Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chinese University Survey: The Credibility of Hong Kong News Media Outlets Continues to Decline

Happy New Year to all my dear readers!  Hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing holiday break!  J

One of the New Year’s resolutions I set for myself this year is to do a better job keeping up with and updating this blog, as I realize that I slacked off a bit last year.  My schedule will be just as busy this year as it was last year, but hopefully I’ll be able to set aside more time to work on this blog and finally be able to post up the stuff that I’ve been working on but never found time to finish.  Once again, a sincere THANK YOU to those who continue to support my blog – not only by reading the stuff I post, but also being patient with me when I fail to respond to comments timely (I actually DO read all the comments, but unfortunately I’m not always able to respond as timely as I would like…). I’m also hoping to do better with this in 2014…

Ok, so now that I got that out of the way – on to my first official post of 2014…

I came across the below article yesterday that I really wanted to share with everyone.  Sure, it may not be directly related to the HK entertainment world per se, but technically, the content of the article DOES include entertainment news as well. 

The article recaps a survey conducted by Chinese University in HK in which Hong Kongers were asked to rate the Media outlets in terms of which ones they felt were the most credible.  This survey is actually not a new thing, as it’s done every once in a while and the results are released publicly – it’s just that I never paid a whole lot of attention in the past because the results are generally similar in that the Media outlets that already have a reputation for being credible are usually still at the top of the list.  This year though, I actually took the time to look at the analysis and noticed some very interesting things – a few of which I would like to share below:

.—The survey is broken up into 2 main categories:  HK Media organizations (i.e. TV / radio stations) and News outlets (i.e.: newspapers and other Media that ‘officially’ report news).  Based on the overall scores (for all Media outlets combined), it’s obvious that the credibility of HK Media outlets as a whole has continued its downward trend, as the combined overall scores are way lower than what they were 3 years ago (when the survey was last conducted).  Though I’m not surprised at all with these results, it’s definitely not good news for Hong Kongers, since this means that the Media environment in HK continues to be dismal.

.—In terms of the TV/radio station category, RTHK continues to remain #1 on the list, which I guess shouldn’t come as a surprise, since that radio station IS government-funded and so to some extent, they have a certain ‘social responsibility’ and probably higher standards that they must follow because of it.  The interesting thing is that RTHK has been in the number one spot since 1997 – wow…

Other than RTHK being in the number one spot for the past 16 years, the other thing that sticks out the most to me is that the credibility of both free TV stations in HK (TVB and ATV) has dropped significantly this year.  TVB went from being #2 (a position which they had held since 1997) to #4 (dropping two spots) while ATV went from being #5 (they’ve wavered between #4 and #5 over the past 16 years) to #8 (dropping 3 spots to the very bottom of the list).  Of course, I’m not surprised that TVB and ATV scored poorly, as public opinion of both stations has been on the decline for years…but it looks like this year, the impact was the greatest because their positions dropped so much.  It’s actually kind of pathetic if you ask me….

The rest of the positions in the TV/radio station category didn’t change a whole lot, though CRHK (Commercial Radio) did take the #2 spot this year, which is the highest it’s been for more than a decade.  Looks like their position keeps going up (they went from being #5 back in 2006 to #3 in 2009 and 2010, reaching the #2 spot in 2013), so I guess this means they’re doing something right?

.—In terms of News outlets, South China Morning Post continues to dominate in the #1 spot (that’s good to hear, since that’s where I get a lot of my news articles from…LOL). 

Ming Pao dropped to #3 this year (they’re usually #2 on the list) – though being in the top 3 isn’t bad, the fact that they did drop a bit is concerning, since that’s another outlet where I get the majority of my news from.  Not exactly sure what happened, but hopefully this is only a one-time thing, as I would hate to see them take a downward spiral….

Oriental Daily moved up to #8 this year (they were #9 in 2010 and #11 in 2009), so it looks like they are moving upward once again.  I personally still don’t like the way they put together some of their articles and I still manage to find a lot of ‘sloppy’ reporting when I read their stuff, but the fact that they continue to move up the list shows that they are at least making the effort to be more credible….I guess that should count for something…

Not surprisingly, Apply Daily continues to be near the bottom of the list (they fell to #17 this year, versus being #14 or 15 in previous years).  I’m actually kind of glad to see them so far down the list because it shows that more and more, Hong Kongers are starting to ‘wake up’ and realize just how bad that newspaper is (for those who don’t know, Apply Daily is part of the Next Media empire – need I say more??).

Lastly, Wenweipo and Da Kung Po came in at #19 and #20 respectively (wow, they pretty much dropped to the bottom of the list!).  I remember many years ago, someone had told me that Wenweipo and Da Kung Po were among the ‘more credible’ ones in terms of news media agencies – I guess that’s no longer the case because their credibility is pretty much ‘in the toilet’ as far as this particular poll is concerned (though it doesn’t look like they were ever that high to begin with).  Luckily I don’t get much of my news from either of these 2 outlets, so doesn’t affect me too much.

