Hong Kong is a thriving, raucous media environment, with over 40 newspapers as well as magazines, TV and radio – everything from serious business news to paparazzi-driven celebrity rags. One glance at a local news agency will give you a sense of the sheer clamour of voices. Of course, the vast majority of it is in Chinese. For English-speakers, there’s less local content out there, but there’s still quality and you should be able to find what you need. Bear in mind that bookshops, foreign-oriented supermarkets and plenty of newsstands in the right areas carry a range of foreign papers and magazines – there’s no censorship in Hong Kong and you can read whatever you want, though you’ll pay more than you’re used to for the privilege.
If you want a range of English-language TV channels, sort yourself out with an international satellite package. Free TV is limited in Hong Kong, and most locals have pay TV from one of the competing providers and a wide range of channels. In terms of free-to-air, TVB has an English-language channel, and there’s also the ATV World channel. The state provider RTHK often shows popular American shows in English, and their radio wing has two English-language channels: Radio 3 for news, debate and music, and Radio 4 for classical music and jazz. There are a couple of other private radio channels in English, playing mostly music.
The South China Morning Post is an excellent daily broadsheet newspaper dating from 1903 that publishes every day and does some fine investigative reporting. It manages a nice mix of international news while keeping a local feel, particularly through its range of sections through the week. Its website is via paid subscription. The other English-language paper is the business-oriented The Standard. In its favour, it’s free both in print and online; however, it’s not very good. Use it for a quick scan of the main stories, stick to the SCMP if you want more meat. You can also try the government-run China Daily from the Chinese mainland, if only to appreciate how lucky you are to have other options.
The monthly Time Out Hong Kong is probably your best bet for magazines; it sticks to the format familiar from other cities and does a good job keeping readers informed of the latest restaurants, bars and cultural events. Its main competitor is the weekly HK Magazine, which combines up-to-date listings and reviews with a cheeky editorial line. Things in Hong Kong move fast, and if you’re interested in keeping up with what’s happening you should definitely try to at least flick through both of these publications regularly. You should also check out CityLife, a bimonthly focused more on visitors than tourists. There are plenty of free listings and lifestyle magazines that you’ll find in coffee shops and bars.
There’s a clear crossover for websites, with all the magazines mentioned above having useful sites for listings and the latest events. Other good resources include The List, Open Rice, Word of Mouth Guide for foodies and Hip Hong Kong. For useful information as well as the fun stuff, try GovHK, the government website, the Hong Kong Tourism Board, Public Transport Enquiry Service and MTR Hong Kong. There’s a range of blogs, from the quirky to the dry – we suggest using Hong Kong Blogs Review to steer you towards the ones best.
Hong Kong apps have exploded in recent years, and there are too many good ones to list more than a handful here – most of the magazines have them now and you should find which ones work best for you. Explore Hong Kong has the best, most functional MTR map bar none. Discover Hong Kong has a City Walks app, and to complement it, try the Enjoy Hiking app, a great guide to the wide range of trails in Hong Kong, from family-friendly to hardcore hiking.
Newspapers and Magazines
Explore Hong Kong
Discover HK City Walks