Celebrations begin with weekly free Chinese storytelling sessions at Toa Payoh Public Library
Singapore, 4 January 2013 – Lianhe Zaobao, the flagship Chinese newspaper of media company Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2013.
The Chinese daily, which just had a major revamp in March 2012, has come up with a tagline for its 90th anniversary – "历久弥新" or "Enduring Charm". Lianhe Zaobao believes that a good product will leave its mark in history, and just as wine improves with age, the newspaper has established itself as a strong and trustworthy brand over the years. The team of both veteran and young journalists will draw on the newspaper's 90 years of experience and continue to soar in the era of media convergence.
To mark this momentous occasion, Lianhe Zaobao has planned a series of programmes throughout the year to engage readers and thank them for their support.
To kick things off, Lianhe Zaobao will be starting a volunteer reading programme together with the National Library Board.
Starting from 5 January, editors and journalists of Lianhe Zaobao will read Chinese stories to children aged between four and eight at the Toa Payoh Public Library every Saturday at noon. They have also successfully recruited more than 20 readers to join them as volunteer readers.
To launch this year-long reading programme titled “翻(Fun)书乐” or "Fun With Books", Mr Chan Chun Sing, Acting Minister for Social and Family Development and Senior Minister of State for Defence, will be the Guest-of-Honour for the first session on 5 January. He will also be a guest reader.
Mr Goh Sin Teck, Editor of Lianhe Zaobao, who is also one of the storytellers of the reading programme, said: “We found that there are not many Chinese storytelling programmes that are free in Singapore, and initiated our own programme to introduce the beauty of the Chinese language to children at an early stage. The library is a place for children to grow their love for reading and we hope that through regular storytelling sessions, we can help them better appreciate the language during their formative years.”
“Having a better grasp of the Chinese language by reading more storybooks also means that the children will be able to enjoy their language lessons in schools. This is important as more parents are communicating with their children in English at home, leaving fewer opportunities for the children to be exposed to Chinese,” he added.
Mr Goh added that the Lianhe Zaobao team believes that reading can encourage parent-child bonding, and they welcome parents to join in the sessions.
The journalists and volunteers, who have undergone training in December 2012, will be telling stories of different genres. Original stories from Thumbs Up Junior, Lianhe Zaobao’s very own student publication, will also be used.
Besides satisfying the hunger for knowledge of the children’s minds, Lianhe Zaobao will also satisfy the appetites of readers with the support of BreadTalk. The bakery has specially created a limited edition Lianhe Zaobao 90th Anniversary bun called "栗酒泥心" that will have a generous filling of yam paste and rum-soaked chestnuts. On 5 January, Lianhe Zaobao readers will be able to redeem a complimentary bun at all 39 BreadTalk outlets islandwide with a cut-out coupon to be found in the newspaper (limited to 90 redemptions at each outlet). From 6 January to 14 January 2013, the bakery will also be selling the bun at just 90 cents each (usual price $1.80) to the first 90 customers.
This reading programme is the first of a series of activities planned by Lianhe Zaobao in 2013. Other programmes that readers can look forward to include:
Besides "Impressions of Singapore", another book entitled "Our 90 Years" will be published.
In addition to the above programmes and activities, there will be a Gala Dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel on 6 September. The ZB China Forum will also be held in September.
On Lianhe Zaobao turning 90 this year, Mr Goh added: "Lianhe Zaobao has been able to keep up with the times, in terms of content, layout and even medium with the successful launch of the iPad PDF versions. At the same time, we have retained our tradition of being the voice of the Chinese community in Singapore and also brought Singapore news to Chinese readers all over the world."
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About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Incorporated in 1984, main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia’s leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms.
Newspapers, Magazines and Book Publishing
In Singapore, SPH publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages. On an average day, 2.92 million individuals or 74 per cent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH's news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology. SPH's subsidiaries, Straits Times Press and Focus Publishing, produce quality books and periodicals in English and Chinese.
Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 330 million page views with 18 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH's online and new media initiatives include an online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; Stomp, omy.sg, and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH also launched The Straits Times’ iPad and enhanced iPhone applications, an Android smartphone application and The Business Times Weekend's iPad application. SPH's Chinese flagship newspaper Lianhe Zaobao has also launched its digital platforms which include a web application, as well as online and PDF versions.
SPH has a 20 per cent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8 and U, and a 40 per cent stake in MediaCorp Press Limited, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has an 80 per cent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations UFM 100.3 in Mandarin, as well as Kiss92 and HOT FM91.3 in English.
Events and Out-of-Home Advertising
SPH’s events subsidiary Sphere Exhibits organises innovative consumer and trade events and exhibitions. In addition, SPH has ventured into out-of-home (OOH) advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore’s leading Digital Out-of-Home advertising company.
SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping belt. Its latest retail development, The Clementi Mall, started business operations in 2011. SPH's wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, has also developed a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.