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Inauguration of Hong Kong News-Expo – Asia’s first news-themed exhibition-cum-education facility

by kai shian koh | Dec 05, 2018
5 December 2018

(From left) Mr Michael Wong Wai-lun, Secretary for Development, Dr John Chan Cho-chak, Chairman of HKNE, Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of HKSAR, Ms May Chan Suk-mei, Chairman of Journalism Education Foundation, and Professor Lau Chi-pang, Chairman of the Advisory Committee on Built Heritage Conservation, officiate at the opening ceremony.

Mrs Carrie Lam shows keen interest in an HKNE display artefact, a radio from the 1940s.

Mrs Carrie Lam is attracted by a newspaper stall dating from the old days.

Accompanied by Mr Lee Cho-jat, President of The Newspaper Society of Hong Kong (left), Dr John Chan Cho-chak, (2nd from left), and Ms May Chan Suk-mei (right), Mrs Carrie Lam appreciates the news photographs on display.

Ms May Chan Suk-mei introduces to Mrs Carrie Lam the equipment used by radio reporters over the years.

Mrs Carrie Lam much appreciates the sports section of newspapers on display at Hong Kong News-Expo.

Ms May Chan Suk-mei (left), Mr Eric Chan Cho-biu, Vice-Chairman of Journalism Education Foundation (2nd from right), and Dr John Chan Cho-chak (right) introduce to Mrs Carrie Lam her message for the HKNE inaugural book.

Dr John Chan Cho-chak (right) and Ms May Chan Suk-mei (left) introduce to Mrs Carrie Lam a scroll featuring 10 important news events in Hong Kong chosen by the public and HKNE committee members.

Dr John Chan Cho-chak (left) and Ms May Chan Suk-mei (centre) introduce to Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Executive of HKSAR. <i>Tsun Wan Yat Po</i> of 1878 and <i>The China Mail</i> of 1920, the oldest authentic Chinese and English newspapers in the HKNE collection.

(From left) Mr Lee Cho-jat, Ms May Chan Suk-mei, Mrs Carrie Lam, Dr John Chan Cho-chak and Mr Eric Chan Cho-biu are pictured in front of Hong Kong News-Expo.

Hong Kong News-Expo (HKNE) holds an opening ceremony today to mark its inauguration as the first news-themed exhibition-cum-education facility in Asia. Through multi-media displays, media education workshops for young people and a wide array of activities, HKNE will introduce the history and development of the Hong Kong news media to both local citizens and tourists. It also aims to foster public appreciation of the professionalism of the news media and highlight the crucial role played by the free flow of information in the city’s evolution into a global metropolis. HKNE has already received a number of applications for visits and will conduct trial tours this month. Members of the public can visit HKNE by appointment via online registration from the end of this month.

The opening ceremony was officiated by Chief Executive Mrs Carrie Lam. More than 200 guests from the media, academia, education, politics, business and the architectural community gathered to witness the establishment of a landmark that is imbued with the collective memories and future vision of Hong Kong people.

Addressing the ceremony, HKNE Chairman Dr Chan Cho-chak noted that from its conceptualisation to inauguration over the course of a decade, HKNE has faced multiple challenges. The transformation of the former Bridges Street Market, a Grade 3 historic building, into an exhibition venue has been no easy journey, he said. Fortunately, with their collective wisdom and persevering spirit, the architectural and design teams and a large group of enthusiastic volunteers from various sectors of the community have eventually succeeded in establishing Asia’s first news-expo.

Dr Chan thanked the Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust for its commitment to support HKNE’s youth education activity by sponsoring students’ participation in its media education programmes over the next three years. He also expressed his gratitude to various organisations for their generous sponsorship and support and to the Commissioner for Heritage’s Office of the Development Bureau and many other government departments for their guidance and cooperation. Their assistance was critical in enabling HKNE, which belongs to the people of Hong Kong, to take its first step, he said.

Ms May Chan Suk-mei, Chairman of the Journalism Education Foundation, said the participation of people of different backgrounds and positions in the establishment of HKNE shows that unity is strength. She thanked members of the media as well as scholars and professionals from universities and museums for their suggestions and guidance in setting up HKNE. For the support and donations of charitable bodies and commercial organisations and assistance from various government departments, she rendered her heartfelt gratitude.

Ms Chan said she believed that HKNE would become a significant landmark that would showcase Hong Kong’s cultural diversity, rule of law, integrity, fairness, freedom of speech and the press, and demonstrate that Hong Kong people’s industrious spirit is the key to the city’s success. To reflect HKNE’s perpetual regard for the free flow of information as a cherished value, HKNE’s operation will be guided by the principles of objectivity, fairness, respect for history and comprehensive fact-based reporting, she said.

HKNE features multiple exhibition areas spread over 10,000 square feet on two levels. Through multi-media interactive devices, visitors will learn about the birth and development of newspapers, radio and television news and the emergence of new media in Hong Kong and the impact of changing modes of information dissemination on the media and the society. The relationship between the news industry and the social, political and economic development of Hong Kong is shown through the display of contemporary reports on 10 major Hong Kong news events, which were chosen by members of the pubic, students and HKNE staff.

In addition, HKNE also has several experiential studios featuring interactive games that enable visitors to experience for themselves the challenging work of journalists, a shop selling souvenirs that incorporate journalistic elements, and a multi-purpose room for hosting media education activities.

HKNE is located in the Central and Western District, the birthplace of the Hong Kong newspaper industry. It is housed in the former Bridges Street Market, one of the first wet markets built after the Second World War. The building sits partially on the site of the old American Congregational Mission Preaching Hall, where Dr Sun Yat-sen was baptised in the 1880s.

In 2011, Bridges Street Market was classified as a Grade 3 historic building by the Antiquities Advisory Board and included in Batch III of the Development Bureau’s Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme. In 2013, the Development Bureau chose the Journalism Education Foundation to revitalise the market into HKNE after a bidding process. In 2016, the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council approved the allocation of $85.3 million to fund the renovation project.

The market’s main staircase, poultry scalding room and several market stores of historical significance have been preserved. A new lift has been built to provide barrier-free access to the adjacent streets. The playground on the first floor of the market was remodeled into an exhibition and multi-purpose area.

For press enquiry, please call Curatorial Manager Ms. Connie Ko at 2205 2235