IMMJMA Featured Student Projects & Student Awards

On this page, you’ll find a collection of work by previous #immjma graduates. Current and prospective students should take the time to view to gain an understanding of the practical nature and the possibilities that the program presents. Students complete practical assignments from their very first week. We start the first term with a series of weekly short-form tutor directed assignments. In the second and third term, alongside advanced workshops, students progress to self-directed, longer-form digital visual multimedia features, working independently with tutor guidance. We also schedule a two-week-long, intensive practical workshop where students work collaboratively on group projects.  In the second term, this collaborative project is produced in cooperation with one of our media partners. In recent years our partners have included CCTV, China Daily, and Asia News Network. You’ll see a variety of digital visual multimedia features, from single-page scrolling stories; websites; iBooks; interactive games; short-form documentary, and more. What makes these projects stand out is the quality of reporting and the final presentation. They achieve the program’s goals of innovative, compelling, and important stories told well.

Newspaper legend Joseph Pulitzer, the father of writing’s famed Pulitzer Prizes, summed up the essence of good and powerful writing, and we think this still applies today — especially in a multimedia context.

Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it and, above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.  - Joseph Pulitzer

Daisy and Siyu Chen – cohort 19/20 published a compelling mini-documentary, What Is It Like To Be Black In China? in Beijing-based independent production company Arrow Factory. The film provides a rare glimpse into the lives of Chinas diverse Black community who share their personal experiences of what it was like to move to China, instances of discrimination theyve experienced there, and why theyve chosen to settle in Asia. 

“I always wanted to explore the issue of race and diversity in China, which is traditionally regarded as homogeneous. During production, I had some intended publications in mind and successfully pitched the project on completion. The process of pitching also enabled me to better understand how editors make decisions”. Daisy Xu

“The experience of creating this project was eye-opening, as I’ve never studied abroad before. This project prompted me to think through ideas and concepts that either I’ve never thoroughly considered before or taken for granted”. Siyu Chen

Sun Peng cohort 13/14 produced and published a powerful multimedia feature for China Daily about Parents who have lost their only child. This disadvantaged and marginalized group numbers around one million people. Peng’s multimedia project presents the challenges they face, such as finances, physical and mental health care, as well as struggles with government policies. These parents talk candidly about their stories and the efforts they’ve made to improve their lives. The work, Life After Loss, was submitted as Sun Peng’s final Third Term Project.

Nathan Gibson and Hillary Pan cohort 16/17 final multimedia feature story ‘Wavering Shadows‘ is about the Oroqen, one of China’s smallest ethnic minorities. The community currently faces the imminent extinction of its language. Amidst adversity, its community considers linguistic revival and their changing place in the modern world.

Leona Chen and Sun Jun cohort 16/17 explored the journeys of three people from China’s transgender community via a documentary and multimedia webpage. See the project ‘Being transgender, I am me’ 

Vera Peneda cohort 14/15 focused on feminism in China throughout Term 2 & 3. The video component of her final project was screened on CCTV’s Assignment Asia, the story follows three women of different generations from a single-family, each with a story that represents the changes in China, from one era to the next. You can see Vera’s full Term 3 work here.

Group works – cohort 2016-17 worked on a ‘live project brief’ for China Daily and Asia News Network during the  Term 2, two-week intensive workshop. Students were briefed to produce a 6-part video series exploring disability issues in China. In teams of three, students covered topics like education, work, discrimination and access through a series of character-driven short videos. Student teams worked ‘shoulder to shoulder’ in the field with a selection of freelance and organizational professionals to plan,  film and edit. Disability is an undercovered topic in Chinese media and we worked together with disability media expert, Cai Cong to ensure best ethical practices on reporting diversity. Cai Cong co-authored research in 2013, which revealed that Chinese media reports largely focus health or rehabilitation of people living with disabilities or the help they receive from others, rather than tackle issues about education, employment, and participation.  Few reports actually featured or represented the voices of people with disabilities themselves. Our character lead series is very successful so far with lots of engagement and over 20 thousand views on the first upload.

Cicy Lin published part of her final Term 3 project, The Crane Whisperer of Heilongjiang, with Sixth Tone, a Chinese, English Language cutting-edge new media organization. Cicy followed various environmental stories throughout her studies and was headhunted for professional work before she even graduated – largely in part to her quality Term 2 and 3 projects, as well as the fact that she produced socially shareable versions of her projects which were widely published on social media. She is currently continuing her love for both the outdoors and filming and working as a producer for environmental mini-documentaries.

Andrea Verdelli‘s Term 2 project explored how three families in Beijing cope with pollution, some fight, some take flight and some flee altogether. It’s chiefly a text and photo project but a creative double exposure video teaser was designed for social media sharing to drive the audience to the longer text feature. See the full project, Red Alert, here.

Group works 2015–16 students produced and published multimedia stories for CCTV’s China StartUp series. Student works were broadcast and published online on multiple platforms. Each year IMMJ students team up with working professionals for a short practical field workshop.

Vict Zhang produced a multimedia project featuring a Tibetan School in rural Qinghai. The story explores minority culture and education system in contemporary China. See the introduction video below and the full project at Plateau Drams.

Lester Xu documented life on China’s islands in Term 3. Lester started the project in Term 2 when he traveled to Kaishan Island to meet a couple who spent two decades living in isolation in order to serve their country.

Mengyi focused on education topics in T2 and 3, finally, she found a fresh angle on the ongoing story of migrant children. It’s a touching story on an issue that impacts millions. An edited version will be published soon. See the story here: Returning to No Home; China’s returned migrant children

Raqib Hameed Naik is a Kashmir-based multimedia journalist. His Photo Essay and feature text: On the edge; How ceasefire violations fuel a mental-health crisis along the Indo-Pak borders were produced in T2 and published in Caravan Magazine.

Biran and Dora worked on a short-form documentary called Dreamcatchers about China’s acting extra’s industry. It’s a beautifully told and filmed story with a lot of depth. Both Brian and Dora work in the field of documentary now.