|December 9, 2013|
Ming Pao (Traditional Chinese: 明報, Simplified Chinese: 明报, Jyutping ming4 bou3, Hanyu Pinyin: m?ngb?o), a Chinese language newspaper, is a publication by the Ming Pao Group in Hong Kong.
First published on May 20 1959, Ming Pao was founded by the famous Chinese martial novelist Louis Cha (aka Jinyong) and his friend, Sham Po Sun (沈寶新). It aims at providing comprehensive and accurate reports on political and economic issues in both mainland China and Hong Kong. The Ming Pao Group has published a number of newspapers and magazines. It has also set up a website providing news and information to the public. Well-known for its accuracy in language, many secondary schools in Hong Kong encourage their students to subscribe to Ming Pao in order to improve their Chinese language.
Ming Pao Group also runs magazines called Ming Pao Weekly, Ming Pao Monthly, and Yazhou Zhoukan (jointly owned with TOM), publications with good reputations.
Ming Pao's style is somewhat more conservative compared to other newspapers, as well as its own previous incarnation. Some people view it as a pro-Beijing paper as Ming Pao is less critical of the PRC government than, for example, Apple Daily. Instead of writing sensational headlines designed to shock the readers, Ming Pao prefers to use moderate wording and seems to take a less aggressive approach. Thus, many readers find its articles to be fair and neutral. Entertainment news rarely make it to the front page on Ming Pao, unlike other papers such as 'Apple Daily'.
However, in recent years, Ming Pao has begun reporting some news in a "soft" way, meaning that the tone of some headlines and contents is less serious than the newspaper's initial tone, probably because of the trend of "infotainment" among both the local and overseas media. This "soft" reporting might be unavoidable, since it is the current trend in news reporting as sensational news and headlines tend to attract readers and boost readership. Nonetheless, Ming Pao is still best-known for being honest and responsible by publishing only the facts and not the exaggerated, gory photographs common in other newspapers that are unpleasant to readers, especially children.
Some Hong Kong people claim that Ming Pao seems to have become more "neutral", as it used to be quite opinionated and tended to pronounce its views on sensitive issues. These people attribute such changes to the pressure that the Beijing/Mainland government has allegedly put on Hong Kong's media as well as the more stable political situation in both China and Hong Kong. Others think that the free press in Hong Kong is changing of its own free will.
Kao Hsin-chiang, Ming Pao?s current editorial director, said that Hong Kong people needed to understand China better, to sympathize more and judge less. He also declared that Ming Pao wanted Hong Kong and Chinese interests to reach a balance, so it had to find that balance.
"A newspaper is a trumpet expressing the views of the boss," Louis Cha said in his early forties and the motto was recorded in the book "Jinyong and Newspaper" of a famous journalist, though the book also acknowledges that the success of a newspaper does relate to the style, the standpoint and the reputation it built. To have an in-depth understanding on how Ming Pao developed successfully, knowing the overlap of Ming Pao's and Louis Cha's style is of the utmost importance. Generally, the values they merged could be classified in the following aspects:
These values determined the initial direction as well as the consolidated foundation of Ming Pao.
In the beginning, the original focuses of Ming Pao, built on the four values listed above, were the public interests, Chinese martial novel, and its unpopular style with clear and insisted political view against the left-wingers. It is not hard to see its covered values, from the Chinese martial novel to the editorial, which often gets into a debate with the other newspapers. For example, its editorial monitored by Louis Cha had come to a debate with Ta Kung Pao (大公報) concerning the issue of refugees in 1964. As the years passed, as well as the unpredicted political changes in China, the clear and firm position of Ming Pao brought it a high reputation from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. With its explicit and admirable values suiting the society of Hong Kong, where freedom is held in reverence as well as being the gate to China, Ming Pao has therefore been regarded as an independent and intelligentsia's newspaper from its earlier development up to now.
Due to changes in the society, the style of Ming Pao has also been adjusted in order to fit the social needs. As mentioned in the "standpoint" section, Ming Pao is now using a relatively soft and moderate title instead of the one before. It raises the question: Have Ming Pao values denatured? The answer is: Even though Ming Pao is now being more moderate and less aggressive, its existing and foreseeable development are still built on its traditional values, which are the elements that have brought Ming Pao to success.
See also http://www.rthk.org.hk/mediadigest/md0008/index.htm Media digest
Like other newspapers in Hong Kong, Ming Pao offers the readers various types of information like local news, Chinese and Taiwan news, international news, sports news, entertainment news and editorials. In the leisure sections, it contains a lot of information, including things such as education information and travel guides. There is also a column where writers can post their articles.
However, one big difference between Ming Pao and other Hong Kong's best-selling newspapers, such as Oriental Daily, Apple Daily and Sun Daily is that Ming Pao does not have many advertisements. While in these other newspapers there is usually a large number of pages of advertisements for such things as supermarkets, this is not the case for Ming Pao.
The graphical design of the templates of Mingpao is much plainer than the other major newspapers. When flipping the pages, one realises that the pages are in plain style.
