Sing Tao Daily

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Sing Tao Daily
Sing Tao Daily logo.svg
Type Daily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Sing Tao Newspaper Group Limited
Founded 1938
Political alignment Pro-China
Headquarters 3 Tung Wong Road, Shau Kei Wan, Hong Kong
Overseas: 188 Lafayette Street, New York City 10013, U.S.
Website http://www.singtao.com
http://std.stheadline.com
Sing Tao Daily
Traditional Chinese 星島日報
Simplified Chinese 星岛日报

The Sing Tao Daily (Chinese: 星島日報) is Hong Kong's second largest Chinese language newspaper.[citation needed] It is owned by Sing Tao News Corporation Limited, of which Charles Ho Tsu Kwok (Chinese: 何柱國) is the chairman. Its English language sister paper is The Standard. The Sing Tao also maintains the news website singtao.com.

There are also at least 16 overseas editions of the Sing Tao Daily, which are published by 9 overseas news bureaus and circulated in 100 cities around the world. The overseas editions help facilitate easy access to homeland news for Chinese language readers outside China.

History[edit]

Sing Tao Daily

The parent company of the Sing Tao Daily, the Sing Tao Newspaper Group Limited, was founded in 1938 and is based in Hong Kong. The Sing Tao Daily was first published in the same year. It has one of the longest publishing histories among the Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong.

After establishing its overseas base office in New York City in 1965, the Sing Tao set up International News Centres in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto (1978), Vancouver, Calgary, London, and Sydney. In all, the company now has twenty-two offices globally.

In 1998, members of the management team were found guilty of falsifying circulation numbers. The Hong Kong government's decision not to charge the chairwoman Sally Aw for reasons of "public benefit" turned into a scandal for the Hong Kong legal system and was quoted as a reason for the million's march on 1 July 2003. Shortly after, financial problems forced Aw to sell out her stock in the Sing Tao Newspaper Group Limited.

Sing Tao's Toronto edition is partially owned by Star Media Group, the publisher of the Toronto Star, a Torstar Corporation company.

Notable milestones achieved in the history of Sing Tao Daily[edit]

The Sing Tao Daily has garnered the largest regional coverage among overseas Chinese communities and also has the second largest global coverage in the world, following The International New York Times. Sing Tao pioneered satellite transmission and was the first newspaper available on opposite sides of the world on the same day.

The Sing Tao Group has become the only media group in Hong Kong that owns both Chinese and English language newspapers.

The Sing Tao Daily became the first newspaper in Hong Kong to launch a website. On 23 August 1995, www.singtao.com was launched.

The Sing Tao Daily became the first newspaper in Hong Kong to develop a parenting section, which helps parents with advice for their children's growth and development.

Market[edit]

The Sing Tao Daily has chosen to refresh its image and editorial content by positioning itself as the newspaper of choice for the middle class, who demand a more high-brow content. Sing Tao Daily also targets students by offering them cheaper subscription editions.

The Sing Tao Daily overseas editions serve Chinese immigrants in the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, and elsewhere.

Since 2010, the Sing Tao Daily has significantly broadened its scope to further cover world business affairs, international political issues, and proceedings at the United Nations Headquarters.

Creation of editorial product[edit]

The Sing Tao Daily's editorial product is created using daily Chinese language internet feeds from Hong Kong, together with national feeds from its news bureau based in New York City as well as from various satellite editorial staff.

The information is transmitted electronically to the various production facilities where prepress departments compose the pages using the Chinese electronic publishing system FounderFit (produced by the Founder Group), which allows the Chinese language to be digitally typeset.

In August 2007 the San Francisco office stopped using all FounderFit applications for Newspaper production. Sing Tao San Francisco now uses page layout, ad production, tracking and classified pagination applications from SCS of Nazareth, Pennsylvania. Adobe InDesign and Quark are used for news pagination. Sing Tao Toronto, Vancouver and Los Angeles have also switched to the SCS production applications.

The Information Services Department is a combination of the former Sing Tao Daily Main Library, Sing Tao Daily Business Library, Hong Kong iMail/Hong Kong Standard Library and the Sing Tao EDP Team. The department aids the production process through the following:

  • News research support, including the maintenance of photograph and news archives, and company and land searches.
  • Acquisition of news content and services for publication and reference
  • Compilation of charts and tables for publication, including horse racing results, stock listings, financial indices, property transaction records, shipping schedules, and weather data
  • Handling applications for copyright permission

The Sing Tao Electronic Photo System acts as a complement to the Information Services Department. It provides wire photos from six popular news media, pictures used for daily publication, photographs taken by their own staff, and photo archives. The photos are classified for easy retrieval.

News files, photos and other resources can be accessed through a web-based library resource catalogue.

