Prof. Clement Y.K. SO
Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Traditional forms of journalism in general and newspaper in particular are facing serious challenges in the 21st century as new media technologies and changing audience habits are radically reconfiguring the media landscape. People still need and value quality news information, but they may get it from different channels which are not only convenient but even free. Newspapers have to come up with ways to deal with declining readership and advertising revenue, as well as stiff competition with other media outlets. Media operators have to search for new business models in order to survive, and come up with new ways to engage the readers. These days there are a number of buzzwords in the news industry including partnership, engagement, curation, mobility, etc.
Under this context, this study examines three different news endeavors in Hong Kong to understand the ideas, operation and significance of their efforts to cope. The first is the Headline Daily which is a free newspaper spin-off from the Sing Tao News Corporation. The second is “Apple Action News” which is an integral yet distinct part of the Apple Daily. The third is “The House News” which is an online news site modeled after the Huffington Post.
The three cases represent new delivery modes in the news industry and can be considered specific adaptive strategies for survival in the new media environment. In particular, the use of multiple formats and platforms, inventive business models, sharing of content and manpower, and the symbiotic host-guest relationships are discussed. The main theoretical theme of this paper is that media boundaries have been crossed in the process.