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Background of Newspaper Industry in Hong Kong

Hong Kong has over 70 newspapers at present. Most of them are daily newspapers including Chinese, English and other languages. Some of them are horse-racing newspapers which only report news about horse racing; they are not published daily if there is no racing meetings hold, for example during summer vacations. Of the daily newspapers, only 12 are Chinese language. They are Apple Daily, Hong Kong Daily News, Hong Kong Commercial Daily, Hong Kong Economic Journal, Hong Kong Economic Times, Ming Pao, Oriental Daily, Sing Pao, Sing Tao Daily, Ta Kung Pao, Tin Tin Daily and Wen Wei Pao. The existing price of Chinese language newspapers is $5 except Oriental Daily, which is sold at $4. Before the price war in late 1995, there is an agreement among the newspapers that are sold at a uniform price. However, since the price war, such an agreement no longer exists and those newspaper companies are free to adjust their price. There is a comment that the newspaper industry in Hong Kong is one of the most competitive one in the world.

Environmental Analysis

* Social and Cultural Analysis
Society is composed of people and their culture. And culture is greatly determined by common behaviour of the people in a society. In the newspaper industry in Hong Kong, the pattern of reporting of the newspapers targeting for mass market can be a reflection of common behaviour of people in Hong Kong. In this part, behaviours of the mass market are being analysed and the following are those common ones.

* Impact of Social Topics
Hong Kong people are sensitive to social topics. If they find every one is talking about an event, they will be eager to find out what is going on immediately. They want to talk to others and share their opinions and are not willing to lag behind others about the consequences of the event. That is why they usually need to get the first-hand information through the media, including newspapers. People usually concern about incidents involving public interests. Mistakes made by a hospital, fault medical treatments and outbreak of certain diseases, for instances, can all arouse public interest since they can influenced all of us. So, the incidents concerning public interests can easily become social topics. Besides, people are often curious about others’ privacy, especially those of famous people, pop stars, film stars, etc. Once the mass media discloses an incident, say, dating of a pop star with someone or family dispute of a famous person, people would like to know what happens and talk with others. These would also become social topics quickly. A typical example is the dispute about family property of the Tang’s family. We can see that people concern much about social topics. Social topics greatly influence people’s choice of getting what kind of information from the media.

* Concern of Attractiveness of News
Nowadays, Hong Kong people concern more about the attractiveness of a piece of news. Being a social topic as mentioned above is one of the factors determining the attractiveness; that is to arouse public interest. Pattern of reporting can also be another factor. Sensationalised and exaggerated way of reporting can easily arouse public interest and make the news more attractive. Since people’s concern would be how attractive apiece of news is, they would not mind that vulgar way of reporting. Moreover, news concerning immoral issues can arouse public interest easily. People would not resist getting information of these issues form the media but tend to reprove the persons having immoral acts while keep on reading that news. This act can be described as moral torpor. The case of Chan Kin-hong can be a good illustration. People scolded for Chan but they still read his news everyday. Therefore, people want to enjoy those news producing excited interest among public rather than concern about whether the news is true and the pattern of reporting is reliable or not.

* Changing Writing Level
More and more Hong Kong people prefer ordinary or common types of words which are easy to understand than those difficult ones. For instance, they tend to read spoken language rather than a formal written one in newspapers. A recent survey conducted by Hong Kong Journalists’ Association can reflect this trend. There are 15 percent of the participated journalists admitted that the wordings used by newspapers nowadays are becoming more common and vulgar than those are in the past.

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