April 11, 2006

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Yesterday was a big day for Hong Kong's press, with the eagerly awaited Hong Kong News Awards 2005 lunch. This is where newspapers get to give themsevles a pat on the back in an orgy of self-congratulation. Both The Standard and SCMP have run pieces today detailing where they won, came runner-up, got citations and merit awards. It all smacks of a school's awards day, where everyone gets something and goes home a winner. In a town where there are only two English language newspapers, having them split awards in such catagories as "best English headline" and "best in business news writing (English)" seems ludicrous. It's got to be the most ridiculous awards show since the Oscars.

At the same ceremony, Donald Tsang weighed in with his thoughts on what the punters ought to be reading and how papers should be run:

"[One of the challenges] journalists face now is whether they should produce more reports popular among consumers or reports of significance to society. We all know that popular news is not necessarily significant news. Sensational tabloid news reported by paparazzi, as seen world-wide, often secures high readership. Such news, however, seems to leave no mark in history," he [Tsnag] said...

"Journalists should strive for depth rather than just speed, presenting full details of news stories highlighting their meaning to the present world," he said. "Apart from quantity, one should also seek to enhance the quality of content, writing, graphics, artwork and printing. Only by doing so can traditional newspapers survive under this challenge."

So it's important to write what's worthy rather than what people want to read, but it's also important to put form over substance. But the Don had something to say about me, too:
"Now bloggers come from all walks of life, writing with inside information, to produce explosive results. They are the competitors of conventional journalists.

"But the credibility of bloggers may be questionable so journalists should stand firm in upholding professional integrity to win readers' respect."

There was no mention if there was laughter after that last sentence was spoken.

posted by Simon on 04.11.06 at 08:23 AM in the Hong Kong category.


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Tracked: April 21, 2006 04:23 PM


The credibility of some bloggers may be questionable. How about the credibility of journalists then? Mr Tsang, doesn't your press secretary summerise news reports for you everyday? Reporters of Apple Daily claimed that they managed to 'interview' Sin Ka-keung, who was injured from the TST shootout, while Sin wasn't able to 'talk' and before Sin told the police what happened. Or did your press secretary miss anything?

posted by: Gloria on 04.11.06 at 09:23 AM [permalink]

Bloggers "are the competitors of conventional journalists"? Hardly. Almost all news-blogs feed of conventional journalism.

posted by: Sma on 04.11.06 at 09:34 AM [permalink]

I don't believe that Albert Wong did not win any awards for his coverage of the Nancy Kissel Trial and that the award for that went to Bar-CLAY Crawford.

posted by: luis on 04.11.06 at 02:38 PM [permalink]

Well said Mr Tsang - Journalists have a significant role to play in pressing for better governance. Who plays the role to govern journalism then?

Bloggers may not be the competitors of conventional journalits now. But didn't Curbside@WTO do a good job and prove that bloggers are on the way?

posted by: Gloria on 04.11.06 at 03:10 PM [permalink]

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