Mr Patrick Daniel, editor-in-chief of the Singapore Press Holdings' English/Malay/Tamil Media Group, spoke yesterday about its newspapers' coverage of the death of Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.
At the awards ceremony, he also explained how the group is trying to create additional profit sources through new ventures.
ON MR LEE'S DEATH
NONE of us anticipated the outpouring of emotion and grief, even among young Singaporeans.
We in the media had to report this effusion - the combination of grief, gratitude, respect and hitherto hidden love for the man, and for the values he espoused and the principles he upheld.
ON PRINT AND ONLINE FIGURES DURING THE WEEK OF NATIONAL MOURNING FOR MR LEE
THE first day, ST sold 24,000 copies more. The New Paper did very well too, 12,000 copies more. Berita Harian and also Tamil Murasu had a big lift.
If you look at the day after the funeral, ST sold 41,000 extra copies. That's pretty amazing.
Our digital editions also saw a big spike. Visitor numbers more than doubled and page views more than trebled.
The peak was on the day after the funeral at 1.1 million unique visitors. The peak was five million page views just on one day.
ON NEW DEVELOPMENTS
SO WHILE print and digital news products will be our core business, we want to aggressively develop media adjacencies to augment our revenues and profits.
My aspiration is that, in the coming years, dynamic young start-ups in the media area will come knocking on our doors. We must aim to become their preferred partners because of the value that we can bring to them.
But the next mountain to climb is to innovate new ways to reach the young, our students in all categories - primary school, secondary school. We've lost many of them. We need to think of ways to create curated news, bundled with e-learning, a whole bunch of new ideas, and customised packages for different age groups.