Generation 40s – 四十世代

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「最想佢畫完」動畫

信報
潮網熱話
2016-04-23

瑪麗

香港過去曾有不少長壽電視劇如《香港8X》系列、《季節》、《真情》、《愛.回家》等,但新世代選擇多了,現時很少觀眾會追看長劇。電視劇集如是,就連動畫亦一樣。早前便有一項網上調查,訪問觀眾最希望完結的長壽動畫是哪一套?大家猜猜是哪幾套?

這個「最想佢畫完」的動漫榜上,我們熟悉的《蠟筆小新》、《多啦A夢》、《櫻桃小丸子》等全部榜上有名。

排名第7位的是由1979年播放至今,曾在亞視播出的《麵包超人》,因為經常有新角色而頗受小朋友歡迎,更以1768個角色數量創下健力士世界紀錄,但新一代似乎不太喜歡這套太幼兒傾向的動畫,收視亦每況愈下,甚至成為cosplayer的惡搞題材。

前車可鑑

第6位則是曾極紅一時的《櫻桃小丸子》,其實現時《櫻桃小丸子》仍然有不錯的收視,但觀眾開始覺得小丸子的故事太過一成不變,但又不想故事有太大改動,寧願作者給它一個美好結局就算了。

為什麼大家不想《櫻桃小丸子》有大改動?可能就是因為第5位的《忍者亂太郎》前車可鑑了。《忍者亂太郎》過去甚受歡迎,但因為太「貪心」,除了現在觀眾群外,還希望可以吸引年長一點的觀眾,於是轉變幕後班底,並加入大量新角色和改變處理手法,反而被粉絲認為改得不倫不類,成為真正的「亂」太郎。

第4位是在香港也有無數忠實粉絲的《多啦A夢》。陪伴了香港粉絲三十多年的多啦A夢配音員林保全早前因病離世;而在日本一樣粉絲無數的多啦A夢配音員大山羨代,因患上腦退化症不能再工作,而為胖虎配音的立壁和也去年亦病逝。換上其他配音員的《多啦A夢》令觀眾大感失落,不少表示寧願故事結束,留給大家一個美好的回憶。

至於「最想佢畫完」的季軍得主是《蠟筆小新》,自從原作者臼井儀人去世後,動漫的受歡迎程度已經大打折扣,最特別的是,希望《蠟筆小新》快點完結的,居然是一班《蠟筆小新》的忠實粉絲。

原來當年追看《蠟筆小新》的粉絲現在都已長大,大部分都成家立室了,他們深深明白到小新的行為的確會教壞小朋友,所以自然不希望自己的小朋友變成小新了。

希望盡快完結的動畫第2位,就是播放年期比其他入圍動畫都短的《名偵探柯南》,被譽為「地球上最強死神」,不論去到哪裏,那裏都有命案發生的柯南,多年來破盡多少大案,但他始終找不到任何可以令他變回大人的方法。

嚴重脫節

觀眾也漸漸由當初「今集會否有新線索呢?」到現在「他根本不會變回大人了吧」。因為灰心,所以也懶得再追看,現時粉絲只期望柯南變回大人後,可以與小蘭有情人終成眷屬,像《愛.回家》一樣擺酒結婚大結局。

至於最多人希望完結的日本動畫,就是被譽為「國民動畫」,由1969年播出至今超過47年的《海螺小姐》了,動畫圍繞全職主婦海螺小姐和家人的生活,是平實版的《我們這一家》,但不少觀眾認為動畫的內容已經與現實嚴重脫節,例如他們家中用的仍是「大牛龜」電視機,背景仍然停留在七八十年代,令新一代缺乏追看的興趣。

撰文 : 瑪麗

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Attempt to subvert academic freedom in Hong Kong is far worse than disrupting the HKU council

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
2015-08-07

Anson Chan

Anson Chan says the real issue in the HKU appointment row is the alarming threat to its prized autonomy

It was bound to happen. The current torrent of righteous indignation that has been unleashed in response to the gate-crashing by student representatives and others of last week’s meeting of the University of Hong Kong’s council is clearly intended to divert attention from the much more serious issue of who and what are to blame for the crisis engulfing the university.

