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Published: 10:18, December 07, 2023 | Updated: 10:18, December 07, 2023
Young journalists embrace their role as storytellers
By Atlas Shao in Guangzhou
Published:10:18, December 07, 2023 Updated:10:18, December 07, 2023 By Atlas Shao in Guangzhou

Campus News Awards 2023 makes history with record participation 

Participants in the 2023 Campus News Awards pose for a group photo with the guests of honor, judges and organizers at the awards presentation ceremony at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) on Dec 4, 2023. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

Journalism students who were honored at the 2023 Campus News Awards have been recognized for their ability to tell good stories about China and its future, and are entrusted with the task of capturing the essence of national development. 

With a total of 91 prize-winning entries under their belts, over 100 student journalists from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, Taiwan and the Chinese mainland gathered in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, Guangdong province on Monday for a grand presentation ceremony, marking the latest issue of the influential awards platform launched by China Daily Hong Kong Edition in 2012.

More than 1,000 entries were received from more than 3,600 college students at 84 colleges, marking the highest level of participation in the awards yet in terms of number of entries, participants and participating colleges.

Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki delivers a video speech during the 2023 Campus News Awards presentation ceremony at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) on Dec 4, 2023. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

The students competed in 28 categories, including Chinese-language and English-language sections in 11 categories. The categories were designed to encourage outstanding work in news reporting, news writing, feature writing, headline editing, video reporting, page design, data journalism and stories centered around business, technology, and arts and culture.  

The awards event took place on the brand-new campus of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) on Monday and attracted over 200 guests, including media leaders, journalism scholars and teacher and student representatives from universities across the region.

Addressing the ceremony, Hong Kong Chief Secretary for Administration Eric Chan Kwok-ki said that “talents are the primary resource (for building a modern socialist country)”, as highlighted in the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in 2022.

Lionel Ni Ming-shuan, founding president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), speak at the awards presentation ceremony on Monday to encourage awardees to pursue their journalistic aspirations. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Kent Wong Siu-kee, managing director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, speak at the awards presentation ceremony on Monday to encourage awardees to pursue their journalistic aspirations. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Chan stressed that the journalism sector is an important driving force for social progress and development, and acknowledged the longstanding contribution of China Daily Hong Kong’s Campus News Awards to nurturing young journalists and equipping them with practical skills in reporting and multimedia production.

Zhou Li, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily Group and publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific, said that the young participants have been given the opportunity to visit the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area in person and to engage in side events involving visits to renowned enterprises in the region.

Such an experience will enable the participants to immerse themselves in China’s society and culture, thereby enhancing their understanding of the Chinese mainland’s development, especially Guangzhou — an important window onto China’s reform and opening-up and a core city in the Greater Bay Area, which holds strong appeal for many talented young people, Zhou said.

The winner of the Best in News Reporting (Chinese), from the Chengchi University in Taipei, receives the prize from Lionel Ni Ming-shuan (left), founding president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou); Kent Wong Siu-kee (second from left), managing director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group; and Zhou Li, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily Group and publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific. (EDMOND TANG AND PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

Students of the Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College receive their prize for Best News Writing (English) from Ian Fok Chun-wan (second from left), president of Henry Fok Foundation; Shi Xiaofeng (left), assistant to publisher of China Daily Asia Pacific; and Kendrew Wong Ka-chun (right), general manager (corporate communications) of MTR Corp. (EDMOND TANG AND PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

Zhou expressed his delight at the record-high participation in this year’s awards, saying it reflects the industry’s recognition of the awards and demonstrates the passion felt by those pursuing a career in journalism. He encouraged participants to promote the development of journalism.

While acknowledging the impact of artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT on journalism, Zhou stressed that the role that journalists play in understanding complex issues and infusing their flesh-and-blood reports with a human touch is greatly valued.

He also thanked the judges for ensuring the objectivity and fairness of the competition. This year, more than 100 veteran journalists, university journalism professors and professionals from relevant government departments took on the role of judging and commenting on the entries. 

Lionel Ni Ming-shuan, founding president of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou), said that the impartial reporting of news is more essential today than ever before, as the world is in the midst of once-in-a-century changes.

“The news is not only a window onto events in the world, but also an important basis for the public to judge the facts,” he said. 

Organizers and participants of the Campus News Awards Presentation Ceremony wave to the camera in front of the iconic Sundial Sculpture at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou). (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

The organizer and distinguished guests taking a selfie during Monday’s awards presentation ceremony are (from left) Zhou Li, deputy editor-in-chief of China Daily Group and publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific; Lionel Ni Ming-shuan, founding president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou); Ian Fok Chun-wan, president of Henry Fok Foundation; and Huang Haibo, director of the chief editor’s office and head of Phoenix Movie Channel at Phoenix Satellite Television Co. (EDMOND TANG AND PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

Recent developments mean that the concept of “reporter” has evolved and has been extended to define “everyone as a reporter”, he said. Despite this, university students, with their high levels of learning, their individual abilities and their high quality of work, can become a new force to tell the good story of China, he said.

Kent Wong Siu-kee, managing director of Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group, title sponsor of the awards, said he hopes to inspire more future journalists to serve the community. He drew a parallel between the company’s approach to incorporating Chinese elements into jewelry designs, and the role of those covering the news in showcasing the soft power of Chinese culture to the world.  

Liu Ruiming and Hou Yitong, both from the Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College, are part of the group that won the Best in News Video Reporting (English).

Ian Fok Chun-wan, president of Henry Fok Foundation, works with interactive hardware that provides a virtual visit of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) on Dec 4, 2023. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Awardees of the 2023 Campus News Awards from the South China University of Technology pose for a photo during the awards presentation ceremony. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

They told China Daily they were delighted to have received their awards and were impressed by the outstanding work of their peers. They said that they were honored to have had the chance to compete with students from the most prestigious schools on the mainland.

Their prize-winning video, The Changing Functions of Temples — Commercialization and Entertainment, explores the growing interest of young people on the mainland in visiting temples for entertainment, and the controversy that surrounds this phenomenon.

Lucas Cheung Chun-hei, together with his classmates from the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, won second runner-up for Best in News Video Reporting (Chinese), with a video discussing ways to improve the city’s Tuen Mun Road Bus Interchange. 

Cheung said that winning the award is greatly encouraging, and expressed his aspiration to advocate more for grassroots issues.

Lim Chi-yuk, associate professor in the department of journalism at Taiwan’s Shin Hsin University, who has accompanied her students to the awards for each of the past five years, said, “The most meaningful point of these awards is that they allow students to communicate with other students from different places and to have the chance to jump out of their small zones and see a bigger world.”

The biggest winners of the Best in Arts and Culture News Reporting (Chinese) — students of Chongqing Technology and Business University, with the first- and third-place awards — pose with their works and winner certificates. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

Students of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) give a live performance after the awards presentation ceremony on Dec 4, 2023. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

Approaching her retirement, Lim said that this might be the last time she attends the ceremony as a tutor. “This year we won 15 awards, the best achievement ever. It means a lot to me,” Lim said.

Clicke here to see the winning list 

In 2012, China Daily Hong Kong established the Campus News Awards to encourage college students to actively participate in campus news reporting and hone their all-round skills as future journalists. The awards highlight the profession of journalism and reflect the characteristics of journalism that keep pace with the times. This competition has also become a prominent exchange platform for journalism students from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and the mainland.

Jiang Jiaxuan and Lesley Liu contributed to the story. 

atlasshao@chinadailyhk.com

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