Zhan Zhang joined the faculty of Communication Sciences Insititute of Media and Journalism at Università della Svizzera italiana in 2011, and she is now the programme coordinator of Master of Media Management, and research fellow at China Media Observatory (CMO).
Zhan finished her bachelor and first master degree in TV Journalism in Communication University of China (Beijing), and accomplished her European master degree in Aarhus University (Denmark) and University of Florence (Italy) with the rewarded Erasmus scholarship in Arts in Media, Communication and Culture Studies. She worked both for Chinese media (CCTV, KaiMing Publisher) and Western media (The Independent, Variety) before her academic career. She finished her PhD in Communication Sciences at USI in April 2015 with a thesis entitled "Framing China: Media Outlets, News Practices and Challenges", summa cum laude.
Since she joined CMO in 2011, she has published in the field of media narrative analysis, strategic communication, media diplomacy, international newsmaking as well as Chinese media studies. She is the co-editor for the inaugural issue of the journal Global Media and China (2016) and a special issue on the Journal Studies of Communication Science(2014). She is the founder and project manager (in Europe and America) for the Europe-China Dialogue in Media and Communication Studies Summer School (co-organized with School of Journalism and Communication, Peking University), which took place at Peking University (Beijing, China) in 2014, 2015, 2017; Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland) in 2016 and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussel, Belgium) in 2018. She also helped CMO to build up academic partnership with more than 10 schools of communication, media and culture studies in Top Chinese universities that include: Peking University, Tsinghua University, Nanjing University, Zhejiang University, Communication University of China, Fudan University, Shandong University, Shanghai University, Chongqing University, Shenzhen University, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing Foreign Studies University etc.
She was funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation for her project "Mediated Reconstruction of Regional Interdependence Following the 2008 Financial Crisis: The Case of Europe and China", and she carried this project between 2016 and 2017 at Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism of University of South California (USC), Los Angeles, the United States.
She is back to the Insitute of Media and Journalism at USI since September 2017, being responsible for the Master Programme of Media Management, Europe-China Dialogue in Media and Communication Studies Summer School, Locarno Film Festival Documentary Summer School, and other international Programmes/Projects development for the institute.