In 1997, Ming Pao was modernized both inside and on the outside. It introduced Hong Kong?s most sophisticated Chinese-language publishing system and began using oversize color photos and ample "white space" to create a friendlier feel. The news is softened and more entertainment news is added. This was aimed to appeal to young readers.
In addition, to keep pace with the changing environment coming from soccer gambling being legalized in Hong Kong, Ming Pao has added the section of soccer betting news. The paper offers the readers comprehensive information on soccer gambling. However, unlike other mainstream papers, Ming Pao only provides information on soccer gambling run by the Hong Kong Jockey Club. The gambling held by overseas (like Macau) agencies do not appear in Ming Pao, but they do appear in other popular papers.
A highly regarded section of Ming Pao is the educational section. It teaches readers a lot about morals of living. It regularly discusses English grammatical mistakes commonly made by Hong Kong people. In the life education section, a lot of useful life-management skills, such as anxiety-relieving skills, time and financial management skills, child-bearing skills and emotional management skills are discussed.
According to Ming Pao, its main reader groups are the middle class, professionals, managers and corporate decision-makers. They are groups of generally higher income and eduction levels, making them a very important group in Hong Kong.
Ming Pao is also one of the favourite newspapers among educational institutions. Schools often list Ming Pao as a compulsory newspaper subscription, and often offer special discounts for students in order to enourage them to subscribe to and read the newspaper more. The subscription price can be as low as about $2, while the usual selling price of a Hong Kong newspaper is $6.
According to the surveys conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1997, 1998 and 2001, Ming Pao is regarded as the most reliable newspaper in Hong Kong. Moreover, it won the "2002 Awards For Editorial Excellence" of The Society of Publishes in Asia and the "Hong Kong Best News Award" for the last 11 years.
These achievements indicate that the high quality of publication and excellent reporting of Ming Pao are well recognized by its contemporaries in the industry.
The homepage of Ming Pao was set up in 1995, one of the earliest newspaper websites in Hong Kong. (See below.) Meanwhile, it won the "Ten Health Websites Contest 2002" of the http://www.info.gov.hk/tela/chinese/index.htm Televison and Entertainment Licensing Authority, which pnly two news websites from the whole media industry in Hong Kong won, revealing its high and consistent quality on the internet and when compared to other newspapers.
Ming Pao's webiste contains not only news but also many other contents. They can be divided into 12 categories, including:
Ming Pao in Canada
In 1993, the Hong Kong daily Ming Pao launched its first North American edition in Toronto and Vancouver. At that time, it was the third Chinese newspaper in the two countries after the release of Sing Tao and The Journal. Throughout its 37-year history, Ming Pao has catered to the wealthy, educated elite, so it quickly attracted the attention of educated, affluent Hong Kong immigrants. In the following years after its first publication, about 100,000 Chinese-language newspapers are sold daily. Sing Tao is the best seller, with approximately 40,000 copies. Ming Pao came in second, with about 35,000 readers while The Journal is third with 25,000.
Most of the staff and editorial workers at Ming Pao are journalism graduates and were educated abroad. They have their own writing and reporting styles, which are very different from that of Hong Kong editors. For instance, staff are encouraged to report from the perspective of a Chinese-Canadian, as they want to educate their readers to live peacefully with people from different backgrounds in Canada. Moreover, when they write, it is important for these writers not to take sides. The idea is that readers are simply informed of the facts of an event, whereupon they can make up their own mind about their own opinions. Covering mainstream and Chinese society using only facts like this are considered to be very challenging.
The paper has no editorials, but it has a commentary column called "People's Talk," which runs Monday to Saturday. In this space, senior editorial staff write about many issues<!-- such as the referendum (what referendum?) -->. The reason why Ming Pao in Canada does not have editorials is because of the lack of staff to write them. "We don't want to write editorials in a loose way," Vivian Chong, the news editor of Ming Pao, said. According to Chong, in writing the editorials, the content needs to be analytical and comprehensive. But many of the staff are not very familiar with the local issues, so a lot of time has to go into research for editorials. So at the moment, Ming Pao is trying to help readers familiarize themselves with local issues in Canada first.
Overall, Ming Pao has become famous for its three weekly, glitzy and colorful magazine supplements, even enticing some Sing Tao and The Journal readers. There are the Ming Pao Property Gold Pages, a real estate buyer's guide which includes analyses of the property market, stories on mortgages, Canadian real estate law and interior design, as well as a monthly Chinese-language edition of Toronto Life.
Ming Pao in the USA
Ming Pao Daily News, a subsidiary of Ming Pao Enterprise Corporation Limited, is committed to serving the Chinese American population. The cities in USA where Ming Pao is published are New York, Long Island, Boston, Philadephia, Seattle and San Francisco. The readership is about 135,000 per day. Ming Pao Daily comprises a high readership profile of "high income/education professionals", which are also the target readers in Hong Kong.
Ming Pao Daily News offers headline news in the US, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other Asian countries. Other content includes financial section with the latest stock market quotes and investment figures, entertainment news, lifestyle, community activities and events, in either the Chinese or English sections.
Category:Hong Kong newspapers
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