HONG KONG, 21 July 2015 –
The South China Morning Post recently implemented changes to our Insight page as part of the plans to increase the pool of contributors to reflect society’s diversity of opinion. We notified our Op-Ed contributors and columnists of the changes, including a change in the way they submit contributions. They were invited to share with us their thoughts on columns in a bid to avoid a potential overlap with other editorial plans, and to introduce healthy competition for column space. These measures are consistent with practices of leading publications of repute, and are designed to heighten the quality of the SCMP’s Insight page. This is consistent with the SCMP’s constant drive to identify and implement ways to strengthen our content.
Regretfully, this operational change has been misinterpreted and erroneously reported. Comments and clarifications from the SCMP sometimes were not sought before these reports were published.
In particular, the Hong Kong Journalists Association’s (HKJA) recent annual report, released on 12 July 2015, includes a section titled “Post’s Column Policy Change Causes a Stir”. It states that there were “demand for pre-approval of topics” and the changes “resulted in the disappearance of some widely read regular columns”. The SCMP strongly objects to these baseless allegations.
We would like to reiterate that there is no such demand and as we continue to welcome contributions from columnists and other contributors as before, it is evident in our current Insight page that the SCMP now features an even larger pool of contributors. We have highlighted these views to the HKJA in a letter sent to the association last week.
We strongly believe in and uphold editorial objectivity and fairness, and share the HKJA’s Code of Ethics, an integral part of which is to eliminate distortion, conjecture and misrepresentation. We urge all to observe stringent applications of these principles as they are integral to the integrity and the well-being of our media industry.
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About SCMP Group Ltd and South China Morning Post
SCMP Group Limited (SEHK: 583) is a leading newspaper and magazine publisher in Asia. Its flagship publication, the South China Morning Post, is Hong Kong’s internationally recognised English language newspaper and has the city’s most affluent and influential readership.
First published in 1903, the newspaper has developed an enviable reputation for authoritative, influential and independent reporting on Hong Kong, China and the rest of Asia. Available in print, mobile, tablets and online through scmp.com and e-reader editions, the South China Morning Post reaches a global audience with daily breaking news, analysis and opinion, multimedia articles and interactive forums. The South China Morning Post received over 160 awards in 2013-14 for excellence in editorial, marketing and technical capabilities. Other titles in the Group include the Sunday Morning Post, Nanzao.com (南早.com), Nanzaozhinan.com (南早香港指南.com), STYLE, 48 HOURS, Destination Macau, The PEAK, HK Magazine, The List and Where Hong Kong.
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