By Stefanie Phillips, RSJ ’18

View of Hong Kong city-centre. Credit: Pexels

What is the future of Hong Kong? That’s the question some students from the Ryerson School of Journalism (RSJ) will seek to answer when they visit the autonomous territory for Hong Kong 360, the first RSJ course to include an international component.

A group of 10 students will take part in the six-week intensive multimedia documentary course, which includes a two-week trip to Hong Kong.

Adrian Ma, RSJ associate professor, will lead the class.

“Ultimately what I’m hoping is that [the students] are going to come out of this with something that they’re really proud to have done, a work that…we can show the world that this is the kind of calibre of work that Ryerson School of Journalism students can perform at,” he said.

The course aims to tell the stories of the city’s people who are intertwined in issues of political sovereignty and economic development, using 360 and virtual reality video techniques and interactive media elements.

“We want to go there and talk to people from all spectrums of life and try to answer the singular question: what is the future of Hong Kong?” he said.

Ma said the school hopes to offer more courses, like this one, to students in the future as part of an initiative to grow global learning opportunities at the university.

“There are all kinds of stories happening all over the world and all kinds of news organizations popping up everywhere,” he said. “Getting that [global] exposure and experience is great.”

To make the trip possible, the school partnered with the Asian American Journalists Association, which will be hosting the New Now Next Conference, also known as the N3 Con, in Hong Kong while the students are there. Students will attend the two-day conference to learn about the future of news gathering in the digital age and learn more about the tools they will be using in the documentary.

Tiffany Lam, a master’s of journalism student, said she’s excited to be a part of the team, which includes students from the undergraduate and master’s programs.

“It seems like a really cool opportunity to expand my journalistic toolkit,” she said. “I’m also very curious about the idea of doing reporting in Asia.”

Lam said she thinks international reporting is important and would like to see the school offer more of these opportunities as long as local news is not forgotten and there are efforts made to lower costs for students.

Students are responsible for the cost of travel to Hong Kong as well as spending money and food while they are there. Hotel accommodation, transit passes and admission to the conference are covered by the school.