Newsletter No. 536

陈志敏教授在英国土生土长,父母是香港移民。起初陈教授来港任职编辑,继而于中大攻读传理学哲学博士,复加 入新闻与传播学院。他跟《中大通讯》谈香港这个他父母和现在的他均视之为家的地方,以及新媒体对我们的生 活、传播学的影响。 Born and raised in the UK by Hong Kong emigrant parents, Professor Chan came to Hong Kong working as an editor first, then studying for a PhD in journalism at CUHK and finally joining the School of Journalism and Communication. He talked to the Newsletter on his parents’ home which he calls home now and what the new media mean to our lives and the study of communication. 新闻与传播学院副教授 陈志敏 Prof. Michael Chan School of Journalism and Communication 当初为何决定来港? 命运安排吧。我在英国伦敦毕业,未有具体计划 接下来要做些什么。其后获得在日本工作的机 会,所以在日本五年,最后于一家互联网初创公 司任职,开始对互联网发生兴趣。我于2001年 来港,在朗文出版社工作。 来港初期,有没有感受到文化冲击? 不太多。我与不少海外华人一样,都是看TVB剧 集、听粤语流行曲长大的,当时正值香港娱乐和 大众文化的黄金岁月,华人市场遍及全球。这些 娱乐也是我家庭生活的重要部分,让我来港前 已认识本地文化和语言。 为何于中大攻读传理学哲学博士? 我在城大任教时,开始进修传播学科,先后兼读 硕士和哲学硕士学位,于是后来顺理成章攻读 博士。初时没有想过投身学术界,全因沿途遇上 卓越的教授,我逐渐对教学和研究产生兴趣。 如何评价你的学生? 我所遇上的本科生勤力、热心学习,他们有自己 一套见解,而且不怕表达出来。这一点是其他亚 洲地区的学生中不常见的。我在中大任教六年, 能够教导这些聪颖和积极的学生,我深感荣幸。 如今人们习惯在屏幕上沟通,是好是坏? 互联网或智能电话是利是弊尚争论不休。无论 如何,科技已经成为我们生活一部分,把我们联 系起来,大多数情况下方便我们整理和掌控生 活。但另一面是,我们可能从中接收太多讯息, 或受网上社交缠累,说到底结果取决于我们如 何运用。 现今政治两极化,社交媒体是否罪魁祸首? 人们的立场其实一向都是处于两极的,社交媒 体只不过把意见相近的人聚在一起,令对立的 情况更显而易见。但科技并非始作俑者,这些矛 盾早已存在,科技只是加深了矛盾的表达程度  而已。 人们常诟病文化水平下降,尤其是年轻人之间。 但现在人人都在手机发讯息,岂不是写作能力 应该有所提升才是? 文化水平的定义常常在变。我们现在大部分都 不执笔书写,而是打字或按键输入,可见书写行 为本身也在改变。所谓数码水平也一样,不但指 个人可以用装置收发信息,也是指个人可以分辨 哪些是宝贵资讯,哪些是假新闻,以及明 白涉及私隐的问题。 What made you come to Hong Kong in the first place? Fate. As a fresh graduate in London, UK, I had no definite plan of what to do next in my life. I was then offered a job opportunity in Japan. So I spent the next five years in Japan and ended up working for a Japanese Internet startup. That’s when I got interested in the Internet. I came to Hong Kong in 2001 and worked for the publisher Longman. Did you experience culture shock when you first arrived in Hong Kong? Not much. I belong to the generation of overseas Chinese who grew up with TVB drama series and Canto-pop. That was the golden age of Hong Kong entertainment and popular culture which found a world market in the Chinese diaspora and was an integral part of my family life. That kept me connected to the local culture and language before I arrived here. What made you pursue a doctoral degree in journalism at CUHK? While teaching for the City University of Hong Kong, I began part- time studies on the media, first a master’s and then an MPhil. So a PhD was the logical conclusion to that. Although I had no plan at the outset to embark on an academic career, my interest in teaching and research in media studies was gradually formed due in no small part to the excellent professors I met along the way. How do you find your students? I found my undergraduate students hardworking and eager to learn. They have their own opinions and are not afraid to express them, a quality not always found in students from Asian countries. I’ve now taught at CUHK for six years. I must say it’s a pleasure to teach such intelligent and motivated students. Human interactions are often conducted through a screen these days. Is that a good thing? Whether the Internet or the smart phone is a blessing or a bane is an ongoing debate. Regardless, I think it’s a reality we have to live with. Technology keeps us connected to one another and in many cases makes our lives easier to order and manipulate. The flip side is, we may get information overload or overwhelmed by engaging socially. It all comes down to how we set to manage our screen time. Are the social media culpable for the current polarization in politics? People and their views have always been polarized. Social media allow people with similar views to cluster together and so make the polarization more visible than before. Technology is not culpable of anything. It only facilitates and engenders existing divisions. The drop in literacy, especially among the young, sometimes attract lamentation. But ubiquitous texting means we actually write more. Why the paradox? The notion of literacy is always changing. Most of us do not write but type or press buttons now. So the act of writing itself changes, too. Similarly, the notion of digital literacy is amorphous. It means not only that one can use a device to send and receive messages but also that one should be able to identify valuable information as opposed to, say, fake news and understand what privacy matters are in issue. T.C. 08 # 5 3 6 | 1 9 . 0 4 . 2 0 1 9 口 谈 实 录 / V iva V oce Photo by ISO Staff

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