Veteran journo Keith B. Richburg to helm Hong Kong University’s media school
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Veteran journo Keith B. Richburg to helm Hong Kong University’s media school

HONG KONG UNIVERSITY (HKU) has named veteran journalist Keith B. Richburg the new director of its Journalism and Media Studies Centre.

The university said Richburg will be succeeding Professor Yuen-Ting Chan, a seasoned journalist and China expert who founded the school in 1999.

“Given his extensive international experience and exposure, Professor Richburg will certainly bring new perspectives and useful experience to his new role,” said university Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Tam, in a statement today.

“We have high hopes that Professor Richburg will take the JMSC to new heights.”

Richburg, whose journalism career has spanned 40 years and four continents, has lectured at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including Princeton and Harvard, where he gave lectures and talks, and led seminars.

Tam also congratulated Chan on her years and contributions to the centre. The new appointment is expected to take effect on Sept. 1.

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Richburg – who has won several awards for his foreign coverage, and was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his reports from Somalia – spent 33 years as a reporter and editor at The Washington Post, including 20 years as a foreign correspondent, mostly in Asia.

He covered coup attempts in the Philippines, the Vietnamese withdrawal from Cambodia, the fall of the Suharto regime in Indonesia, the Asian financial crisis and the Hong Kong handover in 1997, among many other events.

He also served as Africa bureau chief, where his subjects included the Somalia famine, the Rwanda genocide and South Africa’s transition from apartheid to majority rule.

While nominally based in Paris, he spent much time in the Middle East and Afghanistan, where he covered the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the start of the Iraq War in 2003. From 2005 to 2007, he was the Post’s foreign editor.

In addition to his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, he holds a Master of Science degree in international relations and comparative government from The London School of Economics.