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Free press from China's future

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  • Metro Daily Hong Kong Increasing self-imposed censorship as a result of pressure from Beijing was affecting the traditional freedoms of the press in Hong Kong.

Since the former British colony had been back to the Chinese government, Hong Kong has been facing increasing threats to its domestic press freedom. Pressure from Beijing had led to a trend of local media owners increasingly self-censoring.

Criticism of the government, or certain events in Chinese history - such as the infamous June 4 student protests in Tiananmen Square was strictly taboo. Metro Daily decided to raise the awareness amongst its readers about this decline of freedom of speech by letting them speak freely without getting into trouble.

In February 2010, Metro created a website and mobile site "newsin18yrs.com" and asked people one simple question: What will be making news headlines in 18 years? People were invited to write their own stories on things that mattered to them. Everything from politics to social issues, the economy, sports and entertainment.

With self-expression as the only incentive, Metro received over a thousand articles in just a month, and over 200,000 people visited the website. Readers submitted articles that broached otherwise sensitive issues in a historical context, such as conflict with Taiwan, and communism in Hong Kong.

Visitors to the site could then vote for their favourite stories as they browsed through the future news platform.

At the climax of the campaign, the most popular articles were published in a special edition paper that was distributed to the public on April Fool's Day, allowing Metro to claim the paper was merely a joke stunt should it arouse the criticism of the authorities. The campaign was also promoted with print and on-street posters.

Results:

The newsin18years.com website received more than 200,000 in one month. The Future Daily strategy won a Grand Prix at the 2010 Asia Spikes for Best Integrated Campaign. Metro Future Daily will return in 2011.

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Brand:
Metro
Category:
Publishing & Broadcasting
Region:
China
date:
February - April 2010
Agency:
McCann Worldgroup
Media Owner:
Metro
Media Channel:
Integrated,Mobile,Print
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