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March newsletter: Journalism school inaugurates new GBJ classroom and Bloomberg Lab in renovated building; GBJ welcomes a visiting journalist from Singapore


The Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication is the top English language business journalism program in China.

GLOBAL BUSINESS JOURNALISM NEWSLETTER

March 2024


By VICKI CHALERMLAPVORABOON

Global Business Journalism reporter



The Global Business Journalism program is the top English language journalism program in China.
The GBJ classroom during renovation ...

The GBJ program is the top English language journalism program in China.
Professor Rick Dunham inaugurates the newly renovated GBJ classroom on March 25.

Spring semester kickoff – celebrating the completion of the new j-school building, the new release of our first GBJ promotional video, a new visiting scholar from Singapore, and reconnecting with our GBJ students after their vacation travels! 


Greetings once again to you readers! I am now currently writing from the bustling Tsinghua campus, where students have returned in full force. Despite just a month into the semester, the used-to-be snowy grounds have been transformed into a sea of pollen and bike/human congestion.


Along with the return of longer days, brisk winds, and the bloom of cherry blossoms, there's another exciting addition — the renovated Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication building.


 


1. The long awaited renovation of the J-School building is now complete


After four long years of renovation, we are thrilled to announce the newest addition to Tsinghua University's campus. 


Situated to the the east of the university's main auditorium, the historic structure, once the Electrical Machinery Hall, is known for its iconic red brick walls covered with green ivy. 


The building, which was first transformed into a journalism school by the Omnicom Group, the world's largest advertising and media conglomerate, has been recognized as one of Tsinghua University's early architectural treasures by the Beijing Municipal Government.


Spanning 1,200 square meters across four floors, this building consists of 80 rooms, supporting journalism students with enhanced facilities and resources. 


Students now have more access to the 10 donated Bloomberg terminals on campus because of the opening of the new Global Business Journalism classroom and Bloomberg Laboratory, situated on the second floor. The GBJ classroom was inaugurated on March 25 by co-director Rick Dunham, who delivered a lecture on data journalism storytelling as part of Professor Lee Miller's Data Mining course.


The first regularly scheduled courses in the GBJ classroom will take place in the fall semester of 2024, but students are already using the Bloomberg terminals located in the laboratory portion of the classroom. Other Bloomberg terminals are available in the Tsinghua Future Media Lab.


For those who want to visit, the Global Business Journalism office is now housed in Room 206, the International Affairs Office. 


(Coming soon: Our virtual tour of the J-school building.)


 

2. Knock, knock, we have a new visiting scholar, from Singapore


Ken Low will be a visiting journalist at GBJ for the spring semester.
Ken Low

In addition to our exceptional student body, we are blessed to have a strong contingent of visiting scholars. This semester, we are thrilled to welcome Ken Low, a seasoned content creator and correspondent from Lianhe Zaobao, Singapore’s biggest Chinese language newspaper.


Prior to joining Lianhe Zaobao, Ken worked as a presenter for UFM 100.3 (SPH Radio), Singapore's leading Mandarin radio station. Ken also garnered experience by serving as an emcee for numerous events, including the Singapore Entertainment Awards, the Global Chinese Golden Chart, and Taiwan's renowned reality singing competition, One Million Star.


He received a degree in Mass Communications and Public Relations from Murdoch University in Perth, Australia.


With over 15 years of experience in the journalism field, Ken has lots of knowledge and expertise to share with GBJ students. He'll be offering workshops for GBJ students on broadcast and new media content in the coming weeks. You can find Ken sharing an office with visiting professor Suzanne Struglinski down the hall from the GBJ office.


Welcome to the GBJ family, Ken!

 

3. GBJ alumna Linda Lew shines a light on China's Two Sessions


Today, I'm delighted to share another success story with you: our accomplished 2018 GBJ graduate, Linda Lew from New Zealand.


Linda is a Hong Kong-based reporter for Bloomberg News. She has been covering stories on technology, startups and the automotive sector in recent years. But in mid-March, she had the opportunity to represent Bloomberg at China’s most important annual political and policy meetings, the Two Sessions (Liang Hui). Linda was on hand at the Great Hall of the People for the sessions' pivotal events, filing reports for the world's leading financial news and information service. After the Two Sessions concluded, she had the opportunity to return to the Tsinghua campus for the first time since her GBJ graduation in 2018. She also had time meet up with Professors Lee Miller and Rick Dunham, along with three other GBJ alumni, at a Xi Bei restaurant in Wudaoukou.


Before joining Bloomberg, Linda worked for the South China Morning Post for three years, honing her craft on China’s industrial and market landscapes. She won international praise for her on-the-scene coverage of the COVID outbreak in Wuhan in 2020, and she conducted journalism training for the International Center for Journalists to help other reporters around the world cover the pandemic.


The GBJ family extends our congratulations to you, Linda, on your remarkable achievements!

