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July newsletter: Global Business Journalism hosts summer session in Thailand

Updated: Oct 8, 2023


July 2023

Professor Lee Miller organized the summer session in Bangkok. (Photo by Bradley Prentice/Unsplash)


After delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Global Business Journalism program offered its first summer learning program in five years. The GBJ program in Thailand was organized by Professor Lee Miller, a Bloomberg News editor-at-large who divides his time between the Tsinghua campus and a home in Bangkok. Students heard from high-level policymakers and journalists, and visited news offices including Bloomberg's Bangkok bureau.

What's next?

  • GBJ co-director Rick Dunham is planning a winter learning program for late January or early February. It will be held in Washington, D.C., if air fares return to normal from the current high prices. If not, the program is planned for Europe, most likely in the Netherlands (Amsterdam and the Hague), Brussels and Paris.

Why it matters:

  • The Global Business Journalism program is committed to providing its students with a diverse international experience during their master's studies. These international programs are a low-cost way to see other countries while receiving advanced journalism training and interacting with prominent figures in journalism, government, academia and business.

International students celebrate their graduation at the 2023 commencement.


Twenty Global Business Journalism students received their master's degrees in 2023 commencement celebrations. The graduates included 11 international students from 10 countries plus nine Chinese students.

  • Academic honors went to Amy Magee of the United States, Bisma Ahmad of Pakistan and Gillian Tang (Qinghui) from Singapore.

  • Roger Fu of Peru and Shen Jincheng (Jenson) received awards for exceptional service to the GBJ program and the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication.

Some context:

  • The commencement was the first time in four years that the entire class of international students received degrees on campus.

Farah Mubarak

Speech highlights:

  • 2023 valedictorian Bisma Ahmad of Pakistan

"Last year, if someone had told me that Bisma Ahmad would be graduating on the campus of Tsinghua University instead of online, I would never have believed them. This still feels like a dream to me, but even if it is a dream, this is a beautiful ending."

  • Alumni representative Farah Mubarak of Jordan:

“In an era of rapid technological advancements and evolving media landscapes, the importance of quality journalism cannot be overstated. Now, more than ever, we need individuals like you, armed with integrity, curiosity, and a commitment to truth, to uncover stories that shape our world. Your role as a journalist carries immense responsibility— to amplify the voices of those whose stories often go unheard.

“In a world flooded with information, misinformation, and disinformation, your ability to share reliable, accurate news is crucial. Stay true to the principles instilled in you during your time in this program—accuracy, objectivity, fairness—and never lose sight of the power of your words.”

  • Zhao Yuezhi, Professor, Simon Fraser University School of Communication, Canada Research Chair in Political Economy of Global Communication, Distinguished Fellow in Residence at the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication:

"At moments like this, this kind of program is particularly valuable. We need to believe there is truth. We need to speak truth to power."

  • GBJ co-director Rick Dunham:

"Truth matters. As my grandfather, the American philosopher Barrows Dunham, wrote in his 1953 book, 'Giant in Chains,' if truth and falsity ever become indistinguishable, 'there is no longer any hope of rational guidance over human affairs.'

"We journalists ... represent the truth. It is the job of all of us to seek out and share the truth at a time when powerful and sometimes opaque forces are spreading lies both little and big. The Global Business Journalism program is part of the solution. Truth matters to us."

  • Zhou Qing'an, dean of the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication:

"The Global Journalism program, with its nurturing of over 500 students from 71 countries, has produced graduates who are active players in the international media scene. These exceptional individuals possess a profound awareness of China's economic and social development and serve as vital bridges between China and the world.

"Through their journalistic endeavors, they break barriers, foster understanding and provide nuanced insights that transcend stereotypes. Their role as ambassadors of journalism, diplomacy and cultural exchange is crucial in promoting collaboration, tearing down barriers, and fostering mutual understanding on a global scale."

  • 2023 valedictorian Amy Magee of the United States:

"Our time at Tsinghua University has been transformative. We come from all around the globe and have created connections that will last a lifetime. We have engaged in lively discussions, faced challenges in our academic and daily lives, and expanded our horizons both culturally and academically. The diversity of experiences and perspectives within our cohort has been instrumental in shaping our growth and broadening our worldview ...

"As we take our next steps, let us continue to strive for excellence, to pursue our passions, and to make a positive impact on the world around us."


The Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication was recently rated as the top journalism school in mainland China, according to the annual QS rankings by subject area. Tsinghua's journalism program ranks 38th best in the world.

The story behind the story:

  • The international component of Tsinghua's journalism program makes it the best in China and competitive with top programs in many Western countries.

The view from the top:

  • Dean Zhou said he is "delighted" by the ranking and praised the school's "unwavering commitment to excellence." He said the recognition is "a testament to the dedication and hard work of our faculty, staff and students."

Charmaine Magbuhos


Each month, we highlight journalism work created by Global Business Journalism students.

  • Global Business Journalism reporter Charmaine Magbuhos of the Philippines wrote an in-depth explanatory journalism story about the challenge of traffic congestion in Beijing.

"Beijing is one of the most densely populated capital cities in the world," she writes. "With over 21 million residents and a rapidly growing economy, China’s capital is facing a significant challenge: traffic congestion. Other mega-capitals like Seoul, Cairo and Mexico City have their share of traffic woes, but none of them can match the economic development that is bringing millions of additional commuters into its central districts."


  • Of the GBJ program's graduates since 2009, 49% are international and 51% are Chinese.

  • Women make up 72% of Global Business Journalism graduates.

  • 89% of students winning top academic honors are women.

  • GBJ's top students come from all over the world. Asia (except China) is the leading source of GBJ academic honor recipients, with 42%, followed by China (26%), Africa (16%), North America (11%) and Australia (5%).

Share your GBJ stories with us. We'll include as many as possible in future newsletters. Contact us at or

That's it for this month. Thanks for reading our second GBJ newsletter. We look forward to sharing more news, notes and fun items from our global GBJ community next month.

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