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JMSC0101: Principles of Journalism and the News Media Professor Ying Chan Journalism and Media Studies Centre JMSC0101 Lecture Four, 2007 Outline Why ownership matters Types of media ownership Global ownership trends Media ownership in Hong Kong

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jmsc0101 principles of journalism and the news media

JMSC0101:Principles of Journalism and the News Media

Professor Ying Chan

Journalism and Media Studies Centre


Lecture Four, 2007

  • Why ownership matters
  • Types of media ownership
  • Global ownership trends
  • Media ownership in Hong Kong
  • Public broadcasting: current state and controversies
  • The seven sins of commercialized media
    • Case study: the Donald saga
  • The future of media ownership: paradigm change?
why study media ownership
Why Study Media Ownership?
  • Who controls the message?
  • Who are the “gatekeepers”? The publisher? The editor? The producer?
  • What are the conditions under which reporters do their job? What are the constraints?
  • Are reporters free to write about important issues? (and exercise their conscience?)
media kinds of ownership
Media: Kinds of Ownership
  • State ownership
  • Private ownership
  • Public ownership – listed companies
  • Public ownership with private control
  • Non-profit ownership
  • “Independent” ownership
trends in concentration of ownership
Trends in Concentration of Ownership
  • Concentration of ownership within one industry
  • Cross-media ownership - owning more than one type of medium
  • Conglomerate ownership - owning businesses other than the media
  • Vertical integration - controlling several aspects of a single media industry (e.g. production and distribution)
media concentration
Media Concentration
  • Increasing Concentration
  • Most people unaware
  • Media ownership increasingly trans-national
u s media ownership
U.S. Media Ownership
  • Top 10 chains own 1/5 of the dailies
  • 20 corporations control more than half of annual magazine revenue
  • ONE broadcast company own more than 500 radio stations
  • More than half of the TV stations are network affiliates
  • The top six book publishing companies account for 40% of total annual publishing revenue
  • 98% of cities are “one-paper” towns 24 media giants own over half the television, newspaper, magazine, movies and radio in the US.
  • Most of the remaining independently owned stations and news outlets are dependent on the media giants for all but purely local news coverage.
media ownership
Media Ownership
  • 19th Century Press “Industrialization”
  • 1837 start up cost: under 1,000 pounds
  • 1867 start up cost: over 50,000 pound
the scene
The Scene
  • 14 daily Chinese language newspapers
  • Three English language dailies
  • Two commercial radio stations (4 channels)
  • Television
    • Four free-to-air terrestrial channels, TVB the market leader; ATV the distant second
    • HK cable (HK cable )
    • Satellite TV: Star, Phoenix
    • Web TV: NOW
  • ??? Internet portals and sites
  • AOL/Time Warner: CNN
  • News Corp/Star TV and Phoenix
  • CNBC
  • Bloomberg News
  • Dow Jones: AWSJ, Dow Jones Wire, International Herald Tribune
  • Financial Times
  • Reuters
who owns the scmp
Who owns the SCMP ?
  • South China Morning Post (Holdings)
  • Malaysian tycoon
    • ranked 104 on Forbes 2007 list
    • net worth of US$7 billion
    • business empire in more than a dozen Asian countries - hotels, shipping. real estate, media, plantations, commodities and more.
  • Owns major shares of the Bangkok Post and the Siam Post in Thailand
the man behind ming pao
The Man Behind Ming Pao
  • Tiong Hiew King, timber baron
  • Ranked 840 on Forbes 2007 list
  • Net worth US$1.2 billion
  • Owns extensive forest in Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Siberia, Brazil, Central Africa and New Zealand.
t he man behind ming pao
The Man Behind Ming Pao
  • Sin Chew Jit Poh, the largest-circulating Chinese newspaper in Malaysia
  • 45% interest in Ming Pao Group of 10 publications
  • Launched The National in Papua New Guinea and a Chinese newspaper in Cambodia.
who owns sing tao
Who Owns Sing Tao ?
  • Charles Ho, China Global Technology Group
    • Sing Tao Daily - Hong Kong, United States (NYC, SF, LA, Chicago,) Canada ( Vancouver, Toronto) Australia, New Zealand
    • HK Standard
    • Eastweek
case study the donald saga
Case Study: The Donald Saga
  • Donald Tsang, Chief Executive, HKSAR since July 1, 2005
  • No. 2 in gov’t as Chief Secretary under Tung Chee-hwa; 38-year in civil service
  • Took office after the unpopular Tung stepped down March 1, 2005
danold s dateline
Danold’s Dateline
  • 3/1, Tung resigned
  • 3/2, Tsang became acting CE
  • 3/12, Tsang resigned to prepare for campaign
  • 6/16, was declared winner with 716 of 800 vote in ‘small-circle’ election
  • 7/1, sworn in as new CE
tsang the ce in waiting
Tsang the CE-in-Waiting
  • 3/2 to 6/30, offers unique window to examine the coverage of Tsang
  • Intensive Tsang-watch by the news media
  • Expect intense scrutiny of his records, pledges, positions on critical issues and plans
  • Opportunity to examine split between hard news vs soft news; and tendencies towards infotainment & tabloidization
  • Newspapers
    • Oriental News, top selling mass market
    • Apple Daily, second selling mass market
    • Ming Pao: ‘quality paper’ targeting intellectuals
  • Select all articles focused on Tsang(913)
  • Looking for trigger, frame and narrative style
identifying the trigger
Identifying the Trigger
  • What "triggered" the story to become news in the first place.
    • Was a poll released?
    • A statement from a news maker?
    • Event organized by Tsang?
    • An official announcement?
    • Enterprise story by news organization?
framing the news
Framing the News
  • Campaign news, poll ratings
  • Review of policies
  • previous records
  • Future political moves
  • Personal and trivia
  • Post-election plans
  • Activities as CE
  • Trivia/personal stories

