July 20, 2007

In the second half of the last century, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post was one of the leading information sources on China and Asia. Its site has just been revamped. For this occasion, the publisher wrote to me and many other bloggers to offered a three-month free subscription to the site.

You read that right: The South China Morning Post’s site is behind a subscription wall, preventing us effectively from linking to its doubtless great content.

Bloggers have acknowledged this offer with appropriate disdain. Danny Levinson of BDL Media explained why he’s lost interest in the South China Morning Post since the beginning of this century: “[It] was getting ever-easier to find alternative English-language news websites about China. Why buy a magazine of naked ladies when I could lounge all day for free on a nude beach?”

Other leading print media, such as Asiaweek and the Far Eastern Economic Review have been closed or falling into oblivion since the beginning of this century. The South China Morning Post is still the most popular daily paper in Hong Kong and more profitable than most other dailies in the world. But as the world goes online, leaving the stone age is compulsory for survival.

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Currently: Principal at China Speakers Bureau, China's premier speakers bureau.Former foreign correspondent, media trainer, new media advisor and internet entrepreneur in Shanghai.www.china-speakers-bureau.comwww.chinaherald.net
Fons Tuinstra

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