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Free press strives for survival

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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Many expect that the news industry has a war period coming since another free newspaper has entered the local market. Alan Lo, president of AM 730 however believes that although an inevitable competition is ready to explode, all the current free newspapers can still co-exist for a period of time.

Cassandra Guo


Including the newly launched giveaway Sharp Daily, the number of free newspapers in Hong Kong adds up to six. Aside from Sharp Daily, the Chinese-written giveaways are Metro Daily, Headline Daily, AM 730 and Sky post, with Standard being the only free English newspaper. “There are too many newspapers, readers are not able to consume all of them,” said Lo, president of local free newspaper AM 730. “Readers are smart. They choose the one which matches their taste.”


“Newspaper have reputations attached to them. What newspaper you carry in your hands indicates what kind of person you are. Some newspapers will make you smarter after reading them while some will only make you more stupid.” On this, Lo clarified that AM 730 is a knowledge based newspaper which targets white collar workers and intellectuals. “The positions among each free newspaper are quite different. Since we have very good columnists writing for us, I’m not afraid of comparison.”


Though feeling confident for his own publication, Lo still showed concerns since the paper has a tight contract with Sharp Daily’s mother company, Next Media. Lo explained that AM 730 relies on Next Media for printing. Yet Next Media strictly limited the daily print of AM 730 to a maximum fo 400,000 copies with 64 pages per copy since the launching of Sharp Daily. “We normally had more than 64 pages for our weekend edition in the previous 6 years. Now we can't accept more advertisements since we won’t be able to provide extra space. It really affects our revenue.”
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