(Ref: Project for Excellence in Journalism, )

  • Nearly one in three stories are horse-racing stories, the up and down of polls
  • Nearly one in four stories are trivia and personal snapshots
  • Nearly half of the total stories were triggered by Tsang, the newsmaker, reflecting successes in his aggressive PR campaign
  • Only 17.8% of the stories resulted from enterprise by news organizations
ming pao coverage

Ming Pao coverage

campaign 32%

personal 12%

trivia 21%

policies 9%

CE activities 4%

CE plans 13%

record 9%

trigger of personal stories

Trigger of Personal Stories

Enterprise 18%

Government/others 24%

Tsang 58%

hk newspapers on tsang

HK Newspapers On Tsang

Enterprise 21.1%

Triggered by Tsang 34%

Triggered by Government/others 49.9%

typical tabloid coverage
Typical Tabloid Coverage
  • Flashy presentation, bold pix and graphics
  • Emphasis on personal background
  • Reliance of rumor and hearsay
  • Use of sources with low or uncertain credibility
  • Paying sources for stories
  • Use of dramatic enactments

(Howard Kurtz, “Fit to Print, 2001)

private life trivia
Private Life/Trivia
  • What he wears, notably his bow-tie
  • Family dinner
  • His wife
  • His pet fishes, feeding pattern and unfortunate death
  • Overtures to reporters, greeting, group pictures, giving them flowers
  • His daily movements, going to church, his plane delayed,
policies and politics sidelined
Policies and Politics Sidelined
  • The West Kowloon Project 40 hectare prime water front public property, US$400 m investment
  • Universal Suffrage and outlook for political reform
  • Medical and public health services reform
  • Educational reform, Chinese vs. English as teaching languages
the future
The Future




Technology is revolutionizing the media

systemfrom news gathering, management,

production, distribution and ownership

future trends in media
Future Trends in Media
  • Digital based media (convergence)
  • High definition screens (quality/plasma)
  • Portable (wireless) palm sized computers
  • Direct broadcasting (satellite)
  • Miniature appliances (weight and size)
  • Memory (greater/faster/storage)
  • Fiber optics/laser
convergence the new world
Convergence the New World
  • Convergent Media : Print, video, audio, Web, wireless, e-mail, mobile devices
  • Convergent Newsrooms
  • Convergent Journalists
  • What’s the implications for training journalists for the 21st century
ownership converging
Ownership Converging
  • Integration with Mainland China in ownership, market, and production
  • Non-media companies launch or acquire media properties
  • PRC media expanding in Hong Kong
  • Intensive competition leading to sensationalism and ……..
tv paradigm change
TV: paradigm Change
  • Television on demand, anytime, anywhere – TV, mobile phone, back of your car
  • TV delivered by traditional broadcasters, cable or satellite operators, telecoms, ISPs and portals, IPTV
  • Explosion in the number of TV channels
  • Niche programming and Web sites
  • User-created networks - QQ, Bittorrent
  • Personal media - MP3 players
Top 20 US websites
  • Top sites World
  • Top sites China
  • Looking back at 2004
other than the mainstream
Other than the “Mainstream”
diy journalism in asia
DIY-Journalism in Asia
  • Ohmynews
  • Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
global voices
Global Voices



an enabling environment for a free responsible media
An Enabling Environment for a Free & Responsible Media
  • Build civil society: media monitors, active citizen groups, citizen and collaborative journalism
  • Create and promote professional culture
  • Empower journalists: unions, continuing education
  • Funding: support for non-commercial, and citizen and public media
  • Conduct research that inform media reform and policy changes