Digital news media time-efficiency breakthrough

Working [sic] from home today, so perusing the online rather than print version of the South China Morning Post. The recent website redesign is cleaner and less cluttered-looking – but most of all, it is a major time-saver.

Although the content seems to be divided into predictable categories (Hong Kong, China, Business, Comment, etc), it is hard to find much current ‘new’ news. Maybe the stories are buried further down in sub-categories (politics, health, education, etc), but these are too numerous and laborious to click into and back out again, so we will never know for sure.

Scroll down any page, and you’re back to repetitive links to (often days-old) material from other sections, anyway. Meanwhile, whatever section you click on, one side of the page is occupied by links to the paper’s opinion columns – including the rancid pro-Beijing hacks and the (allegedly) stomach-churning one about women’s feelings and relationships.

I guess the idea is to steer readers to the trashy and glitzy stuff that is supposed to generate clicks and thus ad revenue. In practice, that means actively preventing readers from getting at the plain old-fashioned daily local and Mainland news reporting that is (was, should be) the SCMP’s core usable feature.

Anyway, you zip through it in 20% of the time you would spend on the paper product.

Update: weirdly, searching ‘Hong Kong’ on Google News reveals SCMP items not visible on the paper’s website.

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15 Responses to Digital news media time-efficiency breakthrough

  1. Casira says:

    It’s a huge time saver, I spent half less time reading that drivel now. And their mobile version is even worse, it’s like 20% text for 80% advertisment and “Read more” buttons

  2. Joe Blow says:

    They don’t publish the horoscope anymore. How can I possibly know what is going to happen today ?

  3. Strangely Brown says:

    Try finding “Harry’s View” in the revamped online SCMP. I couldn’t.

    FWIW – here’s the link to it: https://www.scmp.com/photos/harrys-view

  4. reductio says:

    Can’t get the new version to load on my (rather old) PC. Just lists the headlines but there’s no actual content, just the annoying blue “loading” cursor. Kind of appropriate.

  5. Chris Maden says:

    I am pleased to report that the new version is unreadable on my old but trusty version of Internet Explorer on both my laptop and phone, which saves me the trouble of even looking.

    I’ll miss Harry’s cartoons, though.

  6. Knownot says:

    Progress

    Electric trains ran smoothly by,
    The system safe and well controlled.
    Kneeling, with a watchful eye,
    Was little Richie, ten years old.

    “Richie,” said the stationmaster,
    “In future, every gleaming train
    Will be running smarter, faster,
    With an electronic brain.”

    Richie’s grandson in Hong Kong
    Had his trains computer-guided.
    A marvellous thing: it wasn’t long
    Before two clever trains collided.

  7. Old Newcomer says:

    I also miss Harry – his daily cartoon used to be on the front page, now it’s easier to Google it than find it through the site menus (a characteristic it has in common with looking for specific information on most Hong Kong government websites).

  8. Stephen says:

    For those of you ‘troubled’ by your inability to read The Pro China Morning Post online, please be comforted, it’s utter shite ! The only kind thing left to do is to shoot it and put it out of its misery.

  9. www.scum.com says:

    The trick to reading and commenting on the new Staunchly Communist Morning Propaganda webshite is to go through your cookies and delete all the ones with some form of “scmp” in the name. And delete any scmp cache too.

    Then the webshite will behave itself and deliver all the propapanda propaganda you can handle: Alex Lo lo bar; Michael Shoeshini; Yonder Racist; Tian Frothylong; Tammy Tamgoon; the Glorious Provincial Communist Party Secretary of Jilin, and previous editor-in-chief comrade Wang Xiangwei and other communist shills.

    Come on in: misery loves company.

  10. steve says:

    Also, if you change your reading preference to the SCMP “International” edition, the rationale for making the paper an Alibaba loss leader becomes clear. Hong Kong news all but disappears from view, as the focus is almost exclusively on goings-on in China. Predictably, a bland-to-promotional editorial slant prevails. All of this is present, of course, in the local edition, but the weeds of reporting on MTR scandals and the like are cleared away.

  11. Elaine Wan says:

    Post Magazine is often a very good read, if you can find it on the site.

  12. I just got back from SZ where I found the SCMP web site was one of those blocked by the Chinese bamboo firewall. Weird eh?

  13. Probably says:

    Interestingly, having heard about the MTR incident very early on Monday morning, all searches on the SCMP site drew a blank until the afternoon. Obviously they had to wait for BJ approval before releasing the news.

  14. Old Fishmarket Close says:

    Agree with Elaine. _Post Magazine_ still has some decent human interest stories, and the like. For how long it is allowed to continue to exist is anyone’s guess.

  15. Chinese Netizen says:

    @Andrew: Getting blocked in SZ gives SCCPMP bragging rights to being an “international” publication.

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