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"The best is yet to come," says Bloomberg's Matthew Winkler as he visits Global Business Journalism students at Tsinghua

Matthew Winkler is the editor-in-chief emeritus of Bloomberg News and a founder of the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University.
Matthew Winkler (center) is presented a Tsinghua centennial sweatshirt by Global Business Journalism co-director Hang Min. With them are Bloomberg News Greater China Executive Editor John Liu, Tsinghua journalism school dean Zhou Qing'an, GBJ professor and Bloomberg editor-at-large Lee Miller, and Tsinghua Professor Li Xiguang.


Global Business Journalism Reporter

It’s often said that “journalism is the first draft of history.” Another common saying is that “history repeats itself.”

Both proverbs came to life when Bloomberg News Co-Founder Matthew Winkler visited Tsinghua University for the first time in eight years. During his mid-April trip, Winkler reunited with Professor Li Xiguang, his primary partner in hatching the idea in 2007 for China’s first master’s degree curriculum in business and financial journalism.

Their brainchild – the Global Business Journalism program – has seen more than 500 students from 74 countries earn graduate degrees. Many of those alumni gathered for an April 17 GBJ reunion dinner at the Bloomberg bureau in Beijing for a night of networking, led by alumni from 2007-2023 as well as current students and faculty, including Li Xiguang and his protégé, Professor Zhou Qing’an, who is the current dean of Tsinghua’s School of Journalism and Communication.

Winkler and Li were guests of honor, with Dean Zhou and Professor Lee Miller serving as hosts. The Winkler-Miller relationship has parallels to the Li-Zhou pairing. Winkler co-founded Bloomberg News in 1990 and was editor-in-chief for 25 years during. He hired Miller in 1991 as the first Thailand bureau chief. In 2007, Miller was appointed Bloomberg’s representative to the Tsinghua education program -- and he has been a GBJ fixture ever since.

That generational feeling shined brightly during the reunion, with many of Professor Zhou’s former and current students attending, representing the third generation at Tsinghua’s journalism school. Meanwhile, more than 20 of Miller’s former students have been hired by Bloomberg or its partner media over the past 17 years – with Bloomberg Beijing staffers Jing Shuiyu and Lucille Liu representing the Miller alumni among reunion-goers.

Matthew Winkler is the editor-in-chief emeritus of Bloomberg News and a founder of the Global Business Journalism program at Tsinghua University..
Matthew Winkler mingles with Global Business Journalism students, faculty and alumni at the reunion dinner at the Bloomberg Beijing bureau offices.

The day before the reunion, an April 16 ribbon-cutting was held at the Bloomberg Laboratory and Global Business Journalism classroom after a multi-year renovation of the TSJC Building. During a moderated chat after the ceremony, Winkler told a packed room of students, faculty and media what it was like to start a financial news service in a room “no bigger than a closet.” Bloomberg News has since grown into the world’s biggest financial information, data and news platform – and remains the flagship sponsor of GBJ.

In his remarks, Winkler praised the quality of journalism education in the GBJ program and its adaptability amid rapid technological shifts in the industry.

Matthew Winkler: "The innovative spirit ... at Tsinghua"

“The innovative spirit is mirrored here at Tsinghua and is vital for the evolution of journalism education,” Winkler said during the session.

The Bloomberg editor-in-chief emeritus fielded questions about whether artificial intelligence will augment or replace journalists.

“Despite constant changes in the media landscape, the core essence of journalism – accuracy, relevance and the pursuit of truth – remains unchanged,” he responded. 

GBJ alumni currently work for numerous media outlets, including Bloomberg, other international news outlets and Chinese media including CCTV, Xinhua, CGTN, China Daily and People’s Daily. Graduates have also carved careers at banks, health and community development institutions and technology leaders from Tencent to Microsoft. Many are PR or advertising consultants, while others are government regulators and or diplomats. Perhaps not surprisingly, there are plenty of social media influencers and entrepreneurs among alumni and current students.   

The Global Business Journalism program GBJ is the top English language master's program in China.
Tsinghua Dean Zhou Qing'an welcomes Bloomberg's Matthew Winkler to the newly renovated Bloomberg Laboratory and Global Business Journalism Classroom.

When we started the GBJ program, “we believed in the power of education and collaboration,” Li Xiguang said. “History shows we were right.”


Dean Zhou described GBJ program as a “mini-United Nations,” while Professor Hang Min, current GBJ co-director, beamed as guests at both the Bloomberg Lab ribbon-cutting and reunion dinner enjoyed a multimedia show of videos and photos capturing the words, sounds and events of the past 17 years.

To sum up the history of GBJ, Winkler looked forward not backward, saying:  “The best is yet to come.”


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