Political stance[edit]

The Sing Tao has a long pro-government history. Before the reunification of Hong Kong with China, it supported the Kuomintang and British Hong Kong Government; and once Hong Kong was transferred of sovereignty and turned into a special administrative region, it turned support to the Beijing government.[1][2][3]

Charles Ho, chairman of Sing Tao News Corp Ltd., and his predecessor Sally Aw, were both members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a select group of the Chinese Communist Party’s loyal friends and allies.[4]

Controversies[edit]

Chinese Communist Party Influence[edit]

According to a 2013 report by Freedom House, "The Long Shadow of Chinese Censorship: How the Communist Party’s Media Restrictions Affect News Outlets Around the World," a number of patterns emerged in recent decades that signalled Sing Tao was under influence or directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party: management and owners began practicing “self-censorship”, “hish-risk” contributors were being terminated, and high turnover rates increased as journalists left due to an “unpalatable editorial policy.”[5]

Editorial coverage also shifted noticeably since the 1990s, notes the report:

  • Avoiding or limiting coverage of politically sensitive topics such as 1989 military crackdown on Tiananmen Square protesters, Tibet, and Taiwanese independence.
  • Shifting critical opinions from front to back pages.
  • Choosing “politically correct” rhetoric.
  • Reducing investigative journalism in favor of soft news or a simple accounting of emerging events.

A 2001 report on Chinese media censorship by the Jamestown Foundation cited Sing Tao as one of four major overseas Chinese newspapers directly or indirectly controlled by Beijing.[6] “Four major Chinese newspapers are found in the U.S.—World Journal, Sing Tao Daily, Ming Pao Daily News, and The China Press," reads the report, “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.”

2008 pro-Beijing modifications to translated article[edit]

In 2008, the Toronto edition of Sing Tao (which is produced in partnership with a Torstar Corp. subsidiary that also publishes the Toronto Star) was caught changing quoted matter in a translated Toronto Star on Tibet, changing its original headline ("Chinese-Canadians Conflicted on Tibet"[7]) to a pro-Beijing headline ("The West Uses Tibet Issue to Attack China, Inspiring Patriotism Among Overseas Chinese").[8] Sing Tao editor Wilson Chan defended the modifications but was fired after a public outcry.[8]

Sing Tao management found guilty of fudging circulation numbers[edit]

In 1998, members of the Sing Tao management team were found guilty of falsifying circulation numbers for the Hong Kong Standard newspaper, in order to attract advertisers and to raise the revenue of the newspapers.[9] According to a 2013 Freedom House report, the circulation of Sing Tao and most major overseas Chinese newspapers linked to Beijing remain unaudited, and therefore vulnerable to exaggeration:

“…circulation numbers of more Beijing-friendly Chinese-language papers are inflated, giving them an unfair advantage when obtaining revenue through advertising. Unclear figures in media directories, a lack of transparency and of independent circulation audits by publications such as Sing Tao, Ming Pao, and World Journal, and distribution route data relayed by an industry insider who wished to remain anonymous lend credence to such suspicions.”[10]

Image promotion[edit]

The Sing Tao Daily has embarked upon many programmes to lift its brand positioning and stimulate its circulation and readership.

These have included the following:

  • Editorial repositioning
  • Opinion exchanges with readers
  • A special edition with highlights of the Sing Tao Daily's core and enhanced content
  • Special supplements, e.g. its series of 9-11 supplements following the events of 11 September 2001, and World Cup pullouts
  • Topical supplements, including Property Browser and Job Market (Chinese: 求職廣場)
  • Support of campaigns such as
    • the Angel Campaign
    • the Inter-School Debating Competition
    • the Leader of the Year Award

In response to the perception by some that the Sing Tao has been a traditional and conservative newspaper, it has recently launched a "daring and middle class" communication platform in an attempt to promote itself as being more contemporary.

Website content[edit]

The news on the website of the Sing Tao Daily is generally the same as what can be found in the printed paper. Different versions of the website customised with local content can also be accessed by readers in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sing Tao Daily". Chinese Advertising Agencies, Inc. 
  2. ^ "Editor Dismissed Over Pro-Beijing Edits, Say Sources". Canada Free Press. 
  3. ^ Jason Loftus (9 April 2009). "Editor Dismissed Over Pro-Beijing Edits, Say Sources". Epoch Times. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ 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]
  6. ^ Duzhe, Mei. China Brief Vol1, Issue 10. "How China's Government is Attempting to Control Chinese Media in America" "Jamestown Foundation." 2001
  7. ^ Nicholas Keung, Chinese Canadians Conflicted on Tibet, Toronto Star (April 13, 2008).
  8. ^ a b Craig Offman, The making of Michael Chan, Globe & Mail (June 17, 2015).
  9. ^ Mungan, Christina. 16 Dec 1998. "Sally Aw Finds Buyer for 23% of Sing Tao" Wall Street Journal
  10. ^ 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

External links[edit]