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History maps path for future Chinese journalists

Author  :  Ma Xianzhong     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2014-09-26

Fang Hanqi (1926- ) graduated from the Department of Journalism at Soochow National College of Social Education (the predecessor of Soochow University) in 1950. Since 1951, he has successively taught at St. John’s University Shanghai, Peking University and Renmin University of China. At present, he is a professor and doctoral supervisor of the School of Journalism and Communication at Renmin University of China and a leading authority in the circle of Chinese journalism history. His representative work is “A Brief History of Chinese Journalism.”

Fang Hanqi has served as the president of the Chinese Association for History of Journalism and Mass Communication, the convener of the appraisal group of journalism and communication of the Academic Degree Commission of the State Council, and the editor-in-chief of the division of Chinese journalism of the Volume of Press and Publication, Encyclopedia of China. In his 60-year profession, Fang Hanqi has worked hard in the field of journalism history to lay a solid foundation for the disciplinary construction and development of Chinese journalism and establish a model of serving the country with education and academic research.

The study of journalism history is not only a summary of the previous cause of journalism but also a deep exploration of journalism’s experience and lessons. Fang Hanqi elaborated that in order for journalism to develop, it must be guided by the study of journalism history. The research objective is nothing but summarizing predecessors’ traditions and lessons, making journalists learn from their predecessors and prevent them from making the same mistake.

In the 1950s, Fang Hanqi offered the course “History of Chinese Journalism” at Peking University, and he was one of the earliest scholars launching this course in the univerisity in New China. The book History of Chinese Journalism and Communication , edited by Fang, has become the most widespread and circulated textbook in the field of Chinese journalism history both at home and abroad.

In the summer of 1986, Fang Hanqi proposed to establish the Chinese Association for History of Journalism and Mass Communication, and this association is a unique national first-class academic society aimed at studying past and contemporary journalism and communication while promoting the development of journalism and communication at home and abroad. On April 3, 1989, the Ministry of Civil Affairs officially approved the establishment of the Chinese Association for the History of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Fang Hanqi was appointed as the first president of the association.

“Since the day the Chinese Association for the History of Journalism and Mass Communication was set up, it has absorbed many researchers and scholars in the study of journalism history with international perspectives. For instance, Zhuo Nansheng from Singapore has taken an active part in activities of the association and made many contributions to the association’s development.” Fang Hanqi elaborated.

Fang Hanqi indicated that the association united a team, gathered the strength and broadened its horizons through launching publications and holding academic conferences, which made it a platform for exchanges of information among teachers and researchers in the area of Chinese journalism history at home and abroad and exerted an influence on the study and development of Chinese journalism history teaching.

At present, the association’s internal publication Spring and Autumn of Journalism has become a publicly published academic journal. Fang Hanqi deemed that it is worth of congratulations and attention. Spring and Autumn of Journalism primarily focuses on research results of journalism history and its public edition provides an academic area for showing teaching and research results of journalism history, forming an open and internationalized academic platform and promoting dialogues and exchanges among researchers of Chinese journalism history and scholars of Chinese modern and contemporary history, cultural history and communication studies.

Although he is nearly 90, Fang Hanqi still supervises doctoral students of the School of Journalism and Communication at Renmin University of China. In his 60 years of journalism education, he has cultivated thousands of students and many of his previous doctoral students have grown into experienced professors and doctoral supervisors, forming the backbone in the field of journalism and journalism education.

In 1996, Fang Hanqi was awarded the first prize of Taofen Best Teacher, the highest honor in the field of Chinese journalism education, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to teaching journalism. 


Chinese link:


Translated by Zhang Mengying

Editor: Yu Hui

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