The Current Development and Impact of Free Newspapers in China.

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Free newspaper in China
With the development of technology and economy in major cities in China, the city’s RRT(Rail rapid transit) is experiencing an unprecedented growth and progress. Metro as the city’s RRT, is playing a significant role in the development of urban transportation. At the same time, Metro also plays a unique role in culture development as the culture carrier in the city. It is obvious that in modern cities, the number of metro passengers are surging, which indicates that the power of spreading can provide a good opportunity for the growth of media. The rapid growth of RRT creates a great potential and vast development for the city’s business and culture.

 In the age of timeliness and demand for information, the media plays a crucial role in informing the public. Against the background, the free circulation tabloid makes its first appearance in China. These tabloids are advertising vehicles that contains news. The content is easy to read in minutes. Metro Express came onto the scene on March 16, 2004, published by journalism group of Liberation Daily, marks the birth of China’s free newspaper. In 2006, Oct.8th, The tabloid Guangzhou Metro Daily, published by Guangzhou Daily Press Group and Guangzhou Metro Corp, carries 24 colour pages with news, consumption information and supplements. In 2010, Dec.8th, the signing ceremony was held by Shenzhen Press Group and Shenzhen Metro Gorp, it means that the first free newspaper in Shenzhen-8 in the morning is born. Besides, Until 2011, Hong Kong has its 5th free newspaper-Sharp Daily on the market,, the other four are Metro Daily, Headline Daily, am730 and Skypost. The Sharp Daily, First day issue 0.8 million copies with plans to reach 1 million readers daily, is planning to excel Headline Daily.

The development of free newspaper in China ushered a new era in newspaper industry. It has a vast market space and adapts to today’s publishing environment. Free newspaper has an unparalleled advantage in attracting the young readers. According to the research by Institute of Public Opinion, People’s university of China, In Beijing the newspaper readers’ average age is over 41, the situation is similar in Shanghai and Guangzhou, the newspaper readers are now becoming an aging population. The main reason for why young adults unwilling to read newspaper is “ it costs money” They can get the free information from other sources. Another research conducted by CTR and CNRS shows that in 36 major cities in China, the reading time for each person has declined from 40 minutes to 38 minutes. The report also reveals that the young people do not want to waste a lot of time in reading newspaper.

The free newspaper enjoys its advantages in today’s newspaper industry. Firstly it meets the readers’ demand of getting informed in short time. When people are on the way to work, they don’t have much time to buy the newspaper, or they will feel boring when waiting the subway. So the free newspaper becomes their perfect choice. It can provide the information instantly, quickly and easily. People will choose the free newspaper for its convenience and for the effectiveness. The free newspaper usually distributed at most of the city's metro stations, it is easy for people to get and read. What’s more, the free newspaper usually printed less pages than traditional newspaper, which means that it lessens that time of reading. People who are hurrying to work will prefer some short news rather than long, serious news.

Another advantage for the development of free newspaper is that it can arrest the young reader’s attention. That will encourage the advertisers to buy more and more space for the purpose of reaching the young people, which will make the free newspaper profitable. Take Guangzhou as an example, the average age of Guangzhou metro passengers is 35.6, with white-collar workers accounting for 41 per cent of the total. The free newspaper is targeting these people by providing...
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