Editor’s Note: 50,000 readers, one year on

Yes, the WEEKENDER turns one this month.

And that’s me on the cover when I was a year old….

To say that the past one year has been easy for us, is like saying being struck by lightning twice is easy.

The odds of being struck by lightning twice in your lifetime are 1 in 9 million, but I am happy to say that only my father-in-law has the distinction of that honour. And he is exceptionally lucky to have survived by a hair.

… For many decades we walked in the sun, but this past year we had to come into the shade…

Ranger Roy Sullivan continues to be the only human known to have been struck by lightning seven times, between 1942 and 1977, and survived all of them.

Unfortunately, our industry has not been that lucky.

The print sector continues to slide and it is fair to say most newspapers print only 20,000 to 50,000 copies daily now. And the top two leaders do around 100,000 or so copies per day.

For many decades we walked in the sun, but this past year we had to come into the shade.

Before our eyes had the chance to adjust to the darkness, digital swallowed almost all of advertising expenditure.

Aided by mysterious tools like programmatic and big data which in itself is an ambiguous term. 

Big data is about machines and small data is about people. Is advertising about people or machines?

Any talk about an increase in advertising expenditure is meaningless as the money does not come directly into our economy.

Modern day colonialists Google and Facebook continue to play God while other digital derivatives like ride-hailing and delivery services enjoy a monopolistic hold.

AirAsia is now a media owner, harvesting all that data to focus on the “pop-culture” in ASEAN with 17 million users in hand.

Tony’s first batch of name cards when he started AirAsia had a mistake in the spelling of his name: Fernandez instead of the correct Fernandes. But he just shrugged it off and happily distributed them saying no budget to reprint…ah, the lessons we learn.

Amidst all this, there’s a new boss at the Star Media Group. His mantra is simple: monetisation.


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