Lianhe Wanbao to merge with Shin Min Daily News in Dec. 2021

Lianhe Wanbao's last issue will be published on Dec. 24.

Ashley Tan | September 26, 2021, 06:59 PM

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On Sep. 26, it was announced that Lianhe Wanbao will be merging with Shin Min Daily News come end-2021.

Zaobao reported that the move was due to increasing digitalisation.

This will mark the end of Wanbao's 38-year run.

Helping elderly readers move towards digital news

Chairman of Singapore Press Holdings Media Trust, Khaw Boon Wan, shared that digitalisation has resulted in an increasing demand for instant access to news.

He pointed out that other evening papers in the region have also folded.

Khaw highlighted that they were facing similar financial and resource pressures in Singapore to cease the publication of evening newspapers.

Head of the Chinese Media Group, Lee Huay Leng, shared that there was an increased tendency for the two evening papers to be repetitive, and that there was also a limited pool of local talent working in Chinese media.

Understanding that the majority of Shin Min's and Wanbao's readers are seniors who are unfamiliar with digital news, efforts are being made to help their readers pick up news online.

As such, SPH Media Trust's Chinese Media Group has decided on a two-pronged approach to address this, reported The Straits Times.

Firstly, resources will be integrated by merging the two evening papers under the Shin Min name.

Secondly, elderly readers will be encouraged to learn how to use digital devices such as tablets and other technology to read the news.

"They need guidance to learn to adopt technology, and need time to transition," said Khaw.

Integrated paper to publish first issue on Dec. 26

The last issue of Wanbao will be on Dec. 24, and the new and integrated Shin Min Daily News will start running on Dec. 26 after the printing holiday on Christmas.

As part of the merger, Wanbao's resources and its content will be transferred to Shin Min.

According to Zaobao, Shin Min's focus on social and livelihood news will remain unchanged.

Khaw added that they are in close contact with newspaper vendors, such as those who have been selling the evening papers on the roadside, with the aim of minimising the impact of the merge on their livelihoods.

Subscribers of the evening papers will also be contacted and will receive more information soon.

2022 will be Shin Min's 55th anniversary.

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Top photo by Zhangxin Zheng