Hot off the press: hk01 newspaper launches today

It takes nerves of steel to publish newspapers at a time when everybody is going online. But hk01 (香港01) has defied the trend and launched a weekly newspaper which debuted today.

The publication made its online debut in January, which included a news site and a Facebook page, which has registered nearly 60,000 fans in only three months.

Founded by former Ming Pao chairman Yu Pun-hoi (于品海), the publication was launched with a mission to drive social change, restructure social values and drive media reform.

Priced at HK$20, the first edition consists of four sections: politics and current affairs, international economics, local lifestyle and profile, and entertainment. The paper comes with two magazine bundles titled Being Local (本土) and Being Global (世界).

The paper will have a print run of 100,000 copies a week, with up to 196 pages an edition. It will be published each Friday.

The print media suffered some serious setbacks last year with some of the oldest titles shutting down, including Hong Kong Daily News and Sing Pao Daily, on top of a list of magazine closures from local media giants such as Next Media’s Sudden Weekly and New Media Group’s Fashion and Beauty.

The newspaper is presented in a way to target all Hong Kong people of all ages, Angela Ahmed, director of human resources and administration at hk01, told Marketing.

“It’s not a secret that readers are going online, but we believe there is still a need for printed newspapers as the visual presentation and the depth of content between digital and in print are vastly different.”

She said content for the weekly newspaper was designed to be sustainable and which would keep readers reading for the whole week.

In the face of stiff competition from dominating local newspapers such as Apple Daily and Ming Pao, Ahmed remains confident that hk01 will stand out with its unique layout, diversity and dimension of content.

“Our product speaks for itself. If you take a closer look at it, you can easily tell that our perspective on news and layouts are thoughtfully planned. For example, the style and feel of editorial content echoes to advertising.”

When asked to respond to previous accusations from some of its online readers towards its political stances, she admits that neutrality is hard to achieve because a publication should have its own voice.

“Stating a matter plainly without comment is not good reporting. We have our own voice and we talk to audiences directly. The most important thing is to maintain focus on issues instead of personalities,” she said.

The company claims to have a total of 380 employees – 280 of which work in editorial.