Parvin Fellowship Program in Journalism Studies
at the School of Communications , University of Hawai'i


Fall 2003 marks the UH School of Communications' (formerly Department of Journalism's) 23rd anniversary of its unique international academic program for journalists from the People's Republic of China.

This pioneering program, which has trained some 170 Chinese journalists, hosts the largest number of journalists the PRC sends abroad as a group for training, which has ranged from eight to 13 fellows per academic year. The UH program is the only one designed specifically to meet China's journalistic needs for professionals capable of working in English.

The bulk of participants have come from China Daily, the country's only national English-language newspaper, and the English-language services of the national Xinhua News Agency. Other fellows have come from the School of Journalism at Fudan University in Shanghai; the People's Daily; Beijing's New World Press; the Journalism Department of Jiangxi University; Jiangxi Normal University; Lanzhou University and Guangzhou Television. Three journalists from Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong have also participated.

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		"It's a great experience to have at least a 
		taste of American journalism" --  Zhong Bu, 
		China Daily, English language newspaper.
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Each student receives a fellowship covering tuition, fees, books, health insurance and living expenses for the academic year. The UH Journalism Department provides intensive training in Western-style journalism, including news writing, feature writing, interviewing, reporting, editing and business/economic reporting, the first amendment and ethics. Students also pursue academic courses to fit their individual goals and interests, such as American Studies, economics, computer science, and sociology. Learning objectives are to improve their understanding of America, American culture, and Western journalism, including its freedoms and responsibilities. Their employers especially stress the need for the fellows to acquire better skills in English writing, editing and presentation.

The principal financial sponsor of the program is the Albert Parvin Foundation. Past partners have included the Freedom Forum and the Asia Foundation. Other contributors include the East-West Center and the University of Hawaii. The Honolulu chapter of the U.S.-China People's Friendship Association provides host families for the students.

One fellow at the conclusion of the tour of Forum centers wrote: "Now I understand why American-style journalism tends to be more negative about the government instead of positive like the Chinese-style journalism. In my future job, I might be more objective and critical, rather than soft-spoken as before."

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		"When asked about the United States, now 
		I tell them, 'Well, what I have seen there ...'" 
		-- Yu Haisheng, Xinhua News Agency.
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The Chinese journalists participate in community activities in addition to their classes. Each year they teach classes in Mandarin sponsored by the U.S.-China Friendship Association. They attend services at various churches near the campus and serve as interpreters and guides when Chinese dignitaries visit Hawaii. They learn about and experience the national and state holiday festivities that occur during the year.

In a 1999 survey of 27 recent program alumni, all rated the program as a success with a positive impact on their careers, and recommended that it continue. The students have demonstrated their clear leadership potential among the new generation of journalists in China.

Alumni of the program have been given increased responsibilities since their return home. For example, among the former fellows from China Daily 16 have been promoted to department directors or vice directors. Three of the 16 have subsequently joined the editorial board. Zhu Ling, a fellow in the first class, is now deputy editor-in-chief. Yu Jaifu from the third class is director of the Foreign Affairs Department at Xinhua. He is also president of the Beijing Chapter of the UH Alumni Association. The China Daily and Xinhua News Agency praise the education their reporters receive. China's highest officials have publicly expressed their country's gratitude for the program the opportunities it provides for improved international understanding and journalism.


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