Full article translated below…


Chinese University Survey:  The Credibility of Hong Kong News Media Outlets Continues to Decline

Source:  The House News

Translation:  llwy12

Chinese University’s Media and Public Opinion Center recently conducted its survey of local media and news outlets in HK.  The results of the survey indicate that the credibility of HK’s news media outlets overall has continued to decline compared to 3 years ago.  Individually, majority of the media outlets’ average scores are lower than previous years -- amongst those, the drop in HK’s two main free-to-air TV stations’ (TVB and ATV) scores are the most obvious:  TVB dropped from second place (in previous years) to fourth place while ATV dropped 5th place to last place (#8) on the list.  In terms of news agencies, South China Morning Post continues to take the #1 spot on the list.

Overall, majority of the news outlets’ positions didn’t change a whole lot, which indicates that the fundamental ecology of Hong Kong’s Media as a whole has not changed much over the years.

Chinese University’s survey was conducted between November 27th , 2013 to December 9th, 2013 – during this time, 917 HK citizens were interviewed via phone and asked to score the Media outlets – both as a whole and individually -- using a point scale of 1 – 10 points (with 10 being the highest).   Based on the phone calls, citizens gave ‘HK Media as a whole’ a score of 6.18 points, which is 0.18 points lower than the last year the survey was conducted (2010).  In terms of individual scoring, the average score of all Media outlets combined was 5.82 (a 0.22 point drop from 3 years ago).

Amongst the individual Media outlets whose credibility scores dropped this year, the ones who saw the most significant drop in their scores were:  TVB (0.4 point drop), ATV (1.6 point drop), Hong Kong Commercial Daily (0.35 point drop), Apple Daily (0.29 point drop), Wenweipo (0.48 point drop), and DaKung Pao (0.46 point drop).

The Media outlets who saw the highest increase in their scores include:  HK Broadband Network (0.26 point increase), The Standard (0.21 point increase), and The Sun Times (0.16 point increase).

The 10 most credible Media outlets based on the poll are as follows:

Below is the complete list of all Media outlets’ scores:


  1. From my friend who lives in HK, the support for each media credibility has a lot to do with their political inclination. Each of the news outlet for example has individual bias in terms of political parties. Some are pro mainland, some pro HK and some neutral.

    1. Wenweipo and Takungpao are directly connected to mainland.

    2. The report of this rating itself shows that HKongers trust in media credibility are going down compared to previous years, which many opinions stated is due to the increasing control of Beijing towards HK.

      TVB and obviously ATV are closely connected to Beijing, and the fiasco after the pro HK HKTV was denied a license might have made the HK citizens losing trusts in these two stations.

    3. @Anonymous: Very true! No doubt that political inclination plays a huge part in determining media credibility, especially in a place like HK where citizens are highly ‘sensitive’ to that kind of stuff. Coincidentally, I’ve also been following the recent ‘controversy’ in the media world with the sudden resignation of Mingpao’s editor-in-chief and the subsequent replacement being a ‘foreigner’ (meaning ‘not from HK’) – a lot of people are very concerned about the ‘political implications’ of this particular move and what impact it’s going to have on Mingpao as well as Media freedom in HK as a whole. Hmmm….I guess it’s safe to ‘predict’ that Mingpao will be lower on the credibility scale next year (or the next time this survey is done).

    4. @Anonymous: Yup…which then definitely comes as no surprise why those 2 publications (Wenweipo and Takungpao) are so low on the credibility scale (in HK). I actually don’t feel that Wenweipo is a bad source, though I’ve only used it for entertainment news and so can’t really speak to its credibility on regular news stories. I rarely read anything from Takungpao so can’t comment….

    5. @Anonymous: Agreed…HKongers trust in the media has definitely been taking a downward turn in recent years, which is unfortunate, but can’t really blame them. Ever since the return to China, HK has been in a politically precarious position and the ‘sensitivity’ of HKongers toward China’s influence has continued to heighten with each year that passes. This is a reality that all HKongers will always have to live with unfortunately….

      As for TVB and ATV…no doubt that the licensing issue played a huge role in the credibility decline of both stations – in fact, the whole license issue / HKTV debacle was the perfect opportunity for those who have long maintained that both stations are mouthpieces for Beijing (hence the ‘CCTVB’ and ‘CCATV’ nicknames) to gain traction for this sentiment. Personally, I believe the issue with TVB and ATV losing credibility goes deeper than just their political leanings/inclinations, though I don’t doubt that politics plays a role.