 
Justin Olsvik completed a journalism portfolio for his GBJ master's degree from Tsinghua University.
A photograph from Justin Olsvik's portfolio: "Freshly picked "yartsa ganbu"—cordyceps—are counted in the market of Yushu City. The popular medicine made from parasitic fungi are in danger of being over harvested and face environmental risks from climate change."

4. Setting a record: The biggest collection of GBJ thesis proposals since the pandemic


Throughout the years, our GBJ students have undeniably shown creativity and resilience. Never were those traits more apparent than during the coronavirus pandemic that forced international students to learn remotely and kept almost all of our foreign students (and professors) away from China for three years.


Now, more than ever, we want to use this space to highlight our students' resilience ... and brilliance.


Despite the setbacks from the pandemic, we are proud to share that 16 GBJ students from 10 different countries completed the pre-defense of their academic theses or journalism portfolios – the biggest such lineup since the COVID outbreak in 2020. The reason for the large graduating class of 2024 is that seven of the 16 students had taken "gap years" so they could finish their degrees on campus after starting their Global Business Journalism master's studies online during the COVID lockdowns in China.


This spring, seven students decided to proceed with journalism portfolios, marking another milestone for our program. It is the largest number of journalism portfolios submitted in the program's 17-year history, eclipsing last year's record of six.


Their determination and dedication serves as inspiration to the nine first-year students, which is the smallest cohort in the program's history – another glitch caused by the pandemic. The first-year students send heartfelt support to the second-year students (and the others who have returned after the pandemic to complete their degrees). You got this!


 



5. Run, don’t walk (to watch): the release of our GBJ promotional video


In case you haven't heard, allow me to share the exciting news once more: Our highly anticipated GBJ promotional video has been released! This sleek and informative video showcases the very essence of our program like never before.


Known for our diversity and cross-cultural experience, we have educated students from over 70 countries. In the video, our co-director, Professor Rick Dunham, will guide you through a comprehensive journey, describing the opportunities that await students who are seeking to be future media leaders and financial experts.


This program offers lifelong connections, career mentors, and invaluable personal experiences that extend far beyond the classroom.


It isn't just an educational experience but a gateway to unparalleled insights into the media world. 


Check out the full video here:



 

6. From trying an amazing cocktail to learning more about themselves; Here’s a recap of the exploration our GBJ students did during break



The pursuit of exploration and self-improvement knows no bounds. 


Christina Yang, an international GBJ student from the United States shares her adventures to the captivating lands down under — Australia and New Zealand.


What did you enjoy about the places that you’ve been?


“I paraglided for the first time in my life. I am a little bit afraid of heights, but my mom was the one who encouraged me to try it.”


Did you learn any new things while visiting there? 


“I went to Christchurch and learned some history about it.” 


“I learned that the city underwent a major rebuild around 2012, after a devastating earthquake nearly destroyed it. So much of the city is quite new and modern. Nevertheless, some historical relics, such as the art museum and the oldest college, have been preserved, serving as reminders of the city's past.”


“I tried different restaurants in New Zealand, most of them are great. I also went to an underground bar in Sydney that had hundreds of years worth of history, and tried a Lychee Rosy flavor cocktail (it was really good).”


What was the most memorable thing when you visited these places?


“The trip to New Zealand was memorable because it marked the first time my mom and I traveled together.”





Evender Hsu, another international student from Malaysia also shares how connecting and exploring different places helps her reflect and connect with herself. 


What did you enjoy about the places that you’ve been?


“Visits to the museums, getting to know the local people, not to mention the scenic landscapes in Europe have not only enriched my understanding but have evoked a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to be present in the moments.”


Did you learn any new things while visiting there? 


“To me it’s about learning more of myself, and not wanting to feel trapped in my comfort zone. Just wandering around Europe, I felt a connection with the people and the culture. The exploration was an experience about growth and self-development as I am constantly learning and practicing thinking.”


What was the most memorable thing when you visited these places?


“Definitely the high school reunion I had. It hasn’t been easy to arrange one for the past few years, and finally meeting them in person with the updates of our lives was a precious moment that I’ve missed.”

 

7. Facing work challenges? Need a pick-me-up? Here are some inspirational words from GBJ students to guide you through.


I have to admit, hopping into the second semester is easier than the first. However, with the introduction of new classes and increased workloads, we students often find ourselves with fresh challenges. 


Chatting with other GBJ students, I convinced them to share their mottos that have helped them get through the school year. Hopefully they can help you, the reader, if you find yourself in a difficult situation.



 

Thanks for reading the March GBJ newsletter. We'll be back next month with more news, notes and fun items from our global community. If you want to be the first to read each GBJ newsletter, subscribe here and receive an email notification when a new newsletter is published.


 

The Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University in Beijing is the top English language business journalism program in China.
Share your GBJ stories with us. We'll include as many as possible in future newsletters. Contact us at GBJprogram@gmail.com or tsjcws@mail.tsinghua.edu.cn.

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