As the aftermath of the financial tsunami continued to impact the global economy, the newspaper industry faced a complex operating environment in 2009 in which grief and joy intermingled. In the first half of the year, the industry encountered grave difficulties that forced some newspapers to downsize their operations to get through a very stressful period. In the second half, the economy began to show signs of improvement. As different business sectors recovered their vitality to varying degrees, newspapers were able to breathe a sigh of relief. Coming out of the recession, they have continued to uphold their consistently high professional standards, confirming their agile ability to adapt to changing circumstances. I sincerely hope that members of the industry will make great strides this year.
We recognize the winning entries of the Hong Kong News Awards 2009 with a view to encouraging our journalists to uphold their professional responsibilities, strive for excellence, provide the public with quality information, enhance the social influence of the newspaper industry and propel social progress. The contents and scope of this year's entries are rich and broad. They show that the industry's standards are getting higher and higher. It is significant to note that the themes of many entries are about human caring. They are a reflection of our journalists' concern for the less privileged members of the community. Their works are conducive to reminding the authorities to pay heed to people's livelihood, social justice and establishing a harmonious society.
On behalf of The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong, I would like to express our gratitude to the judges for their hard work in making the Hong Kong News Awards a success.
My sincere thanks to all the sponsors, newspapers and participants.
My heart felt congratulations to all the award winners.