I do not condone the actions of the students and fear that the rowdy incident has played into the hands of those who are bent on discrediting their very legitimate concerns. However, I sympathise completely with their frustration.

HKU is Hong Kong’s most venerable and respected seat of academic learning. It is my alma mater, and, along with many of my fellow alumni, I am both angry and dismayed that the prolonged shilly-shallying by the council over the appointment of the post of pro-vice-chancellor for academic staffing and resources is bringing the university’s governance into disrepute, both locally and overseas.

I have held back from commenting on this issue earlier because the person at the centre of the affair, Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun, is a friend and a valued member of my Hong Kong 2020 think tank. I may, therefore, be viewed as biased in his favour. But this is not about individuals; it is about principles and due process. I would feel just as strongly whoever was being treated in such a disingenuous and cavalier fashion.

I wonder if those members of the council who are content to keep kicking the can down the road realise just how much damage they are doing, not just to the standing of the university they have been appointed or elected to serve, but also to perceptions of their own personal and professional integrity. Hong Kong people are not stupid. They can see the latest lame excuse for deferring a decision – the need to seek the counsel of a new provost who has yet to be identified – exactly for what it is: a flimsy cover-up of the real reason for the delay and an insult to the intelligence of the general community.

Let’s not forget that the recommendation of the university’s search committee, that Chan be appointed as pro-vice-chancellor, was made in December. That search committee was chaired by the vice-chancellor, Professor Peter Mathieson, the person to whom the pro-vice-chancellor will report and be ultimately accountable. Mathieson has made very clear that he wishes to see the post filled as soon as possible, and that further postponement can only have adverse consequences for the efficient management of the university.

The refusal of the council to follow well-established appointment procedures and come to a prompt decision on the search committee’s recommendation is, therefore, not only cowardly but downright irresponsible. In the absence of any credible reason for deferring the decision yet again, it is hardly surprising that many observers are concluding it is the result of political pressure being brought to bear by parties who are, quite simply, determined that no avowed pro-democracy activist will be appointed to a senior management role in HKU.

I am not going to speculate on who these parties may be, as we are already awash with rumours about interference from the highest levels of our own government and the central government’s liaison office, not to mention interventions by shadowy “middlemen”, tasked with persuading Chan to either withdraw his candidacy, or accept appointment and then immediately resign the position. The whole situation would be farcical if it were not so alarming and distasteful.

We must be under no illusion as to what is at stake. What we are witnessing is an all-out assault on the autonomy of Hong Kong’s most respected educational institution and on the precious rights and freedoms that underpin it.

So, while I do not endorse the tactics that the protesters deployed on July 28, I applaud the students’ determination to stand up and be counted when it comes to the defence of our most fundamental core values. I also totally support the position taken by the University of Hong Kong alumni concern group, and the HKU Convocation’s standing committee’s call for an emergency general meeting in early September, which will be open to all graduates and teaching staff.

Among other things, the meeting will discuss whether provisions for the chief executive to be chancellor of all Hong Kong’s universities continue to be appropriate. Going forward, it is crucial to ensure that the chief executive’s powers under the institutions’ ordinances, including the power of appointment of university council members, cannot be used as a means to entrench government influence and control.

Academic freedom and the autonomy of educational institutions are fundamental rights guaranteed to Hong Kong under Article 137 of the Basic Law. They are a mainstay of our free, just and stable society and underpin other cherished freedoms of expression, ideas and of the press and publication.

If, as a community, we do not stand up to defend these rights at HKU, it will be only a matter of time before the rot spreads to all of our universities and beyond, to the wider educational system.

Hong Kong’s ability to nurture local academic excellence and to attract top quality scholars from overseas to fill teaching, research and management posts will rapidly decline, with dire consequences for our culture and quality of life.

This must not be allowed to happen.

