Dispatches from Hong Kong, Part 2: Big iPad Day for Austria, Hong Kong,

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TAKEAWAY: Two newspapers prepare to introduce iPad editions tomorrow as Apple introduces the iPad in their countries: Austria and Hong Kong. We preview here and will follow up tomorrow with first day edition reports. See how Austria’s Wirtshafts Blatt and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post take their baby steps on theiPad. PLUS: Dateline Hong Kong, Day 4.

Here’s promotional campaign of the Wirtshafts Blatt to announce its intro into iPad world Friday

Austria and Hong Kong are among 9 countries that will get iPads tomorrow, Friday, July 23. The other countries are Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.

I share the excitement of my clients in Austria and Hong Kong as they prepare to make their grand entrance in what they hope will be a most valuable platform for their newspapers, and one where their hopes are for positive reader reaction, advertising support, and, eventually, lots of subscribers.

Dr. Hans Gasser, publisher/manager of the Wirtshafts Blatt, sounds very excited when he writes me that “we are about to introduce our first version of the iPad edition of our newspaper, and we are happy with it, but look forward to working further with you on our 2.0 version.“

According to Alexis Johann, who heads the WB’s digital division, “We want to combine the strenghts of the two worlds of our newspaper, the print and the digital world, in our new app, so the fundaments come from print, with its clear navigation, the well-thought out selection of stories, photos etc. But the reading experience is adapted to that great world of the iPad, where everything opens to your fingertips.“

For starters, the WB’s promotional ad is a true “pop up” moment, using the print product to suggest what the iPad edition will do with graphics and photos, making financial information quicker to grasp, and more enjoyable visually. We will be looking at the WB’s app and reviewing it tomorrow in this blog.

South China Morning Post: first HK paper on iPad

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, the folks at South China Morning Post, where I am this week, are excited with last minute preparations for the introduction of the SCMP to the tablet, thus becoming the first Hong Kong based newspaper to go iPad, and, asSCMP marketing director Anne Wong emphasizes, the first English language nativeiPad app for an Asian newspaper.

The front page of the SCMP Friday will be devoted to displaying the iPad with theSCMP on it, a campaign that uses the slogan: “we are here today, and tomorrow and the day after”.

The iPad app will be available as a free daily downloadable trial version timed to coincide with the first day Apple iPad releases in Hong Kong. iPad users will be able to take advantage of the free trial until early August when the full version will be available on iTunes.

“It is a great moment for the South China Morning Post, and our incursion into the iPad signals that we are, indeed, an organization that believes in serving our readers through a variety of platforms. Our goal is to become the unequivocal authoritative source for English language information about Hong Kong and China, and the iPad edition allows us to do that for a global audience, so it is a great day for us here,“ says Steven Tan, general manager of the South China Morning Post.

Tune in tomorrow for our review of how these two titles open the door to the iPad and peek in!

iPad in Australia for the Sydney Morning Herald

– Australia: iPad Cometh for Sydney Morning Heraldhttp://www.panpa.org.au/ThreadView.aspx?tid=37595

Illustrating the story: comic book style

Readers love the comic book-like illustrations on Page One

One fascinating aspect of sampling the Chinese language newsappers in Hong Kong is to see the seemingly widespread practice of using illustrations to depict action in a story. I have seen more than a half dozen stories, some on the front page (see example here) where comic-book like illustrations, usually in a series, depict a violent act for which photos are not available. The image I show here is from today’s Apple’s Daily, the largest circulation newspaper here and, I must add, a master at the art of comic book imagery on its Page One. But, as I am told, readers love it and can’t get enough of it.

Setting the record straight

They line up to get papers to recycle for a few cents, not necessarily to read them!

Earlier this week, in one of my dispatches from Hong Kong, I showed the picture above, of readers queuing up to get a copy of the free English-language daily, The Standard.

Local people tell me that my photo and reference to that line of readers waiting to get the newspaper is misleading. Allegedly, the queue largely consists of non English reading, old age pensioners, They’re queuing up to get free copies to turn over to the waste paper recyclers, at 50c a catty. Hence they queue, then get to the back of the queue, and again, and each day, obviously boosting The Standard’s circulation numbers, and, of course, contributing to a cleaner environment.

I stand corrected.

**Mario’s posts courtesy of TheMarioBlog.