Chinese team wins journalism contest in the US

World Today

Every year, a journalism school in the U.S. state of Missouri puts on a competition seeking solutions to problems in the news industry. For the first time ever, every member of the team of students that won are from China. CGTN’s Karina Huber has more.

Welcome to the NewSnooze – a smart alarm clock that gives you the news.

It was invented by a group of Chinese students at the University of Missouri.

“I hit the snooze button more than three times every morning, so I really want a product that can change that because according to our research, snooze is not actually a healthy habit,” Ningyuan Hu, one of the students said.

The group won first prize with their alarm clock in an annual contest at the university’s journalism school. Engineering and business students also participate in a challenge to solve a problem in media.

This year’s challenge – creating news for the smart home.

“The only requirement is that they have to have at least one student from each discipline on their team and then they receive a semester of mentorship from professors and industry experts to help them and coach them along the way as they work on their idea,” said Ebony Reed, Director of Innovation and the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute.

They spent the whole school year developing the NewSnooze.

“We worked really well together. We broke down so many times along the way, but finally we hung in there and make it,” Yinting Yu, one of the students in the winning group said

Every year the contest winners are flown to a different city in the United States known for its media and technology industries. This year it was Boston, where the students met with leaders at Google, MIT and the Associated Press.

“This is a very unique and networking opportunity for us and we can directly talk to people working for Google and MIT Media Labs so that’s kind of cool,” Hu explained.

According to Reed, the contest is primarily designed to help students prepare for the working world – giving them a chance to develop more skills and contacts. But it’s also to help journalism.

“The only way journalism will survive is by inter-disciplinary teams working together and seeing what readers and audiences need and want,” she said.

With this contest win, the Chinese team are now part of a young generation trying to forge a new path in journalism.