The Newspaper Society presented its 2018 Hong Kong News Awards this week.
Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung officiated, in keeping with the custom of having the chief executive and the chief secretary do so on alternate years.
With his usual meticulousness, Cheung prepared his speech in English and Chinese. He said he reads 20 local paid and free newspapers every day, and joked that he loves the ink smell of print.
In terms of awards, it is a bountiful year for the Sing Tao Group, and it is particularly noteworthy that we won the top prize in Best News Reporting.
As a society vice chairman, I presented some of the awards, among which were the three under the Best Young Reporter category. It was double happiness for Sing Tao, as our reporters Gigi Law Wan-tung and Sam Choy Chun-kit clinched the top and third prizes.
Law's entries - "Innovative technology talents series" and "No public body is willing to try out the international gold award-winning nano technology developed in Hong Kong" - were of high quality.
And among Choy's winning entries was "Exodus at public hospitals," a joint project with Chu Hoi-ki that won the top Best News Reporting prize.
Law and Choy are not only competent writers, but have outstanding looks too.
Seeing the achievement of these young journalists, I could not help but encourage them to "keep going" as I presented them with the trophies.
Every generation produces exceptional talents who outshine their predecessors. I am sure the two young reporters would excel and make their marks, be it in media work or other fields.
The challenge for the industry, meanwhile, is to find ways to retain talent to create a virtuous cycle. That's why paid newspapers have put up their prices this year to counter the detrimental idea that news content should cost nothing, said society chairman Keith Kam Woon-ting.
He pointed out that if the public wants to support the industry, they must read newspapers more, and place more advertisements in them.
The production of quality news content requires immense human and other resources, which must be recovered from revenue for the sustained development of the industry.
News organizations must not reject technology, nor should they harbor blind faith in it, and all must take note that God helps those who help themselves.
Those who see quality news content as a positive contribution to the community should really mull over Kam's words.
is publisher of Sing Tao Daily