The age of exclusively print media has gone and the latest local publications reflect that fact and use the internet and even videos to get their point across. V-artivist is an online newsletter founded by Li Wai-yi and his friends in 2007. They all value the relationship between communities and people and Li, in particular, admires the public spaces in the old housing estates that enable neighbours to gather and chat. He thinks it is a pity that new estates lack common areas and so discourage interaction between residents.
Recently, V-artivist published a 180-minute video called The Street, The Way, which compiled 20 human interest stories from districts that have undergone urban renewal.
Meanwhile, the community papers that do publish in print are also using the internet and social networks in order to reach more readers, particularly younger ones. For instance, the Voice of Tai Hang Tung has an online version to supplement its print edition. Publisher Lau Cheuk-kei says the content of today’s district paper is more diverse than the past editions. Rental problems, women’s rights, changes in bus routes and national education have been discussed in issues of the reborn newspaper. It also monitors the performance of local district councillors.
Despite the growing reliance on the internet, Lau wants to maintain the publication of print copies as a physical connection within the community. He prefers not to leave copies of the paper in specific locations. Instead, he insists on giving out the paper copies directly to residents on the street or via home visits to the elderly.
“Tai Hang Tung has managed to preserve the human touch among neighbours. We can pass on the sense of importance attached to community organisations and community newspapers down the generations so that we can preserve this culture,” says Lau.
Edited by Nicole Chan