Diane Stormont 1959-2012

ASIAWATCH — Diane Stormont, veteran journalist and lecturer has died in Hong Kong after a long battle with cancer. She was 52.

“Our beloved teacher and colleague Diane Stormont passed away Wednesday night at Queen Mary Hospital after a brave battle with cancer,” tthe University of Hong Kong said in a statement issued Thursday.

Stormont had been teaching part-time at the university’s Journalism and Media Studies Center since 2008 and joined  full-time in August 2009 as senior teaching consultant.

“As director of JMSC’s digital media program, she led the ongoing update of our curriculum, making sure we cope with break-neck changes in technology,” the statement said.

“Under her leadership, mobile reporting and live reporting have become integral parts of our curriculum.”

Stormont had worked as a journalist in Asia since 1981, mostly for Reuters, where her last posting was as Hong Kong bureau chief. She also served as bureau chief in South Korea.

“As a veteran foreign correspondent and former president of the HK Foreign Correspondents Club, Diane was a distinguished member of the international journalist community.

“JMSC is privileged to have benefited from her insight and dedication. Diane will always live in our hearts as a beloved member of the JMSC family,” the statement said.

In 2005 Diane worked tirelessly in helping to establish Bomborra, which was then an solely image library, alongside the Australian journalist Luke Hunt and their South African colleague Robert Carmichael.

She once wrote her favorite story was the Hong Kong handover. Her worst assignment was the civil war in Sri Lanka. She developed an aversion to tear gas in Seoul, to teenagers with automatic weapons in the Philippines and to thugs, whether uniformed, sunglassed, besuited and/or armed with guns or writs.

As a freelance journalist Diane reports for a range of publications including the Daily TelegraphThe Economist, the Daily Deal and Lloyd’s List Maritime Asia. She also worked as an online consultant for political and economic research institutions.

Diane was President of the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) from 1998-99 and President of the FCC in Seoul from 1991-92.

“She touched so many of us in a life that was truly special. Not only was she a great friend, colleague, fantastic journalist and past president of the Club, she was a vigorous campaigner for animal rights and welfare through her SPCA work,” Anna Healy Fenton, President of the FCC said in a statement.

“She was also a much-loved journalism professor at HKU, passionate about new media.”