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The New Paper goes fully digital amidst plans to accelerate newsroom transformation

The New Paper goes fully digital amidst plans to accelerate newsroom transformation

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The New Paper (TNP) will cease its print edition and go fully digital from 11 December, as part of Singapore Press Holdings Media Trust's (SPH) aim to accelerate the digital transformation of newsrooms and to meet audience preferences in a rapidly-changing media landscape, according to TNP. At the same time, TNP will be revamping its website, which will launch on 25 October. Editor Lim Han Ming said in a note that TNP will continue to deliver human interest stories that are engaging and inspiring, as well as content that offers a unique street-eye view of life in the heartland.

TNP was launched in 1988 to engage a wider segment of the English-language readership beyond those reading The Straits Times. In December 2016, it was revamped and became a free newspaper after merging with MyPaper. Available every morning except Sundays and public holidays, TNP targets young PMEB readers and featuring a new content mix that focuses on news about the economy, job market, property, personal finance and government policies. It also features inspirational and heartwarming stories about people in Singapore, sports, and entertainment. Despite the revamp, TNP's annual events such as TNP Big Walk and TNP New Face competition still continued.

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Meanwhile, Khaw Boon Wan, chairman of SPH Media Trust, told The Sunday Times that going fully digital will allow the trust to serve TNP readers better. He plans to reform the newsroom, enhance TNP's online presence to better serve readers round the clock. In addition to the full digitalisation of TNP, Khaw said that the company limited by guarantee (CLG) also plans to expand resources in The Straits Times (ST) newsroom and speed up the digital transformation of The Business Times (BT), adding that BT's digital transformation will set the stage for the larger newsrooms in the CLG to carry out similar moves next year. At the same time, the CLG aims to boost digital customer interface and customer experience, and produce more engaging content that is relevant to its digital audience. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to SPH for comment.

Aside from BT and ST, SPH Media Trust also has other news titles under its purview including Lianhe Zaobao, Berita Harian and Tamil Murasu. According to Khaw, he is also pushing the newsrooms to double down on and grow digital subscriptions and plans to consolidate resources "in favour of digital media" and bring on board more talent, The Sunday Times reported. 

Khaw was named chairman of the new entity shortly after the media restructuring was announced earlier this year. Former deputy CEO and editor-in-chief, Patrick Daniel, was also appointed as interim CEO of the trust. SPH said in May this year that it is transferring its media business to a newly incorporated wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH Media Holdings, amidst the ongoing challenge of falling advertising revenue. SPH Media Holdings will eventually be transferred to a not-for-profit entity for a nominal sum, and the not-for-profit entity will be a newly formed public CLG.

On 10 September, majority of shareholders voted in favour of SPH transferring its media business to the CLG for a nominal sum of SG$1. This came shortly after Keppel Corporation proposed to acquire and privatise SPH excluding its media arm in August. Upon successful completion, SPH will eventually be delisted and become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel.

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Related articles:
SPH to potentially delist following proposed SG$3.4bn acquisition, Keppel in bid
Former SPH deputy CEO Patrick Daniel named interim chief of SPH Media
SPH Media's editorial integrity questioned in SG parliament debate
SPH CEO apologises for lashing out at CNA reporter



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