Lianhe Wanbao Merging With Shin Min Daily News In Dec 2021
As more and more people turn to online sources for the news, it’s just a matter a time before print newspapers head into the history books.
Unfortunately, that time has come for popular heartland Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao, which will end its run after 38 years.
The paper will merge with another Chinese paper, the Shin Min Daily News, and henceforth be published under that name.
Lianhe Wanbao will publish last issue on 24 Dec
The merger of the 2 evening newspapers was announced via an article on Lianhe Zaobao.
Readers should note that the last issue of Wanbao will be on 24 Dec, it said.
The 1st issue of the integrated Shin Min Daily News will then be released on 26 Dec, after the Christmas Day public holiday.
No change for subscribers yet
Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), which publishes the 2 newspapers, also referred to the move in an email sent to MS News on Sunday (26 Sep).
They said subscribers will still be able to read any Wanbao print and digital content from now till 24 Dec.
They’ll update subscribers on any follow-up matters by 31 Oct.
Less meaning to running evening papers: Khaw
Explaining the decision, SPH Media Trust chairman Khaw Boon Wan said digitalisation has increasingly caused readers to demand instant news.
Thus, the running of evening newspapers has less and less meaning.
He also pointed out that evening newspapers in other countries have also ceased publication.
SPH is no different, as it’s facing financial pressure to shut down the evening newspapers, he added.
Readers need to be guided to embrace digitalisation
However, Mr Khaw acknowledged that readers of the evening papers face challenges in the digital world.
Thus, they need time and guidance in their transition.
The decision to merge instead of shut down is partly due to this recognition of readers who have the habit of reading physical newspapers.
By concentrating resources, and moving Wanbao’s content over, Shin Min can still serve evening paper readers.
At the same time, they’ll guide older readers on how to use digital platforms for news.
Minimising impact on vendors’ livelihoods
As for the newspaper vendors, Mr Khaw said SPH will keep in close contact with them.
This includes those who’ve been selling the paper on the roadside for years.
The company will work to minimise the impact of the merger on their livelihoods, he added.
2 papers’ content was becoming ‘repetitive’
Ms Lee Huay Leng, head of the Chinese Media Group, said they also considered that the content of the 2 papers was becoming repetitive.
This was amid Singapore’s shrinking print market and limited number of Chinese media talent.
By integrating resources, including transferring Wanbao‘s journalists over to Shin Min, they can focus on improving 1 newspaper.
It’s also timely as next year will be Shin Min’s 55th anniversary.
Lianhe Wanbao supplement to be included in Shin Min
Zaobao & Wanbao’s editor-in-chief Wu Xindi thanked readers for their support and assured them that certain things will remain the same.
For example, part of Wanbao’s popular “Fu Kan” supplement will be included in the new Shin Min.
Shin Min’s “down-to-earth” characteristics also won’t change, Ms Lee said.
Writing was on the wall
Though many older folks still read Wanbao, we suppose its end is part of a larger decline in print media readership in Singapore and across the world.
After all, besides Wanbao, The New Paper (TNP) will also be ceasing its print version in Dec.
In that sense, the writing was on the wall, and the competition from digital sources is only going to get keener.
In the meantime, those who’re nostalgic for a piece of hard-copy news have till 10 Dec to grab a copy of TNP, and 24 Dec to catch Wanbao’s final issue.
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Featured image from MS News.