU economics graduate, was imprisoned in China for nearly three years between 2005 and 2008 on allegations of spying for Taiwan.
“The freedom of press and the freedom of expression is intrinsic to this society and all that we hold dearly to ourselves,” he said.
“The JMSC has already made quite a significant impact on our colleagues across the border; this impact is beginning to grow,” he continued. “Those of you from mainland China will learn how to behave as a professional journalist, not a propagandist.”
The new Master’s students mingled with staff and JMSC alumni and were clearly excited about the year ahead.
“I’m very excited; there is a lot of energy in the air, everyone has a lot of high hopes and, speaking as a student, I know I also share the same enthusiasm,” said Alexis Lai (MJ 2012).
“Today was very informative. I learned a lot about the teachers’ style and the kind of lifestyle I’ll be facing this year,” added Yujia He (MJ 2012).
“In general, I think everyone is still a bit nervous and finding their way around, but I feel excited and prepared – it feels like you’re about to dive off the deep end,” commented Xin Yan Lareina Choong (MJ 2012).
“I’m really excited and it’ll be intense, but that’s why I’m here,” said Patrick Boehler (MJ 2012).