香港最佳新聞獎2021
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    香港報業公會主席
甘煥騰先生獻辭

 

去年年初以來,新冠病毒疫情影響全球,各行各業受到嚴峻打擊。本已經營困難的香港報業,面對媒體市場廣告收入大幅下跌,猶如雪上加霜。不少報章盈利減少,甚至出現虧損,部分更被迫裁員以節省成本。

 由於辦報成本高,本地報章近年都致力探索新的經營模式,包括發展網上廣告,以求逆境求存。去年底,香港報業公會結合各會員報館的力量,推動成立電子廣告銷售平台「報網通」,旨在為客戶提供一個一站式投放報章網上廣告途徑,為同業提高經營效益。成立以來,「報網通」已爲參與報章帶來亮麗的收益,為廣告客戶達致美滿的宣傳效果。

然而,受制於社交媒體及搜索平台的掠奪式經營手法,本地報章在發展網上廣告時,面對極爲不公平的競爭。這些社交媒體和搜索平台以新聞內容結合其他資訊取得非常高的流量,再以其近乎壟斷的營運規模佔取絕大部份的收益,令新聞媒體成為多勞少得的犧牲者。香港的《版權條例》未能跟上時代的步伐,無法為內容提供者提供所需的保障。在龐大的商業壟斷運作面前,本地報章難以從原創內容取得合理收益。維護版權成本高、回報低,其結果不單是業者面臨困境,更擾亂了輿論生態環境。隨著報業編採資源枯竭,從業員待遇日益低迷,對社會的惡性影響日益明顯。

作為網媒冒起之源的西方,已對這種不正常的媒體生態予以糾正。澳洲國會在2月25日正式通過了《新聞媒體議價法令》,目的在於解決新聞媒體與數位平台之間談判勢力的不平衡。這法案對全球的科網和新聞生態影響深遠,既打擊科網霸權,又能維護新聞價值。同樣被科技巨擘壟斷網絡搜尋和社交媒體平台的香港,亟需建立一個能夠讓報業公平競爭的營商環境。香港報業公會促請港府茪漎膍s新聞付費政策,令科企就引用新聞內容向新聞機構支付合理費用,幫助處境困難的新聞業界取得合理回報,藉此維護新聞價值和新聞專業。

香港報業公會向來堅持以社會公共利益為導向,通過維護新聞素質及堅守專業操守精神,推進社會發展。在此,我謹代表公會感謝社會各界,尤其是所有評審委員及各家贊助機構,支持我們每年舉辦香港新聞大獎,表揚優秀的新聞報道。衷心祝賀2020年度的得獎者,亦感謝其他新聞界同業對專業的貢獻和付出。展望未來,香港報業公會定必繼續推動業界發展,提升業內的專業水準。

 

Keith Kam
Chairman, The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong

 

Since early last year, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the whole world and all walks of life. Hong Kong’s newspaper industry, which was already struggling before the pandemic, has fared badly as advertising revenue plunged. Many newspapers have seen sharp reductions in their profits or suffered losses, and some have even been forced to cut cost by laying off staff.

Due to the high cost of operation, local newspapers have been striving to explore new business models in recent years, including the development of online advertising. At the end of last year, members of The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong pulled their strength together to raise the competitiveness of the industry by setting up Newsoc Hub, a one-stop online advertising platform. It has since boosted the revenue of participating newspapers and achieved satisfactory promotion for advertisers.

However, in developing online advertising, local newspapers face highly unfair competition posed by the predatory business practices of social media and search engine platforms. By combining news content with other information, these platforms have built up a high volume of traffic to their sites. They then exploit the scale of their dominance to get the lion’s share of the revenue generated, leaving the local news media with a meagre return that does not correspond to the amount of resources deployed to produce the news content. Hong Kong’s outdated Copyright Ordinance has failed to keep up with the times and is unable to provide the necessary protection that content producers need. In the face of massive business manipulation, local media are unable to obtain a reasonable return for the original content they produce. The high cost and low return of producing and safeguarding news content has caused not just hardship to the media operators but also worsened the media ecology. As editorial resources dry up and remuneration for journalists drops, the negative impact on the society is becoming more and more apparent.

In the West, where web-based media originated, efforts have been made to rectify this anomaly in the media industry. In February, the Australian parliament passed the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, which seeks to address the unbalanced bargaining power between the news media and digital platforms. The law has a profound impact on the technology giants and the ecology of the news industry by targeting the hegemony of those giants and safeguarding the value of news. As Hong Kong has also been subject to the predatory practices of the technology giants and social media platforms, there is a dire need to create a business environment with a level playing field for the newspaper industry. The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong calls on the government to start studying the introduction of a “payment for news” policy so that the technology giants will have to pay news outlets for using their content. Only then would the news industry be able to secure a reasonable return and safeguard the value of news and journalism.

The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong has always steadfastly upheld the principles of putting the public interest first and promoting social progress by safeguarding the quality of journalism and abiding by the professional code of conduct. On behalf of the society, I would like to convey my heartfelt gratitude to our sponsors and panel of judges for supporting our efforts to recognize outstanding works of journalism through the Hong Kong News Awards every year. Congratulations to all the winners of this year’s award. My thanks also go to other members of the newspaper industry for their contributions to the profession. Looking ahead, The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong will continue to foster the development of the industry by raising professional standards.