The transformation of media in Asia delivered weekly to your inbox.

“With a splash of personality, Alan Soon covers media news and trends for a primarily Asian market. The Splice Newsroom recently came out with a new design-focused newsletter, Splice Frames, penned by Rishad Patel.”
—The Idea, Atlantic Media

From this week

Platforms

Zuck was prepared. The Senators weren’t.

Tuesday’s 5-hour Congressional hearings showed how little American politicians understand, let alone how to regulate them. The lawmakers, who came across as out-of-touch old men, had no points to make, apart from trying to score soundbites (compare this with Singapore’s grilling of Facebook a few weeks back). They couldn’t figure out what ad tech is, how advertising works, or what data Facebook collects. Zuck seemed nervous but confident — he’s been coached by internal and external consultants on this. His team even reconfigured a conference room to look like a congressional hearing room. Never underestimate this guy’s ability to learn. Investors were encouraged by Zuck’s performance, and the lowered risk of regulation. They sent the stock up 4.5% at the end of the testimony on Tuesday.
CNN

Governments & policy

Transformations

Talent

Shen Lu left China to study journalism in the U.S. She writes perfectly in both languages.

But she finds it hard to get the career she wants on either side. She faces press restrictions in China, while U.S. newsrooms aren’t keen on hiring Chinese journalists. “If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I doubt I’d make the decision to study journalism again, because the news industry—both in China and in the U.S.—seems to be a world designed to keep people like me out.”
China File

Design

A year after they jumped on, The Economist gets over 7 million viewers a month on Snapchat.

Their daily Snaps are deep topical dives into things like racial divisions, vaping, the possibility of another cold — or World — war, and office predators. The experience is true to the medium (brisk, anonymous-but-personal) but also true to the brand (highly produced, perfectly-researched, documentary-style editing). Surprisingly, some of the visual design can be downright hideous: for a timeline of sexual harassment, they choose to go with white, drop-shadowed text against a background image of a cave painting. “Others are “top-Snap only” content. These often have lots of text on them... intended to be shareable/screenshot-able primers on a topic.” Huh. The ads are programmatically annoying (I got one that promised more Instagram followers). But I love how The Economist is using the platform, as do millions of Snapchatters. This day in the life of Lucy Rohr, their Snapchat editor, is revealing, and it's the only reason I have exhumed my Snapchat app after my short-lived and bewildered run-in with it many years ago. Okay fiiiiine, I also want to Boost My Brows.
Digiday

I saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Singapore’s Esplanade last week.

The design of the production, by the otherworldly talent Bunny Christie, is brilliant, sensitive, frantic, filled with more LED wattage than a slap upside the head, and it has many more decibels than are physically available in the world. Christie, winner of a mountain of awards, is known for designing “psychology as well as space”, and she certainly redesigned my psychology for good. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the production comes in another flavour: Relaxed. I think this is excellent design that addresses a very real need for audiences in the market for a different pace. From the programme: “Sound and lighting cues are modified to be less startling. Leaving the auditorium to take a break is fine and there is a designated Quiet Area available. There is an easy-going attitude to noise and movement, doors remain open and lights are dimmed staying on throughout the show.” Nice. Now if only life came with a Relaxed mode.
The Guardian

Notables

Subscribe