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2011 retrospective ; Newsman in the news : Jimmy Lai (30 Dec 2011)


First though, we’re looking back at 2011, and as ever it was a year of many events. Looking back over Hong Kong news though it’s arguable that the main theme of this year has been an accelerating erosion of the concept of “one country two systems”. Apart from the politics, Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland plays a large role in the discussion of such issues as the shortage of maternity beds, education shortages, rising property prices, and other social issues. The reason that the political issue has become even more important is that many are concerned that if Hong Kong doesn't have it's own voice, none of these other issues can be solved. A University of Hong Kong public opinion poll released on December 20th found that just 35% of respondents now say they trust the HKSAR Government, and also that – while still broadly positive - Hong Kong people’s confidence in ‘one country, two systems’, has dropped significantly to a new low since June 2004.40% of respondents said they had no confidence in the concept, an increase of 7 points in a year. One of Hong Kong’s most successful news publishers has been a newsmaker in his own right this year. In September Jimmy Lai shook up the local newspaper market by releasing the free Sharp Daily, with plans to reach one million readers a day. He made the headlines again when someone at his Next media group leaked information that he had donated large sums to pro-democracy groups. His Sudden Weekly and Next Magazine rank first and second in circulation for Hong Kong’s magazine market, while Apple Daily is the No. 2 newspaper here. His company is also a pioneer of animated news on the internet, which has generated considerable interest and controversy. Increasingly, Jimmy Lai has been focusing on Taiwan, where the local edition of Apple Daily is the market leader and Next is, again, a best seller. He spoke to The Pulse over the Christmas holidays.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, December 30, 2011
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