Spotlight on The News Lens at ISOJ

Chung (The News Lens). ISOJ 2014. Journalism Star Startups.
Joey Chung, CEO at The News Lens, speaks at the 2014 ISOJ on the University of Texas-Austin campus, Apr. 5, 2014. (Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/Knight Center)

Many individuals in Asia do not trust the media. Recognizing that issue, Joey Chung, the CEO and co-founder of The News Lens — one of the fastest growing media outlets in Asia — aims to report on important news across all industries and sectors.

At the 15th annual International Symposium on Online Journalism, Michael Maness, the vice president for journalism and media innovation at the Knight Foundation, chaired and introduced the journalism star startups panel, at which Chung gave a presentation about The News Lens.

The company started in July 2013 and its website launched in August 2013. Now, its newsroom has 180 writers and publish about 40 articles per day. Every four months, The News Lens also revamps its web design.

According to Chung, many publications are very biased, so The News Lens “only put[s] up news that is important.”

The News Lens also aims at Chinese-speaking immigrants around the world. Many immigrants seek local publications to read about news in their respective hometowns. The News Lens publishes information about several Asian countries, not just Taiwan, in an effort to provide news about these countries on one main platform.

The News Lens publishes online in traditional and simplified Chinese language to show that it is not aimed just at the Taiwanese public (Taiwan uses traditional Chinese, while China and a few other Asian countries use simplified Chinese).

Besides reporting on issues of importance in more than one dialect, The News Lens signed deals last fall with broadcast companies and Taiwan Taxi to broadcast video news on television as well as in taxis. This effort helped boost the fast growth and public awareness of The News Lens in Taiwan.

“From 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., we want to be there. When you’re in the elevator, when you’re having lunch…we want to be that friendly guy next door,” Chung said.

ISOJ 2014: Joey Chung panel from Knight Center on Vimeo.