Journalists will have a chance to upgrade their skills with overseas trips and on-the-job training under a new fund announced yesterday. Organisers of the Journalism Education Foundation hope the fund - which is still being raised - will enhance public understanding of the local media. The money will help pay for media education courses for students from primary school to university. The Foundation is co-promoted by the Hong Kong Newspaper Society and the News Executives' Association. Its chairman, Eric Chan Cho-biu, said the fund was aimed at raising the standard of journalists and expanding their horizons. He cited reporting on the election of former director of health Margaret Chan Fung Fu-chun as the chief of the World Health Organisation as an example of the need for reporters to have a better global outlook. 'The election has shown the growing involvement of Hong Kong and China on the world stage,' he said. 'But Hong Kong journalists in general are unable to come to grips with the operations and influence of the WHO and this was reflected in the apparent lack of information about the election.' Mr Chan said it was important to encourage journalists to upgrade their skills and establish better relations with world organisation. The fund will support overseas visits to international organisations and provide on-the-job training. Organisers also plan to run media education courses for students to raise their interest in journalism. Mr Chan did not reveal how much they had raised so far or their intended target but said it could cost several million dollars a year to run the proposed activities. Several media organisations, including the South China Morning Post, have contributed to the fund. A number of recognisable names have agreed to be the fund's honorary sponsors and to monitor its operation, including executive councillors Charles Lee Yeh-kwong and Henry Fan Hung-ling, Hong Kong Jockey Club chairman John Chan Cho-chak, Cathay Pacific chief executive Philip Chen Nan-lok, Hospital Authority chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk, former Chinese University vice-chancellor Ambrose King Yeo-chi and Hong Kong Newspaper Society chairman Lee Cho-jat.