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New Daily Ready to Debut in Shanghai
Locals who are used to reading newspapers on their way to office will very soon have another choice.

The Oriental Morning Post -- a "giant comprehensive daily to cover 15 cities in the Yangtze River delta" -- will hit the news-stands next Monday.

With the Wenhui-Xinmin United Press announcing the launch plans yesterday, Shanghai's burgeoning morning newspaper market is in for more fierce competition.

"I like to pick up a newspaper when taking subway to work. I find such reading more convenient than even the Internet," said Pauline Lu, a 27-year-old office lady, who buys the Shanghai Morning Post everyday.

Launched in June 2000, the Shanghai Morning Post now has the largest circulation among morning newspapers and boasts a staff of more than 100 editors and reporters. With abundant social and life news, the daily has a large number of faithful readers.

But its popularity may be challenged by the newest arrival. The Oriental Morning Post -- focusing on business and financial news -- harbors hopes of "gradually grabbing readers from Shanghai Morning Post and Xinmin Evening News," said the Oriental Morning Post in its promotion materials.

The latter is a veteran in the local media industry. With more young people developing a different reading habit than their parent generation who are used to read newspaper after supper, severe competition prevails in the morning segment to target at a readership of young working people.

The Oriental Morning Post will target "well-educated people aged between 30 to 35 years and with a fairly good income." What may draw readers is that its weekend edition will have more than 100 pages, of course including plenty of advertisements.

"Our family still subscribes to Xinmin Evening News," said Douglas Gu, a 27-year-old government office worker. "But I prefer reading papers like the Shanghai Morning Post and News Times."

He said he would not mind trying out any new paper provided it carries "fresh news and abundant information."

By the end of last year, the city had 74 newspapers with a total staff of 4,855, according to Liu Lisha, an official from Publicity Department under the Shanghai Party Committee.

The total advertisement revenue was more than 1.5 billion yuan, with the two local giant media groups -- Wenhui-Xinmin and Jiefang -- taking 88 percent of the advertising market, Liu said.

But some industry insiders insist that the city's media market, with a long history, still lags behind the country's other major cities, such as Beijing and Guangzhou.

(Eastday.com July 1, 2003)

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