Anson Chan, a former chief secretary, is the convenor of Hong Kong 2020


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香港稅制需要與時並進

信報財經新聞
宏觀視野
2016-04-09

譚振雄

香港實施的簡單及低稅率稅制,一直行之有效,亦是香港其中一個引以為傲之處,然而,有關的稅務條例已差不多40年不曾深入檢討。香港往往採取一種「如果沒有壞,就不要去修」的態度,只有在回應不同人士和團體的游說或壓力下,才會對條例作出零星的修改。

鄰近地區挑戰港地位

如果我們假設現行法律框架是沒有問題的,則未必正確,而事實上,現行稅制的確存在一些不連貫的情況。

舉例說,目前適用於有限公司的利得稅稅率為16.5%,但適用於無限公司的業務的稅率則為15%,大家都奇怪為何有此差異。

香港的經濟模式已由生產主導蛻變為服務業主導,並成為重要的國際金融中心,現更多為中國日漸壯大的經濟和工業發展籌集資金,可是,其他鄰近地區開始挑戰香港領先的國際金融中心地位。

與此同時,在環球的層面,香港一些主要的貿易夥伴採取共同行動,尋找保障他們自己的稅收基礎,這對香港作為低稅率地區的長期角色和優勢可能有所影響。

環球主要國家已經施加壓力,防止企業將利潤從他們國家轉移到被視為低稅率的地區。由經合組織領導的稅基侵蝕與利潤轉移行動計劃,把重點主要放在轉移定價、電子經濟、常設機構和反濫用稅收協定的範疇上。

計劃的其中一個主要目標,就是盡量保持徵稅權與所被認定的經濟活動之一致性。計劃中的一些行動綱領早在今年已執行,在計劃全面實施後,可能會減低香港作為國際貿易、商業和投資的中介角色之吸引力,相關的經濟活動也可能因而減少。

此外,其他國家逐步降低他們的企業所得稅率。舉例說,在市場和經濟發展良好的英國,企業所得稅已減至20%,到了2020年將進一步下調至18%。在周邊地區,稅率也在下跌,例如新加坡和台灣,稅率已減至17%。

在流動的全球經濟中,企業可以很容易便把業務轉移到其他已發展的市場。換言之,香港低稅制的吸引力已大為失色。

希望成立稅務政策組

政府成立的長遠財政計劃工作小組在第一階段的報告中,建議政府避免過度依賴直接稅。由於預料長遠對稅收的需求,我們必須繼續討論擴大和穩定稅基的方案。

多年前銷售稅的建議雖然只得到有限度的支持, 但應該再行檢討,當然這不是唯一的方案,我們同時也要研究其他擴大稅基的方法。

雖然稅基不是唯一的課題,但我相信現在是作出檢討的好時機,檢視需要推行什麼的改革,以改善稅制、進一步發展經濟,締造一個更完善的社區。

目前已有充足的證據,說明我們有需要推動稅制與時並進。我們希望政府可以考慮成立稅務政策組,成員應包括稅務專家、經濟學者、學術界人士,以及財經事務及庫務局、稅務局和投資推廣界的代表。稅務政策組的功能,是對香港整體稅制的競爭力作出研究和建議,並就《稅務條例》作出檢討和建議,以適應現今的商業模式,並提高稅務處理方法的清晰度。

作者為香港會計師公會稅務師會執行委員會主席


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Universities should not become glorified vocational training colleges

South China Morning Post
Comment›Insight & Opinion
EDUCATION
2015-08-06

Vocational training schools do good work but the idea that universities should be adapted to this role is misguided at best, dangerous at worst

Should universities be glorified vocational training colleges whose main task is to prepare students for business careers? This week Shinzo Abe’s government attempted to answer the question with an announcement that Japan’s public universities are being re-tooled to focus on scientific research and vocational training.

Abe’s vision of what universities should be doing is widely shared in other countries, not least in business communities where you often hear dismissive talk about “Ivory Towers”. However the idea that universities should be reduced to being mere vocational training schools is at best misguided, and at worst dangerous.

I have nothing against training schools. Indeed, Hong Kong has an admirable network of vocational training institutes but there is a problem in confusing their role with that of universities.

Abe and his colleagues are worried about a skills shortage and seem to believe that Japan’s competitiveness is being held back by universities focusing on liberal studies and engaging in research that lacks a so-called practical purpose.

However, the glory of the finest universities is that, at the undergraduate level, they provide a rounded education and inspiration for some of the smartest young people who will later enter a variety of professions and businesses but are not required to make career decisions at a young age; they can do so later on the basis of a comprehensive education, preparing them for a variety of options.

Great universities are a caldron of ideas and experimentation, some of which leads to the invention of new devices and new ways of thinking but, hopefully, all of which enriches human life with intellectual vigour.

