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Mediacorp’s CNA Celebrates 25 Years, Announces Expansion Plans

Mediacorp’s news and current affairs brand CNA will focus on reaching new audiences in regional and international markets like Indonesia, East Asia, US, and the UK, while continuing to serve Singaporeans by delivering trusted news and quality stories across its multiple platforms.

These plans were announced at CNA’s 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner, held at Capella Singapore with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong as Guest-of-Honour.

Addressing a celebratory gathering of 300 guests, Mediacorp Chairman Niam Chiang Meng affirmed CNA’s commitment to continue evolving to meet the demands of a changing global mediascape: “We aim to be present at every touchpoint in people’s lives, engaging them through a combination of our own platforms and third-party platforms. This multiplatform approach is anchored on our understanding of how people consume content today – across platforms and devices, languages, and genres.”

Since its launch in Singapore in March 1999, CNA has grown from a local news channel to a network consumed around the world, reaching more than 94 million homes and hotel rooms in Asia Pacific and the Middle East. Digitally, CNA content is consumed by an average of more than 10 million unique visitors every month. On YouTube, CNA has a combined four million subscribers and over 27 million views per month for its CNA and CNA Insider channels. Its strong presence on YouTube has introduced the brand to a growing international audience, with the US being one of the top three markets in terms of watch time for its content. The brand has also earned recognition on the global stage, having garnered more than 500 international awards and accolades in the past decade.

Initiatives to Expand Audiences and Enhance Offerings

With an eye towards fostering further growth, CNA has embarked on developments aimed at building its existing base, meeting new needs, and engaging untapped audiences beyond Singapore:

  • Making inroads in the US, Canada, and the UK: The CNA brand will be introduced in North America, Canada, and the United Kingdom across a combination of platforms: television streaming services, YouTube, and a curated edition of the CNA website. This undertaking will cater to people in these regions who are looking for breaking news and insightful documentaries about Asia – in particular China, Japan, and Korea.
  • Strengthening depth of coverage on China: As part of its expansion strategy and to deepen its on-ground understanding and reporting of China-related news, CNA plans to augment its mix of TV and digital bureaus, with plans to open a new bureau in Shenzhen, and potentially station more correspondents at its Beijing and Shanghai bureaus.
  • Introducing East Asia Tonight: Audiences can also look forward to a new one-hour bulletin, East Asia Tonight. Airing on CNA every weekday at 6pm from April. Through a combination of ground reporting of the latest developments, original in-depth features and expert analysis, CNA will seek to help audiences around the world to better “Understand Asia”.
  • Adopting AI to debut a Bahasa Indonesia website: Tapping on a large audience profile closer to home, CNA has launched, a website in Bahasa Indonesia. To achieve this milestone, CNA’s first digital foray beyond English, CNA signed a research collaboration agreement with Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to build an English-to-Bahasa Indonesia AI translation tool. A dedicated team of Bahasa Indonesia editors then checks these translated as well as original news reports and features before publishing them.
  • Providing more engaging content experiences: Continuing to harness AI, CNA has introduced AI-generated summaries (FAST) for articles on the CNA app. Launched on 18 March, the FAST feature uses AI large language models to extract key sentences from stories. These are vetted by the CNA editorial team before publication, providing time-pressed readers with an option to sample content quickly and efficiently when on the go. This feature will be launched on the website soon.

Mediacorp Editor-in-Chief & Chief Sustainability Officer Walter Fernandez said: “CNA’s Silver Jubilee marks a significant milestone in our journey as CNA goes global.”

Building on this track record of high-quality content and engaging programming, CNA has set its sights on being the global news source to ‘Understand Asia’. The next leg of CNA’s growth will focus on expanding our coverage and sharpening the nuance of our reporting about China; while growing our global audience particularly in North America and Europe.”

1999News and current affairs channel Channel NewsAsia launches on Free-to-Air TV in Singapore
2000Channel NewsAsia launches Asian feed reaching five million homes & hotel rooms in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines
2001Channel NewsAsia reaches 12 million homes in 15 territories including the Philippines, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates
2002Channel NewsAsia begins broadcast in Hong Kong through Hong Kong Cable’s digital service
2004Channel NewsAsia and Thailand Cable TV Association sign agreement officially launching the channel’s carriage in Thailand
2004Channel NewsAsia signs carriage licence agreement with MiTV, marking its inaugural presence in Malaysia
2004Channel NewsAsia secures broadcast rights in China. Distribution hits 16.4 million homes and hotels rooms in 18 territories across Asia
2012Apple iOS app launched
2013Channel NewsAsia starts 24-hour transmission with the tagline ‘Understand Asia’
2013Google Play Store App launched
2014Channel NewsAsia launches bureau in Myanmar, Yangon, one of only four foreign news organisations licensed to operate in the country
2014Channel NewsAsia achieves its milestone of 50M homes and hotel rooms across Asia
2014Channel NewsAsia launches its Smart TV App on Samsung TVs
2015Channel NewsAsia switches to High-Definition transmission
2015Channel NewsAsia launches on Tata Sky, reaching 14 million subscribers in India
2017Channel NewsAsia begins transmission from new Mediacorp campus at one-north
2017Channel NewsAsia revamps app and website for tablet and mobile devices
2017Channel NewsAsia achieves its milestone of 75M homes & hotel rooms across Asia
2018Channel NewsAsia launches, a lifestyle portal targeted at professionals, managers, executives, and businessmen (PMEBs)
2018Channel NewsAsia launches on Astro, the dominant satellite pay-TV platform in Malaysia
2019Channel NewsAsia streams 24/7 on YouTube
2019Channel NewsAsia rebranded to “CNA” to reflect transmedia multiplatform identity. New logo launched
2019CNAI launches its High-Definition broadcast across Asia
2019Launch of CNA
2020Named “Channel of the Year” by the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB)
2021Wins Hinzpeter Award for coverage of police violence during protests
2022Named global winner of Best News Website or Mobile Service at World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) Digital Media Awards Worldwide
2023CNA remains the most trusted news brand in Singapore for the fifth consecutive year since 2019, according to a report by the Reuters Institute for Journalism at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom



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