Dr Agnes Lam, associate professor in the Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences, and director of the university’s Centre for Macau Studies, received a second prize at the Eighth Award for Outstanding Scientific Research in Higher Education (Humanities and Social Sciences), with her book titled ‘The Beginning of the Modern Chinese Press History – Macao Press History 1557-1840’. This monograph updated content related to Macao in the modern press history of China, and many of the revisions have been adopted by journalism history textbooks in the mainland. It is an influential and highly regarded work in academia.

The book studies nearly 300 years of history of the press and publishing industry of Macao from its opening as a free port to the First Opium War. It not only reviews the religious and publishing activities of the Jesuit missionaries Matteo Ricci and Michele Ruggieri and the Protestant missionary Robert Morrison, but also reviews the newspaper translation activities by Lin Zexu and Morrison. The book is based on first-hand materials from libraries and archives Prof Lam visited in Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Britain, Italy, and many other places. In her investigation of the beginning of China’s modern journalism history and the historical doubts surrounding Macao’s early journalism history, 

Prof Lam found many early publications and newspapers in Macao that had not been noticed or recorded by previous historians. 

This book fills a gap in the history of Chinese journalism in Macao, corrects the history of early publications in Macao, pushes back the history of Macao’s Chinese newspapers and periodicals by 60 years, and confirms Macao as the birthplace of both Portuguese and Chinese newspapers in China. It also summarises, from various perspectives, the significance of Macao’s press industry to Macao’s history, China’s journalism history, the history of publishing technology, and the history of cultural exchange between China and the West, before the Opium War. Fang Hanqi, an authority on Chinese journalism history, highly praised this book, saying that it is comparable to the History of Modern Chinese Newspaper Industry written by the famous scholar Zhuo Nansheng, and is an important achievement in the study of journalism history and its contribution will go down in history.

The Award for Outstanding Scientific Research in Higher Education (Humanities and Social Sciences) is the most recognised and influential award in the field of humanities and social sciences in China. Established in 1995 by the Ministry of Education, this triennial award aims to recognise scholars who have made outstanding contributions to humanities and social sciences research. 

Prof Lam’s main research interests include the history of communication, media and social construction, and public policy. Earlier, this book also won a first prize at the Fifth Macao Outstanding Achievement Awards for Humanities and Social Sciences. The study was funded by the Cultural Affairs Bureau of the Macao SAR and UM (file number: MYRG169(Y1-L3)-FSH11-LIF).