24th March 2017 – Infrastructure University Kuala Lumpur (IUKL) had the honour of listening to the insights of Prof. Dr. Oliver Hahn from the University of Passau, Germany on the subject of Virtual Foreign Correspondence (VFC). The public lecture, organised by the Faculty of Communication, Arts & Education (FACE) and which was held at the Mini Theatre, IUKL, saw the participation of students from IUKL, UPM and UKM; academic staff of IUKL and Astin College, and officers from the Prime Minister’s Office, Putrajaya.
Prof. Hahn, a familiar face at IUKL thanks to the collaboration between University of Passau and IUKL, ably captivated the audience’s attention with his clever combination of facts, findings and empirical expertise. Speaking on the explorative qualitative pilot study conducted by the University of Passau, Prof Hahn discussed the possibility of journalists working at foreign news desks at home using internet sources and content, substituting foreign correspondents based abroad, with the objective of reducing costs.
He spoke of how in most cases, despite the immense potential that VFC has, it cannot entirely substitute Traditional Foreign Correspondents (TFCs) in terms of regional knowledge, background information and contextual insights into the countries involved. However, he was quick to add that VFCs and TFCs could work towards complementing each other to optimise the potential of foreign correspondence.
Supported by numerous experiences that he and his students had experienced during this study, Prof, Hahn’s lecture on the VFC experience in Germany proved to be a hit among the audience who bombarded him with numerous questions once his lecture was over. Promising to return with yet another exciting study in time to come, Prof. Hahn ended his lecture by thanking all those who had played an important part in making his visit to Malaysia a success.