Burcu Cura on the Marjorie Deane Summer School’s visit to Fudan University in Shanghai

In May students on the MA in financial journalism course at City University of London spent a week at Fudan University in Shanghai for this year’s Marjorie Deane Summer School. During the week, the students attended lectures and workshops taught by prominent academics and veteran journalists. They also had the opportunity to experience some Chinese culture during the trip. The student group was led by Jane Martinson, Marjorie Deane Professor of Financial Journalism at City University of London, and Anne Senior, the Summer School’s director. Travel and accommodation expenses were financed by Marjorie Deane Financial Journalism Foundation.

On the first of day of the summer school the students were welcomed by Yin Xiangshuo, an economics professor at Fudan University, who gave a brief introduction about China’s economic history and recent economic growth. Students then discussed the internal and external challenges which China’s economy now faces. Following this class, Zhang Lifed, a journalism professor at Fudan University and a former FT China editor, shared his experience of being a journalist in China. The students also visited the European Union Chamber of Commerce, a Western lobby group, to listen to a talk by Max Merkle, its communication and business manager.

The programme on the second day focused on China’s media industry. David Maguire, who used to work for the Shanghai Daily, an English-language newspaper, gave a talk about reporting in China within the bounds of the country’s strict media laws. The students also had roundtable discussions with several editors of Shanghai Daily’s Shine and Sixth Tone, new digital products which the paper now produces.

On the third day, the students went on a tour of Zhujiajaio, a lakeside town close to Shanghai, which provided them with an opportunity to learn about daily life in China. In the afternoon, Dr Cui Di gave a talk about youth culture and social-media trends in China. Professor Shen Bin also gave a presentation about Chinese consumer behaviour and how it differs from that in the West.

On the final day of formal teaching, the students visited the office of Weber Shandwick, a public-relations firm. The company hosted a discussion about product marketing in China. After this a number of news reporters and editors working for Western media outlets, including Reuters, Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, gave advice to the students about establishing a career as a journalist in China. They also answered questions about the challenges of writing about China’s economy and Chinese business life.

Before the students returned to London the students also gave a series of group presentations. These were designed for the scenario of a visiting editor-in-chief coming to learn about what topics should be prioritised by a reporting team in China for coverage in a global newspaper.

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