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HKU Starts Search for New JMSC Director

The University of Hong Kong has launched a global search to find the next Director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC).

The search committee consists of Hong Kong University professors and is headed by John Burns, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The position will be available from mid-2013.

JMSC is housed in HKU’s Historic Eliot Hall

Professor Ying Chan, the Founding Director of the JMSC, will step down at the end of this academic year in order to devote her time to research and writing.

Chan said she will also devote time to promoting good journalism and media development beyond the academy. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF) and the steering committee of the Global Forum for Media Development. She is also the vice-chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Informed Societies. Chan speaks often at international conferences and universities in China and overseas. In May, she conducted a study tour of the media in Myanmar for MDLF, seeking ways to support emerging independent news media in the country.

The University of Hong Kong is looking for an outstanding candidate with a reputation as a scholar in journalism and media studies, or an internationally recognised track record as a journalist who has occupied leadership positions in major media organisations.

The successful applicant will combine a passion for teaching while also maintaining an involvement in the profession as a researcher, writer or editor.

“The JMSC is an amazing work environment,” said Thomas Abraham, Associate Professor and Director of the MJ Programme. “All of my colleagues are former or existing journalists who’ve come together with one purpose: to teach a future generation of journalists.”

Abraham, a long-term member of staff who has taught at the JMSC for nearly a decade, will represent the JMSC faculty on the search committee.

“The appointee will have a vision to ensure that the JMSC maintains its status as a world class journalism school in the future,” he said.

Doreen Weisenhaus, Associate Professor and Director of the Media Law Project, joined the JMSC one semester after its founding in the fall of 1999.

“I’ve had the opportunity to witness the innovative work Ying Chan has done on behalf of the JMSC, its students, the academy and journalists in Hong Kong, China and throughout Asia,” said Weisenhaus.

“She is a visionary who helped establish cutting-edge trends in journalism education such as cross-platform training, technology and international curriculum that put the JMSC at the forefront of global journalism. She also opened doorways to mainland China that brought many exceptional  journalists, students and opportunities to the JMSC.”

“Ying Chan is an original thinker and a tireless advocate, and I am certain that she will continue to be a valuable resource for the industry and for people who want to know what values journalists should stand for in the years ahead.”

Starting with a two-room office and 20 part-time students in 1999, the JMSC now offers a full-range of academic programmes, including a double major undergraduate bachelor of journalism programme, a professional master of journalism programme and graduate research studies leading to MPhil and PhD degrees. This year, its flagship MJ programme admitted 66 students from 19 countries.

JMSC faculty members conduct research in media law, business journalism, public health communication, China media, and comparative media studies. Early this year, it launched a pioneering research and production programme in data journalism that focuses on Hong Kong and China. The JMSC also offers a wide range of professional training programmes in Hong Kong and at its Shanghai Studies Centre.

“I am tremendously grateful for the opportunity to create the JMSC which has become a powerhouse for the training of a new generation of journalists,” said Chan. “I am also most proud of our faculty, a team of outstanding professionals and scholars who lead and teach with their expertise and singular devotion to the craft. The JMSC is in very good hands.”

Ideal candidates will have substantial international experience, an advanced degree, teaching and administrative experience within a university setting, as well as an understanding of journalism practice in China and Asia.

Applicants should send a completed application form and an up-to-date C.V. to fosshr@hku.hk. Application forms (341/1111) can be obtained at http://www.hku.hk/apptunit/form-ext.doc. Further particulars can be obtained at http://jobs.hku.hk/index.php?c=P.

Applications close on October 31, 2012. Only shortlisted applicants will be notified of the application result.