Channel NewsAsia, covering the news and helping the region understand Asia for the past 15 years, launches its Corporate Social Responsibility programme during its annual Luminary Awards Gala at the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

Over the last year, the channel re-launched with 24-hour “live” news reporting, and increased production of original content by over 30 percent with focus on current affairs, analysis and documentaries. The channel has moved aggressively into the digital space with mobile applications and interfaces with smartphones for the on-the-go Asian consumer. A Chinese SMS language service was launched and the channel continues to work on improving accessibility, speed to market, and is developing apps for the next generation Smart TVs.

For the coming year, the channel will launch a slew of initiatives to take on challenges in a diverse and very dynamic market. It will continue to focus on building its programming, and roll out the slate of changes in the next few months for its flagship news programmes and launch programming initiatives to support its CSR plan.
 Starting with the morning show, AM Live!, the new format will take in fresh segments that explore for the viewers the latest trends around Asia, in property, food, motoring, health, luxury lifestyle and travel. These will provide opportunities for businesses around the region to work with the channel to reach the affluent Asian consumer. It will continue to have a business focus with daily “live” crosses to its bureaus in the region so viewers get a first-hand update of the Business Day across Asia.

- To further improve its business coverage, there will be more business reports spread throughout the day, increasing the number of hours of market updates across Asia per day, and more hours of business news in its prime time programmes.
- To improve depth of coverage in the daily news cycle, a daily analysis show called Between the Lines will give the story behind the headlines.
- And for viewers who want to understand Singapore better, the current half hour Singapore Tonight, will become a full-hour programme, incorporating the key happenings in the Singapore market and business world.

A series of specials will be committed to initiatives to support the advancement of Women in Asia, in line with the channels’ brand promise to be the “Voice of Asian Progress”. Beyond merely being a Voice – the channel aims to go a step further and promote “Progress in Asia” – improving the lives of Asians via infrastructure and connectivity for local communities.

The focus on women centres around the fact that while they represent nearly half the population in Asia, their voices often go unheard. In many parts of Asia, women still do not have equal opportunities to education, nor are they treated on par in the legal system. The channel aims to use its reach of 50 million across Asia to bring attention to not only the issues, but also the success of women in Asia. It will work with corporate partners to promote awareness of the issues, especially to improve access to infrastructure and technologies.

Ms Debra Soon, Managing Director of Channel NewsAsia comments, “The channel is still young, at 15 years old, we are a baby when compared with other international broadcasters in terms of viewership in Asia. We have worked hard to improve our programming and content over the last year so as to stay abreast and sometimes ahead of the competition, but it’s also time to seriously think about where we are, why we exist and how we can go beyond our business to do something lasting for communities in Asia. We will raise issues about access, talk about uncomfortable things such as the issue of rape and violence against women, gender bias, and also talk about progress and positivity, feature successful role models in business and society.” More details on the CSR programme and projects will be revealed throughout the coming year.

On the business front, the channel took its series of regional seminars called, Business Insights, to different cities starting with Jakarta, Bangkok and Yangon. These seminars will continue to travel to key Asian cities throughout the year and provide opportunities for corporates to join us and tap on the opportunities presented in the gatherings of captains of industry, think-tanks and governments.

It is significant that Channel NewsAsia marks its 15th anniversary at its most prominent event, the Luminary Awards, where it honours some of the best business practitioners. The highest honour of Lifetime Achievement Award for 2014 is bestowed on Mr John L. Gokongwei Jr, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of JG Summit Holdings in the Philippines. His personal life story of overcoming adversity and his exemplary entrepreneurial spirit of achieving great success is one which resonates with the channel and will serve as an inspiration to Asians.

At the Gala, three other awards – Innovation, Green and Future Luminary Awards – will be presented to outstanding businesses and individuals. The recipients had undergone a stringent selection process before being shortlisted and evaluated by a distinguished jury panel of renowned management strategists, academics and corporate personalities. (Please see Annex 1 for details). In conjunction with the Luminary Awards, the Leadership Forum gathers key corporate leaders to share their business insights on the theme of driving growth in a global landscape, focusing on innovative and sustainable leadership. Luminary Leadership Forum 2014 is moderated by Channel NewsAsia’s Teymoor Nabili. (Please see Annex 2 for details). The Awards Gala Dinner will be recorded and telecast on Channel NewsAsia on 28 February 2014, 8-9pm (SIN/HK/MNL time) and the Leadership Forum will be shown on 4 March 2014, 11.30pm (SIN/HK/MNL time).

(Source: Channel NewsAsia press release)