The Writ­ten Word

HK Magazine - - UPFRONT -

“No one reads any­more,” say older peo­ple the world over. Nowhere is this more ap­par­ent than in Hong Kong, a city so hy­per­ac­tive that we need to bed fed bright noises and loud col­ors 24/7. The city’s book­shops are dy­ing out, with Sin­ga­porean brand Page One cut­ting its Hong Kong op­er­a­tion to just two stores and Dy­mocks, formerly a house­hold name, al­most gone. Yet there are some out there who clearly rec­og­nize the power of the writ­ten word: Hong Kong book­sell­ers are carted off north of the bor­der for sell­ing the “wrong kinds” of books; ad­ver­tis­ers are pulling sup­port from pa­pers that voice dis­sent­ing opin­ions; and the city’s rank­ing on the Press Free­dom In­dex has dropped from 18th in 2002 to 69th this year. The writ­ten word is look­ing pretty damned en­dan­gered to us.

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