Leading Media Historians Enjoy an Intellectual Feast

“What an intellectual feast,” Prof. Yong Zhang Volz from the University of Missouri said that she just attended a conference with the best-quality papers which were presented with seriousness of purpose. She was referring to the conference on the history of press freedom in modern China held 4-5 December 2009 under the auspices of the Center for Communication Studies and the Department of Media and Communication.

The sentiment was generously echoed by Prof. Xu Jilin of East China Normal University and Prof. Pan Guangzhe of Academia Sinica. Fourteen leading historians, media scholars, and journalists came from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States to discuss and reopen many important issues ranging from the function and transformation of the liberal press, the formation of the party press, the role of intellectuals, to the dialectic between journalistic freedom and regime control.

Noting that historical understanding is a key to media studies and social sciences, Acting Provost Chi-hou Chan, who inaugurated the conference, congratulated the “young, dynamic and innovative” Department of Media and Communication on hosting this highly significant conference that brought together some of the best scholars to engage in one another’s mind at the City University of Hong Kong. A full-house audience packed the New Media Lab to participate in the flow of sparkling ideas and animated discussion.

The noted participants included Prof. Sang Bing from Sun Yatsen University, Prof. Yang Kuisong from East China Normal University, Prof. Zhang Qing and Prof. Huang Dan from Fudan University, and many others. The papers will be edited for publication as a volume.