Telum Talks To... Edward Lao, President, Exmoo News
Telum Media invited Edward Lao, President of Exmoo News, to share with our readers Macau’s media landscape and its future development.
Edward has more than two decades of media experience and has also worked for Hong Kong media outlets. In 2010, he relocated to Macau and set up Exmoo News a year later. Exmoo News is published Monday to Friday with a circulation of 50,000. It is available at over 600 distribution points. It covers a wide range of topics from local news, Hong Kong news, Mainland China news, property, entertainment, sports, fashion to lifestyle. Edward has had a mission of turning Exmoo News into a must-read newspaper in Macau.
Macau’s current COVID-19 situation and the media industry
There’s been no local confirmed cases for more than 100 days as of 5th August. Life has been back to normal although everyone still wears a mask. Additionally, the Macau government is actively boosting the local economy to increase domestic demand and consumption by implementing a series of economic stimulus measures, including consumption cards and discounted helicopter tours. In the media industry, journalists were very busy attending press conferences at the beginning of the outbreak. Since the situation is now under control, press conferences are held every other day. Events, such as exhibitions, are still being organised but they are done in a smaller scale.
The differences between Macau's media and Hong Kong media
At present, Macau has a population of approximately 670,000, compared to 7.5 million in Hong Kong. Because of the differences of the two cities, the needs of their readers are also different. For example, Macau has only 10 newspaper outlets but they are enough to saturate the market. The local news list is often less packed than Hong Kong’s while the latter is easily filled with news events of more significance. “There’s limited political coverage in general, but we might produce more political news next year because of the elections,"Edward said. In recent days, the reopening of Macau’s border with the Mainland made the headlines; his news team have also focused on producing feature stories apart from daily reporting.
In addition, it is worth noting that editors are quite selective in terms of what can get on the newspaper with limited space. “Relationship is key. We
often collaborate with those we know or through someone’s referrals," Edward further explained. On tips on how to engage, Edward also suggested PRs send materials or event invitations to Assignment Editors directly. “Compared to Hong Kong, I think Macau is a place that human to human relationships are really important,"Edward said. He also pointed out that there is less competition among media workers in Macau and their relationship is relatively harmonious.
Macau’s media culture
Government publicity campaigns and community organisations are prominent features of Macau’s media. Different types of events are held almost every month. Therefore, most of the news materials come from the government including the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Tourism Board. Secondly, there is an abundance of community organisations in Macau, with 8000 organisations. These organisations bring all walks of life together and have always played a very important role in the development of Macau. Some media outlets are even established by community groups to represent their agenda.
Finally, he mentioned that in addition to continuing to consolidate traditional media business, the Macau media must also move in the direction of news media via distributing news through social media platforms to attract more readers, especially the younger generations.