Monday, October 02, 2006

Free paper launched in Guangzhou, China

China isn't a place you'd think about starting a newspaper, what with government censorship and the jailing of reporters who honestly report on the ruthlessness of a Communist regime. Yet Metro has launched a free daily in Shanghai and now a newspaper company in Guangzhou, the capital of South China's Guandong Province, has begun one too.

The new 300,000-circulation paper, according to the People's Daily Online, is being published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during its trial period, but it could come out on five week days in the future, according the Jiao Xiangyang, a deputy editor-in-chief of the paper.

The article quotes Dong Tiance, a professor with the College of Journalism and Communications at Guangzhou-based Jinan University, as saying free metro newspapers are the new frontier in the newspaper market. Publishers have to seek new growth areas because of increasing challenges from such competitors as the Internet, he said. Advertisers are attracted by the relatively high purchasing power of subway passengers, he added. Dong did not expect the free paper to have a major impact on the traditional newspaper market because it will carry soft, consumption-focused stories rather than hard news, he said. "It will complement traditional papers instead of taking their readers," Dong told the People's Daily.