September 21, 2006

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The new new thing

It's the biggest thing since Bus Uncle...yes, the site is due for an overhaul. It will only happen next year, but you get to hear about this exciting development NOW! Even better, all you have to do as a paid-up subscriber is login and update your personal profile. Amongst the compulsary questions are how much you earn and other gross invasions of privacy, but this is Hong Kong's press we're talking about. And what will it get you?

As a valued subscriber of, you are among the earliest to be told of this good news. Early next year we will be unveiling a revamped — with more powerful features and services, extended news content, greater flexibility and enhanced navigation.
It could hardly be worse than the existing site, where the idea of an "update" is to paste two or three stories, often from wire services on the page so long as it is between 10am and 4pm on a weekday. Not to mention the inability to link to stories on the website, the crowded layout, difficult navigation and incredibly annoying flashing advertisements.

Meanwhile the competition at The Standard continues to slip at an worrying pace. The paper has reverted to mimicking the Chinese press, plastering drab financial news articles, again typically pasted from news wires, on to the front pages and burying the good Metro section (you know, what actually happens in the city) 15 pages back. They at least had the good sense to put the sport on the back, but does anyone really care so much about American baseball and football so that it dominates that section? Finally the sub-editors need to work on their spell checkers...."Mitsubishi" department store isn't closing down, but Mitsukoshi is (in the first paragraph).

It's a shame because until Mark Clifford left The Standard was starting to rival the SCMP. Now Clifford's at the SCMP and both of them are seemingly slipping backwards.

posted by Simon on 09.21.06 at 10:53 AM in the SCMP category.


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Nobody actually works at The Standard anymore. It's all run by a machine that translates articles as they come in on the Chinese side.

that is a joke. hope not to offend.

posted by: doug on 09.21.06 at 11:30 AM [permalink]

...Doug's absolutely right about no one working there.
I did find the plug for the Metro section a bit heartening but unfortunately that staff is dwindling as well with no replacements in sight. And the two Metro editors increasingly base what passes for their "news judgement" on govt and corporate press releases coupled with Sing Tao rewrites.
And dammit, I care about baseball and NFL football. Denver Broncos Rule! The editor, Roger runs a fine sports operation, though his sub staff has been reduced of late, as have his pages.
All in all a dark, bleak vista there, though.

posted by: Ringo on 09.21.06 at 11:47 AM [permalink]

Until the SCMP puts the vast majority of its daily paper on the web, I won't bother subscribing again.

I wish more papers would go the way of

The full, digital version of newspapers from around the world each day, from page 1 right through to the last page.

Now that's what I call an online newspaper.

posted by: Joel on 09.21.06 at 10:23 PM [permalink]

joel, why do you want the bulk of SCMP online?

posted by: doug on 09.22.06 at 09:33 AM [permalink]

csIf you have a free time test this urls:
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posted by: mara on 10.09.06 at 11:56 PM [permalink]

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