Media giant comes of age上海报业集团挂牌成立
The two main press groups in Shanghai are merging and will cooperate with online search engine Baidu to launch the Shanghai channel of Baidu News.
Shanghai United Media Group, unveiled on Monday, was formed with the merger of Jiefang Daily Group and Wenhui-Xinmin United Press Group..
The channel will include employees from both new and traditional media, and will open soon.
Shanghai United Media Group is now one of China's largest press groups, with estimated assets of 20.8 billion yuan ($3.4 billion) after the consolidation.
Wenhui-Xinmin United Press Group owns 16 newspapers and journals, including Xinmin Evening News, the first evening newspaper on the Chinese mainland, which started publishing in 1929, as well as a dozen new media products.
Jiefang Daily Group owns 14 newspapers and journals, including Jiefang Daily, which was launched in 1941, and was once the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
Media magnate who serves as News Corp chairman and oversees more than 100 media outlets worldwide, has predicted there may be no newspapers in 10 years' time owing to competition from the digital world.
Examples included heavyweights such as The Financial Times in the United Kingdom, which has ceased circulating printed German versions, and the Washington Post in the United States, which ended up in a somewhat surprising sellout to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
Even though some publishers are moving quickly to identify and invest in alternative revenue models, print media for the most part remains dangerously dependent on traditional advertising revenues that are eroding at a dramatic rate.
The market share of advertising revenue in newspapers in China has dropped to 10.4 percent in 2013 from 22.9 percent a decade ago, while the figure for the Internet soared from merely 1.5 percent to 24.5 percent during the same time span, according to media investment consultancy GroupM.
But a genuine combination should go beyond simply moving news online, and instead integrate and use Internet resources to generate more insightful content, Ye noted.
According to Jin, as new entrants vie to seize opportunities, newspapers should preserve their most original content, such as investigative pieces or opinion articles, in print form.
A further concern is talent shortage, Ye said, as many high-caliber journalists have turned to Internet companies or new media groups.
Dennis Pamlin, founder of Sweden-based 21st Century Frontiers, said the agreement is an example that Chinese news companies understand the rapidly moving media landscape.