Asahi kicks off news pay service

by Kazuaki Nagata

Staff Writer

The Asahi Shimbun Co. launched a digital newspaper Wednesday, aiming to find a profitable balance between old and new media.

While the new service, named Asahi Shimbun Digital, has nearly all the articles of the print version of the Asahi Shimbun, one of the biggest newspapers in Japan, it also has original content, 24-hour breaking news distribution as well as video reports.

With the collaboration of the printed and online versions, which will complement with each other, “we aim to create a new media in the new era. We would like to name it ‘hybrid media,’ and that’s what we aim to become,” Yoshio Sato, director of digital business and content at Asahi Shimbun, told a news conference in Tokyo.

The digital paper allows users to customize what stories they want to read based on keywords, make scrapbooks and have their own bookshelves to store past editions. A tieup with an e-book store may be added in the future.

Subscribers to the print version can use the digital service for ¥1,000 per month. Otherwise it costs ¥3,800 a month.

A subscription to the print version of the Asahi Shimubun is ¥3,925 or ¥3,007 a month, depending on location.

Summit news site

kyodo

Leading Japanese, Chinese and South Korean news agencies Wednesday launched a joint website to provide news reports, transcripts, official documents and other data in English, Chinese and Korean for the meeting of their leaders to be held in Tokyo on Saturday and Sunday.

Aiming to enhance global outreach and recognition of the issues concerning the three countries, Kyodo News, Xinhua News Agency and Yonhap News Agency run the site (www.47news.jp/international/presspool/), dubbed the Press Pool Information Service, to provide other media group with necessary information as well as news photos and videos.