In my experience as an employer, I have minimal interest in paper qualifications but a great deal of interest in understanding the thinking of potential recruits and their ability to tackle problems. Of course it is desirable to employ experienced people with specific knowledge of your industry but at the entry level this experience is most unlikely to have been acquired in a classroom with a shiny, vocationally specific curriculum.

I have more experience working on the employee’s side of the fence, beginning as a young journalist in the days when practically no one joined media organisations with something called a journalism degree. I still don’t understand how they manage to fill up four years with these courses but I am very familiar with the much shorter course that used to be offered, at least in Britain, training novice journalists in practical skills such as shorthand and speed typing, a rudimentary rundown of the laws of libel and some idea of how to put together a decent news story.

Nowadays many media organisations will not employ new entrants without a fancy journalism degree but I remain highly sceptical of their value. This is not to say they are a waste of time but to affirm that there are better ways of training journalists. I don’t believe that my contemporaries were somehow less qualified for their jobs than today’s journalism graduates. Today I am in the food business where we send people off for training and we do on-the-spot training but I cannot, for the life of me, see what value would be added by expecting new entrants to come armed with food degrees.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government also appears to be exercised by the relatively low ranking of their universities in international surveys. Here again, the government has been fooled by what increasingly looks like something of a racket because there is growing evidence that many of these surveys rely excessively on citations of academic work that are vulnerable to considerable manipulation.

The peer review and citation racket involves outright fraud and borderline fraud designed to boost the alleged influence of a particular academic’s work. This largely revolves around the self-obsessed world of academic journals, while citations of academic studies in the general media are ignored.

Other aspects of university rankings are less easy to manipulate as they include considerations of peer ranking of their achievements. However, these rankings are intrinsically rather subjective, with a much criticised bias towards the English speaking world.

If Mr Abe is so obsessed about these rankings he should first understand more about them. Meanwhile, in Japan, there is something of a backlash to this latest move but I rather fear that the Japanese government’s views have considerable resonance here in Hong Kong.

Hopefully the more enlightened members of the local business community will speak up in support of our fine universities, which are centres of excellence in their own right and have supplied recruits for leading positions in business, government and the professions without the constraints of a vocational training straitjacket.

Stephen Vines runs companies in the food sector and moonlights as a journalist and a broadcaster


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香港傳媒轉型之痛

信報財經新聞
時事評論-新思維網絡
2016-04-12

陳智傑

有59年歷史的亞洲電視正式「熄機」,收費大報《太陽報》、主打娛樂資訊的FACE雜誌和《3週刊》先後停刊,星島新聞集團要凍薪……香港傳媒行業的負面消息一浪接一浪。在新聞及言論自由近年為政商影響力所籠罩之際,如今連市場及大眾也讓傳媒機構的日子變得複雜多變。

任何社會都需要新聞及各種資訊。而華洋雜處、且是國際社會跟中國大陸接軌的重要橋頭堡香港,對資訊及情報的需求更加殷切;故此,不少海外及內地的新聞及通訊機構,都會「駐兵」香港,時刻留意重要的消息發放及政商動靜。本港的傳媒行業,即使如今「寒風」陣陣,整體來說仍頗有規模:現在仍有約20份每天發行的收費及免費報章、不計其數的雜誌、4個廣播電台、4個免費或收費電視台,還未計算網媒和一眾新媒體。如此規模的傳媒生態,絕不遜於任何國際城市的狀況。

由城市化至個人化

不過,香港傳媒市場競爭激烈,在網絡世界大行其道,以及數碼滙流大趨勢下,已進入了轉型的時代。這一回的轉型, 不單是傳媒機構如何適應新科技──事實上,大部分的報刊和電子傳媒早已推出網絡版、手機應用程式等,力圖搶佔新客源及留住舊客戶。傳媒面對的主要轉型問題,是人們如今使用傳媒的心態、習慣,以及社會功能的改變。

