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Batgwa.com Welcomes the New Age of Newspaper

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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It has been more than a year ago since Edison Chen’s sex photo scandal broke out. To many, it is no longer a hot topic in town. However, to many media professionals, it has since become a memorable issue that provokes much controversy over media ethics, and the trend of newspapers softening hard news as a new, increasingly popular style of agenda-setting. While most professional journalists criticize Jimmy Lai, the founder of Apple Daily, for bringing in sensationalism into the newspaper industry, Gerry Ho, the managing editor of Batgwa.com, admitted that he is one of the biggest fans of Jimmy Lai.

Kate Moss was made a greater star after the cocaine scandal, Gerry said

Gerry said yesterday in a weekly seminar in Hong Kong Shue Yan University that he believed “there’s no such thing as bad press”. He pointed out that there exists a major difference in the consequences of artists in the East and West following media’s massive coverage on their scandals. For cases in the East, Gerry recalled that almost all female artists involved in Edison’s scandal faded in the showbiz after the incident took place. In the West, he took Kate Moss as a case cited in point. When press in the UK revealed Kate Moss as a cocaine-taker, Gerry remarked that the initial public reaction was negative and brands like Burberry and H&M had dropped their contracts with Kate. However, after a year or so, even more famous brands like Calvin Klein invited Kate back to the fashion world. “In the West, scandals mean media coverage.” Gerry commented. He further showed with statistics that tabloids in the UK did have better sales than broadsheets and it is an undeniable truth that hard news has evolved into soft news in this century. Gerry quoted Jimmy Lai, “If you have fewer friends, you have more readers.” He advised future journalists at the seminar to always bear in mind who their readers are.

Rules for Journalists: Build your contacts book

Having done numerous exclusive English interviews with celebrities, Gerry Ho has three rules for future journalists to bear in mind. First and most importantly, build a contacts book. “If you are shy, don’t be a journalist!” Gerry said. He emphasized the importance of building up relationships, establishing trust and honesty with celebrities. “It is important that you talk to them on a human level. Be a good journalist and they will tell you more next time.” Gerry added. The second rule Gerry put forth was to keep promises, even promises as small as staying punctual. He warned that breaking promises would damage the reputation of journalists, which could destroy the contacts book journalists have spent their lifetime building. The last rule Gerry suggested was to be fearless. He recalled that the success of Batgwa.com was due to all the cold-callings when it was founded two years ago.

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