A SHORT HISTORY OF TARGET
Mr Raymonde Montague Sacklyn was, and always has been, the
driving force behind TARGET, the name of this medium,
being synonymous with hard-hitting business stories about
Hongkong and its sometimes questionable captains of industry.
It was Hongkong's first wholly business newsletter.
Nobody has ever, successfully, been able to copy it, its
style, or scored such a success for a subscription-only medium,
even to this day.
It is, and it has always been, dedicated to reporting
economic, financial and business news about Hongkong.
It was founded when the 416 square-mile territory, then a
Colony of Great Britain, was on its economic knees. That was in
From its very humble beginnings as a bilingual, letter-size
newsletter, Mr Sacklyn determined that there was a need in
Hongkong for an impartial and objective, business-type medium,
which inculcated the wrestling concept of no-holds barred when
it came to writing and publishing a story.
(The Chinese-language version of TARGET had to be
discontinued within 2 years of the birth of the newsletter due
to technical problems, translation problems, and the inability
to obtain the services of reliable and fast operators of a
manual Chinese typesetter.)
Mr Sacklyn started his journalistic career in The STAR
Newspapers, owned and controlled in the 1970's via Anglo-Chinese
Publications Ltd, a Hongkong-registered company.
Due to financial problems, Mr Graham Jenkins, the Founder of
The STAR, became controlled by the late Sir Douglas Clague, the
Founder of Hutchison International Ltd, now renamed Hutchison
Mr Sacklyn left The STAR in order to start TARGET when
it became evident that the editorial integrity of Hongkong’s
most-popular afternoon tabloid of the day was being compromised
by big business.
When Mr Jenkins asked Mr Sacklyn as to the ‘target
audience’ of his brainchild newsletter, the name, ‘TARGET’, was considered the appropriate banner for this
bold experiment in journalism in Hongkong.
With only $HK74,000 as start-up capital, all borrowed money,
Mr Sacklyn had to make a choice as to the appearance of TARGET:
- Would it be an appealing, glossy medium, complete with
professional layout and coloured photographs?
- Would it be an ugly, newssheet, measuring 8.50 inches by
11 inches, breaking the then accepted mould of Hongkong
- Would TARGET be somewhere in between the
appealing glossy and the ugly newssheet?
Because it was not in Mr Sacklyn's character to produce a
medium, which was ugly, he determined to produce his newsletter,
having the appearance of being a confidentially typed letter,
with the word, ‘CONFIDENTIAL’, emblazoned across
its pages in the background.
Today, TARGET and Mr Sacklyn are something of a legend in
the journalistic history of the territory: TARGET is
hated by some; it is feared by many; but, grudgingly, it is
respected by most people and corporate entities.
As Mr Sacklyn has, always, maintained:
‘I care little for the love of my fellows, for that is as
fleeting as a short, summer storm, but I care a great deal that
they respect me, not for that which I am or for that which I
have achieved, but for that which I have always attempted to
achieve – even though, on occasions, I have failed.’
From its founding, TARGET has, always, concentrated on
reporting business news, financial affairs in Hongkong, analyses
of publicly listed companies, and putting many of the leaders of
Hongkong industry under the TARGET microscope.
At the birth of TARGET, financial analysis in Hongkong
was, just about, non-existent in the popular Press, and
international stockbrokers, operating in the territory, were,
always, keen to lick the boots of big business of the colony,
throwing impartiality and objectivity to the wind.
Mr Sacklyn decided that he had to cut new ground, from day to
One thing has never changed in TARGET over the years:
Its editorial integrity has never been compromised, much to the
chagrin of many a head of a publicly listed company in Hongkong
as well as the former managements of Hongkong's stock exchanges
– there were 4 such entities at one time.
Nobody has ever ‘bought’ one inch of editorial space
in TARGET in spite of numerous attempts so to do by big
TARGET has never published a powder-puff story, reproduced an
advertisement or a Press Release, passed off as a story, as many
of the popular Press of today do on a daily basis.
And so, it shall always be.