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|Owner(s)||Media Chinese International Limited|
Ming Pao (traditional Chinese: 明報; simplified Chinese: 明报; pinyin: Míng Bào) is a Chinese-language newspaper published by Ming Pao Group in Hong Kong. In the 1990s, Ming Pao established four overseas branches in North America; each provides independent reporting on local news and collects local advertisements. Currently, only the two Canadian editions remain: Ming Pao Toronto and Ming Pao Vancouver. Ming Pao New York and Ming Pao San Francisco ceased operations on 31 January and 14 February 2009, respectively.
- 1 Mission
- 2 History
- 3 Reader groups
- 4 Achievements
- 5 Website
- 6 International Expansion
- 7 Merger with Malaysia Sinchew and Nanyang Groups
- 8 Violent assault on editor
- 9 Controversy
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Ming Pao operates with a mission and longstanding editorial direction to present comprehensive, objective and bias-free coverage and analyses on political and economic issues in both mainland China and Hong Kong. It aims at providing comprehensive and accurate reports on political and economic issues in Hong Kong and mainland China. Well known for its accuracy in language, many secondary schools in Hong Kong encourage their students to subscribe to Ming Pao to improve their Chinese language.
Ming Pao was first published on 20 May 1959, and was founded by the famous Chinese wuxia novelist Louis Cha, known better by his pseudonym Jinyong (金庸), and his friend, Shen Pao Sing (沈寶新). Daisy Li Yuet-Wah won an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Protect Journalists for her work with the paper in 1994.
Ming Pao was then taken over by Tiong Hiew King in 1995. Ming Pao now is published by Ming Pao Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of Media Chinese International Limited, which was formed by the successful merger of Ming Pao Enterprise Corporation Limited (Hong Kong), Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad (Malaysia) and Nanyang Press Holdings Berhad (Malaysia) in April 2008.
In 2014, the appointment of new chief editor Chong Tien Siong sparked controversy and internal revolt, due to Siong's close ties to Beijing, and was seen as a major threat to the Chinese-language newspaper's editorial independence.
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According to Ming Pao, its main reader groups are the middle class, professionals, managers and corporate decision-makers.
Awards won by Ming Pao Hong Kong in recent years:
Public Evaluation on Media Credibility Survey, conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong 2001–2006
- Most Credible Chinese Newspaper
The Society of Publishers in Asia Awards 2008:
- The Scoop Award, The Retirement of Zheng Qing Hong
The Society of Publishers in Asia Awards 2007:
- The Scoop Award, The Qinghai tourists
The Society of Publishers in Asia Awards 2006:
- Excellence in Opinion Writing, Commentary on Candidates for the 3rd chief executive of the HKSAR
- Excellence in Explanatory Reporting, The saga of Tung stepping down & Tsang rising on the occasion
- Excellence in Reporting of Breaking News, The Funeral of Zhao Ziyang
- The Scoop Award, Series on Secretary for Justice – Mr. Wong Yan Lung
IFRA Asia Media Awards 2008:
- Best in Design, Circulation over 100,000 copies – Bronze Award
- Best in Newspaper Supplement Award, Circulation below 100,000 copies – Gold Award, Silver Award, Bronze Award
- Best in Special Coverage – Magazine Special Issue, Circulation over 50,000 copies – Silver Award
- Best in Photojournalism Award, General News – Silver Award
IFRA Asia Media Awards 2007:
- Best in Media Cover Design, Circulation over 50,000 copies – Gold Award
- Best in Newspaper Supplement Award, Circulation below 100,000 – Gold Award
IFRA Asia Media Awards 2006:
- Best in News Page Design – Gold Award
- Best in Photography (Sports) – Gold Award
Awards won by Ming Pao Vancouver in recent years:
- The Jack Webster Award in Best Chinese Reporting, 2003 (The Murder of Amanda Zhao)
- The Jack Webster Award in Best Chinese Reporting, 1998 (Identity and Integration)
- The Jack Webster Award in Best Chinese Reporting, 1997 (Gambling, a Controversy Never Solved )
The homepage of Ming Pao was set up in 1995, one of the earliest newspaper websites in Hong Kong. The Ming Pao website won the "Ten Healthy Websites Contest 2002" of the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority. Only two news websites among the entire media industry in Hong Kong were given the award, which objectives were said to encourage young people and children to visit websites with healthy information and make proper use of the Internet, and to motivate Internet content providers to create more healthy websites for young people by recognising their efforts.
Ming Pao set up a Toronto office in Canada in May 1993 to publish the Ming Pao Eastern Edition (Chinese: 明報(加東版)), then set up a Vancouver office in October the same year for the Ming Pao Western Edition (Chinese: 明報(加西版)). These two papers soon attracted enough sales and became one of the local Chinese newspapers in North American with the largest readership.
In April 1997, the group set up a New York office and started publishing the Ming Pao US East Coast Edition (Chinese: 明報(美東版)). In 2007, the office also published the New York Free Newspaper (Chinese: 紐約免費報). In February 2009, the Group integrated the resources of these two newspapers and started publishing the Ming Pao Daily Free News (New York) (Chinese: 明報(紐約)免費報), serving the Chinese community along the US East Coast.