傳媒的興起,跟工業社會形成、城市化、人們各集體組織和社會制度相繼出現息息相關。工業社會和城市化,催生了工廠、 生產線、工商組織,以至學校、治安制度等社會集體組織。不然,單靠人與人之間的私人關係和約定俗成的風俗,是很難管理一個人口密集的大都會。傳媒,就是這現代化過程的產物,口耳相傳的人際傳播、組織與組織之間的公文往來,是無法滿足一個人口密集、且人口成分複雜的社會對資訊的需求。於是,社會便出現了大眾傳播(mass communication)──報刊、電子傳媒等組織,都是透過科層制度,有系統地蒐集社會的資料和情報,再按新聞專業的守則和行規,把原始資源和零碎情報,製作成新聞或其他資訊,再有組織地廣泛發布。

是故,大眾傳播少不免要講求集體制度和組織──不同新聞從業員之間的分工、 編審制度和準則、製作指引和要求等。此外,新聞及資訊也要以「大眾」為銷售目標──即使有「目標受眾」,這「目標」也不可太少、太「偏」,否則,便會害怕這群「目標受眾」「養不起」一眾傳媒工作者。大眾傳播的製作及銷售目標,始終仍是以「集體」為本。

不過,現代社會經歷數十載的演化後, 如今正變得「個人化」。所謂的「個人化」,其實是資訊爆炸的後果。如今社會生產資訊的規模,正以倍速增長。網絡世界及社交媒體發達,使生產和發布資訊的成本大大減少,亦大大增加了人際傳播的威力。從前要辦一份報章,花費不菲,更遑論要辦一個電台或電視台;如今寫網誌、在Facebook等社交平台發布資訊和「感言」,不單幾乎免費,而且威力「可大可小」。君不見「網絡潮文」不時會紅透香江,部分更被拍成電影,吸引主流傳媒的跟進報道。這種混合了人際傳播的低廉成本,卻有機會造就大眾傳播威力的傳播模式,被傳播學者稱為「大眾自我傳播」(mass self-communication)。

客觀平衡「悶親」讀者

「大眾自我傳播」的結果,就是人們使用傳媒的心態和習慣變得「個人化」。一來,人們如今除了接受資訊,亦習慣同時製作和發布資訊──網上的改圖及百花齊放的「二次創作」,正正反映了這現象。於是,這個社會的資訊生產速度和數量便以幾何級數增加。在資訊爆炸的環境下,人們面對無日無之的資訊,少不免會「資訊疲勞」,其結果便是對資訊的選擇,要麼便得相當「奄尖」,倘若未能於數秒內便引起其興趣,便馬上蟬過別枝;但同時,一旦選擇了某些「啱口味」的資訊渠道,則可能「費事轉台」,不想再次投入資訊爆炸的「洪海」中重新搜索。

二來,「個人化」的媒體使用心態,也讓受眾對資訊的選擇出現多變的集體情緒反應。在資訊爆炸下,各傳媒都想盡辦法,爭奪人們的注意力。於是,人們如今每天都接收大量刺激資訊──動感的標題、改圖、畫面、聲音及各種文宣等。事實上,網絡世界確是資訊爆炸,但同時資訊,以至是民意和潮流形成的生滅速度也不斷加快。例如,在Facebook傳來一張有過千人給了反應的改圖,則姑勿論該改圖的資訊是否可信,但如此的集體情緒反應,相信已讓不少人產生情緒;再來一個「分享」、「讚」或「嬲」,讓集體情緒反應愈滾愈大。故此,如今的民意戰,幾乎是一個「半晝」的事情──如果讓事件在社會輿論上吵大了、吵嘈了,才給予澄清,人們則可能早已給了情緒反應,先入為主,聽不入耳了。

在上述「個人化」的資訊環境下,主流傳媒於是便迎來了一系列的轉型之痛:如何以最短的時間報道及評論、最新卻又可能背景複雜的社會事件?應運而生的「懶人包」,是有效的資訊簡報,還是偏頗的文宣?新聞機構要如何重新理解「客觀平衡報道」這金科玉律?在如今情緒反應波動多變、受眾注意力有限之際,再來一則穩打穩紮、面面俱有的平實報道,可能會「悶親」讀者之餘,亦難以讓持有不同立場及情緒的人們滿意。

在香港社會,人們對資訊總有需求。不過「個人化」的趨勢,使這些需求更撲朔迷離,也讓不少傳媒機構跌跌碰碰,飽嘗轉型的陣痛後,亦未必能摸清方向。

陳智傑
恒生管理學院傳播學院助理教授