The JMSC is awarding 19 scholarships to this year’s intake of Master of Journalism students, including individuals from Afghanistan, America, Ghana, Nepal, New Zealand and Zambia. More than half of the scholarship recipients are from mainland China and Hong Kong.
The partial and full scholarships come from a variety of donors including the South China Morning Post Wah Kiu Yat Po Scholarship Fund, the William F. Woo Memorial Journalism Education Fund, the Hong Kong University Graduate Association Journalism Fund, the Lee Kam Woon and Shum Shuk Yuen Education Fund, the JMSC Overseas Talent Scholarship and the JMSC Journalist Scholarship.
The full tuition scholarships were award to students from Afghanistan, Nepal and Zambia.
Abdul Matin Sarfraz, one of the recipients, is an Afghan journalist who has been working for various media outlets in the north-eastern provinces of his country. He continues to work for the Pajhwok Afghan News Agency, the New York Times, Reuters and Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA).
“I would like to get a master’s degree to learn more about the journalism field and what is happening globally, to improve my writing skills, my English, and experience life and study outside of Afghanistan,” said Sarfraz.
“In Afghanistan, I think one of the only things we have seen major development and progress in is in the media. Currently hundreds of news outlets, radio and TV stations, both government and independent, are actively working throughout the country. However, Afghanistan needs more professionals working in the field, so I want to be able to come back with what I learn at the JMSC and help Afghans.”
Sarfraz, like the other recipients, says the scholarship will make it possible for him to pursue his goals.
“I support my family – my mother, father, wife, two kids and four brothers and sisters,” he said. “The scholarship will help me a lot. We also do not know what is going to happen in Afghanistan in the near future, so I need to prepare for this financially. I would not be able to attend the university without the scholarship, so I am really happy and thankful for the chance.”
Lui Yang is a recent graduate of the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies with a major in British and American Literature.
“I used to write for the university news website, anchored programmes at the campus radio station and was the on-the-spot English broadcaster for the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and the 2011 Shenzhen Summer Universiade,” said Lui.
“In my junior year, I received ‘The Most Promising Future Journalist’ Award in a national English contest held by China Radio International and The Communication University of China…That experience confirmed to me that journalism is something I love and prompted me to do a master’s degree in journalism.”Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne is an editor at AfricaNews and head of the editorial team in Ghana. He has also worked at many other media organisations in his native Ghana.
“Journalism in the 21st century is witnessing some unprecedented transformations that are fast revolutionising the process of news gathering and dissemination and it is my belief that professionalism is the virtue that will mark out the ‘real journalist’ from the other journalists,” said Appiah-Dolphyne.
“The world now faces a deluge of information, and only the ‘real journalist’ will be able to sieved out the news. To attain this standard, every journalist that aspires to be good at his/her profession must endeavour to stay up-to-date with the skills of a profession that is ever-evolving, hence my decision to join HKU to gain this professional touch.”Mainland student, Chen Yifei, earned a bachelor’s degree in European Studies and Sociology at HKU and is currently doing an internship on the mainland.
“I used to want to work for an NGO immediately after graduation, but after taking a course on Contemporary China Media, which looked into how Chinese NGOs use social media for fundraising, I changed my mind,” said Chen.
“Several of these NGO projects were initiated by famous journalists and I realized that becoming a journalist would be an alternative worth trying, as doing journalism will connect me to Chinese society. Journalists, with their network and skills, are crucial actors in contributing to the future of civil society in China.”
Chen decided to stay at HKU because of the JMSC’s keen interest in China. “I have followed the JMSC’s China Media Project, which I noticed has kept up with updates on breaking news and social media – the microblog in particular – in China,” she said.