Portrait of Yida MaYida Ma

US Correspondent, Oriental Morning Post, Shanghai

MA International Political Communication, University of Sheffield, 2005–06

Being a journalism graduate, I wanted to pursue a career in media political analysis but felt that I needed more knowledge and skills to develop my career. In my view Sheffield is rightly internationally renowned for its leading Journalism Studies department as it enabled me to achieve my ambitions.

The course offered a perfect mix of theory and practice with modules equipping me with the necessary knowledge and skills to communicate political information effectively and ethically, as well as enabling me to understand key issues central to political and public communication.

My dissertation was entitled 'A Content Analysis of BBC and CNN Online News Reports of Human Rights in China' and this was the first time I had pursued serious academic research. I feel that the support provided allowed me gain a scholarly insight into key issues in political communication and to go on and do independent research.

Sheffield has been vital in developing my career in Shanghai... The extensive communication skills and a dynamic analytical mind acquired at Sheffield University helped me find a job in this intense competitive job market

In November 2006 I entered the International News department of the Oriental Morning Post in Shanghai. I am now in charge of the news reporting of US politics. Particular recent highs for me have been interviewing the mayor of New Orleans on the reconstruction programme of New Orleans; interviewing the architects of the US and Chinese embassy; providing an analysis of the US presidential election with party chairs; and coverage of western media's coverage of the Beijing Olympics with the New York Times and USA Today. In my working life I interview political figures, professionals in politics, arts, media and business sectors.

In 2008 I was dispatched as a special reporter to cover the US presidential campaign and visited Washington DC, New York, Denver and St Paul. During the campaign I conducted exclusive interviews with high-profile US government officials and policy advisers.

I think studying at the University of Sheffield has been vital in developing my career in Shanghai, China. Now I consider myself a creative and versatile individual with a positive and confident persona. The extensive communication skills and a dynamic analytical mind acquired at Sheffield University helped me find a job in this intense competitive job market.

MA International Public and Political Communication More taught postgraduate degrees in journalism and communication