From July 25th to August 3rd, led by associate professor Li Hongtao, 15 ZJU students from College of Media and International Culture went to Philadelphia and Los Angeles in the US to participate in 2018 ZJU- Huayi Brothers New Media Talent Exchange Program. By cooperating with Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, this international exchange program invited several professors and scholars from Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, to lecture on media and communication frontiers, arranged visits to media organizations and conversations with top filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo, which enabled students to experience media and film atmosphere in Philadelphia.
Touching upon Journalism and Communication Frontier at World-Class University
The first lecture of this program began on July 25th, given by Yang Guobin, Chair Professor from Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, who explained how to integrate media research with contemporary Chinese studies and showed the framework and problem awareness of modern Chinese media and social culture research. Later, Doctor Elisabetta Ferrari lectured on political irony on social media and discussed with students social media’s influence on social movements. Doctor Jasmine Erdener focused on frontier issues of robots and media, visual communication and media and the material world. At last, Doctor Rosemary Clark-Parsons took examples of Me-too Movement and some commercial advertisements to spark students’ thinking on gender and media research. All the lecturers, coupled with discussions and interactions, offered a splendid academic feast for ZJU students.
Visiting Media Organizations and Experiencing Media Industry
On July 27th, ZJU students visited 4 media organizations in Philadelphia. Firstly, led by Professor Yang Guobin and Doctor Susan Haas, students visited Comcast, a telecom giant in the US, and learned about its business operations, development history and inclusive diversity philosophy. Later, they came to Philadelphia Media Network, a leading media company in Philadelphia which owns two local newspapers and a website. After discussions on local media and community news, students gained a deeper understanding of community participation and news innovation program. The last two stops were Generocity & Technical.ly, a new media organization focusing on social charity, NPOs and urban life/technology, and Media Mobilizing Project, a grassroot social media organization. Their unique role in reflecting social issues and demands of local community left a deep impression on students, who had witnessed with their own eyes the diverse and inclusive media ecology in Philadelphia and learned more about media transition.
Visiting Joe and Anthony Russo Studio and Appreciating Hollywood Film Culture
Another highlight during the stay was visiting Hollywood, where students experienced frontier technology of the film industry and had a face-to-face communication with top American directors Joe and Anthony Russo. ZJU students visited Russo Brothers’ Office and talked with them on topics of film making and technology. As Hollywood media professionals, Joe and Anthony Russo pointed out that characters constituted the core of film stories and film making was a process of well integrating various elements. They were excited to see the film and media industry developing like never before and to be able to influence its future.
ZJU students were divided into three groups and made a final presentation on three topics, including development of film screening technology, a comparative study of Chinese and American Marvel audiences and feminism development in Disney movies, which were judged and commented by two staff members at Russo Brothers’ Studio. After discussions among groups, students had known more about breakthroughs in film making and screening technology, different focuses of Chinese and American media on The Avengers and the ever-growing feminism touch in Disney princess movies.
In conclusion, this summer exchange program has not only exposed ZJU students to the latest media theories and practices, but also expanded their horizon and knowledge boundary by visiting various media. The 10-day stay in the US covering eastern and western coasts enabled students to gain a deeper understanding of the current international journalism industry and foreign media development.