Merger with Malaysia Sinchew and Nanyang Groups
In October 1995, Ming Pao was taken over by Tiong Hiew King (Chinese: 張曉卿). On 29 January 2007, Tiong released a proposal to merge the three media groups – Sin Chew Media Corporation Berhad (Malaysia), Nanyang Press Holdings Berhad (Malaysia) and Ming Pao Enterprise Corporation Limited (Hong Kong). The merged group, named Media Chinese International Limited was dual-listed on the main boards of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong and the Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in April 2008. All of the existing groups retain their existing publications and independent operations.
Violent assault on editor
Kevin Lau, who had been chief editor of the journal until January 2014, was attacked in the morning of 26 February 2014 as he was about to take breakfast at a restaurant in Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong. He was seriously injured in a targeted knife attack. It was widely speculated that the attack may have been driven by political motivation, and related to its role in investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) into the offshore assets of China's leaders, including relatives of Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping, former Premier Wen Jiabao, and several members of the National People's Congress Journalists and press of the world saw the attack as an attack on press freedom. Thousands of people, led by leading journalists, attended a rally to denounce violence and intimidation of the media.
Chinese Communist Party Influence
“The dominant Chinese media vehicle in America is the newspaper," wrote the report's lead author Mei Duzhe. "Four major Chinese newspapers are found in the U.S.—World Journal, Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao Daily News, and The China Press. Of these four, three are either directly or indirectly controlled by the government of Mainland China, while the fourth (run out of Taiwan) has recently begun bowing to pressure from the Beijing government.”
The report also noted that the CCP started purchasing important Hong Kong news media companies, including Ming Pao, through third parties, in preparation for the Hong Kong hand-over to the People's Republic of China in 1997. “Employees at Ming Pao's New York office have told sources that their 'true boss' is none other than the Chinese Consulate [in New York], and that they are obligated to do whatever the Consulate asks," it said.
A 2013 report by Freedom House, a US-based non-partisan think-tank that monitors threats to democracy and freedom, echoed this concern: “Before and after the 1997 [Hong Kong] transition, a number of influential newspapers run as family businesses were bought by tycoons with business interests in China and close ties to mainland officials, such as Ming Pao Daily, Sing Tao Daily, and Ming Pao," said the report. “Soon, a number of observable patterns emerged at these and other outlets signaling growing pressure within the media industry to reduce criticism of the central government…”
Chief editor censors article on Tiananmen Massacre
Ming Pao was subject to controversy in 2015 after editor-in-chief Chong Tien-siong ordered that a story detailing the Tiananmen massacre be replaced with a story about Chinese Internet giant Alibaba as a "role model for young, would-be entrepreneurs". Chum Shun-kin said the story that was pulled contained details about the history of the massacre, including eyewitness accounts of the killing of civilians and information from diplomatic cables from Canada. The pulling of the Tiananmen story has been criticised by some, including Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo who said that Chong appears to "want to shield Beijing from embarrassment, instead of acting in the interests of the public and protecting their right to information".
The journal's executive chief editor, Keung Kwok-yuen (Chinese:姜國元), was abruptly terminated on 20 April 2016, the same day that a report based on the Panama Papers was published on its front page. Management said that the paper's turnover had been falling in since last year and the Keung had been laid off with immediate effect due to difficult operating conditions. The timing of Keung's removal led to speculation that the Panama Papers report, which connected a number of influential individuals in the territory to tax havens abroad, may have been considered sensitive, thus being the real reason for the dismissal. Keung had several weeks earlier written about the suppression of Ten Years, a dystopian film about Hong Kong in the year 2025 that was banned in mainland China. Staff and the union publicly denounced editor-in-chief Chong Tien Siong's decision to "punish editorial staff who have different opinions", and questioned the cost reduction pretext as an excuse. Journalists at Ming Pao manifested the concern felt by the media at large, several of them protested by filed blank space reports in an edition the Sunday following the dismissal; management attempted to failed to block the journalists' protest action.
- "Journalists Receive 1996 Press Freedom Awards". Committee to Protect Journalists. 1996. Retrieved 28 May 2011.
- Lam, Jeffie & Lau, Stewart. 21 January 2014 “Controversial new boss Chong Tien Siong may join Ming Pao in 2 weeks” South China Morning Post
- "Ming Pao Canada Website". Ming Pao (Canada).
- Mitra-Thakur, Sofia (28 February 2014). "Hong Kong: Former editor Kevin Lau Chun-to stabbed in triad-style hit ". The Independent.
- Mullany, Gerry (25 February 2014). "Hong Kong Editor Whose Ouster Stirred Protests Is Slashed". The New York Times
- Siu, Beatrice (3 March 2014). "Pressing the point". The Standard.
- Duzhe, Mei. China Brief Vol1, Issue 10. "How China's Government is Attempting to Control Chinese Media in America" "Jamestown Foundation." 2001
- Cook, Sarah. "The Long Shadow of Chinese Censorship: How the Communist Party’s Media Restrictions Affect News Outlets Around the World" Freedom House, Oct.2013]
- "Removal of Tiananmen Crackdown Story Prompts Questions in Hong Kong". Radio Free Asia.
- LO, Jennifer (21 April 2016). "HK freedoms under spotlight as Ming Pao sacks editor".
- "Hong Kong journalists' shock at Ming Pao editor's sacking". BBC News.
- "Columnists continue Ming Pao protest". The Standard. 25 April 2016.
- "Hong Kong daily Ming Pao runs blank columns in protest at sacking of top editor". South China Morning Post. 24 April 2016.