Leading the growth of Global Business Journalism:
The story of Professor Hang Min
Professor Hang Min is the co-director of the Global Business Journalism (GBJ) Program. The program, a partnership among Tsinghua University, the International Center for Journalists, and Bloomberg News, has built a stellar reputation for enhancing the quality of business journalism. From its founding, Hang Min has overseen the program along with other international professionals with extensive journalism experience.
By AMY MAGEE, GILLIAN TANG, YIDI WANG and GAO SHUANG
Global Business Journalism reporters
For 15 years the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University has been equipping future journalists with cutting-edge technology skills, economics expertise and in-depth knowledge of China. And since its launch in 2007, one woman has been synonymous with the growth of an international partnership known for its innovation and personal attention paid to each student.
That invaluable figure is Professor Hang Min, co-director of the master’s program that has attracted students from six continents and placed alumni in top news agencies in China and around the world. But those who have worked for – and studied with – the native of China’s Jiangsu province remember her for her personal touch as well as her teaching and administrative skills.
“No matter how busy she is, Professor Hang never fails to help students in need,” said Li Chengzhang, a former student of Professor Hang who now works as GBJ’s academic officer. “Besides academic excellence, Professor Hang also encourages her students to take part in sports activities and organizes hiking trips for us.”
Professor Hang, one of the original professors in the GBJ program when it was launched in 2007 by Tsinghua, the International Center for Journalists and Bloomberg News, has guided it from ambitious international experiment to a globally acclaimed, elite program.
“GBJ is like a journey into international culture,” Professor Hang said in an interview. “We have accepted students from more than 65 different countries, so the first thing we offer to our students is the global mindset.”
That global mindset is more than a slogan. GBJ has benefited from the participation of co-director Rick Dunham, an award-winning former White House correspondent, Washington bureau chief and president of the National Press Club, and Lee Miller, an editor-at-large at Bloomberg News who has been voted one of the most popular professors at Tsinghua University. Visiting scholars have included prominent journalists from the United States, Great Britain, Japan, Korea and China, as well as eminent academics from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia.
“We try to provide our students with experiences from industry practitioners,” said Professor Hang. “Some professors like Professor Rick Dunham and Professor Lee Miller have very rich industry experiences, so they teach students hands-on skills. We have top scholars from the field of communication as well, to train students who are keen on becoming future researchers.”
An agent of innovation
Professor Hang has been initiating changes in GBJ ever since its establishment in 2007. To better equip future journalists with up-to-date skill sets, GBJ has continually updated its curriculum in response to rapid technological and economic changes. GBJ currently offers a wide range of courses including multimedia reporting, basic economics, hot topics in global business, and data mining analysis, giving students a diversified academic experience that can be adapted to each student’s priorities.
One of the most representative courses, News Writing and Multimedia Reporting by Professor Rick Dunham, has provided students with invaluable insights into the journalism industry’s digital transformation. Guest lectures from renowned industry innovators such as Marilyn Geewax, formerly of National Public Radio, Mark Hamrick of Bankrate.com, and Angela Greiling Keane of Politico.com have taught students essential skills so that they remain competitive in this digital era.
“Hang Min has been the indispensable woman of Global Business Journalism,” said Professor Dunham. “She has been deeply committed to bringing some of the world’s smartest journalists and academics to the Tsinghua campus to share global best practices with our students. This multicultural culture of excellence is one of the things that makes GBJ unique.”
Another thing that makes GBJ special is the experience participants get by attending China’s top university. The students’ immersion in Chinese culture and language, and GBJ’s in-depth examination of the Chinese economy, has helped GBJers understand the reasons behind China’s ascendance to become the world’s second-largest economy.
“What GBJ is looking for in students is the passion to tell the Chinese story with their unique insights,” said Professor Hang. “Be it background in journalism and communication, cultural studies, or natural sciences, GBJ welcomes all students with a desire to learn more about China and to tell genuine stories to the world.”
From Jiangsu to Sweden
Raised in the eastern province of Jiangsu, China, Dr. Hang Min received her bachelor’s degree from Nanjing Normal University. She pursued her master’s studies at Hohai University in China and Lund University in Sweden, followed by a Ph.D. degree in Economics and Management at the University of Jönköping in Sweden.
In addition to her Tsinghua duties, Dr. Hang is also an associate professor of Media Management and Economics and director of the East Asia Institute of Media Management and Transformation Center at Jönköping University. She also is a research affiliate at Columbia University’s Institute for Tele-Information (CITI) at the Columbia Business School in New York.
As a renowned professional in the fields of media economics, media management and communication studies, Dr. Hang has won awards including “best book for media economics.” She and Professor Dunham are co-editors of the Tsinghua Global Business Journalism Textbook Series, published by Springer, which launched with Professor Dunham’s 2019 “Multimedia Reporting” textbook.
Though Professor Hang remains busy with her research commitments, her students say she is dedicated to help the next generation of scholars and journalists.
“Professor Hang is always keen on helping us whenever we are in doubt,” said Yichen Zhang, a Ph.D. student of Dr. Hang and a teaching assistant in the GBJ program. “We know we can always count on her not only in terms of academics but also in guiding us to become better in our lives.”
PROJECT WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY AMY MAGEE, GILLIAN TANG, YIDI WANG and GAO SHUANG