Independent news site to fight for press freedom

In the wake of declining press freedom and intensified political conflict, a new independent news website Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) is slated to launch next month to stand up for press freedom in Hong Kong after reaching its initial fundraising target of HK$150,000 within 48 hours.

Last Sunday the English-language news platform set up a fundraising page on FringeBacker in the hope to activate the HKFP website in 30 days, which has so far raised more than HK$185,584.

Organised by British multi-media journalist Tom Grundy, who made his name with his extensive Occupy Central coverage, HKFP is dedicated to bridge the gap between Chinese and English reporting through the links with Chinese media partners.

Running on what it claims as a non-profit business, the platform aims to improve global understanding of Hong Kong and China issues, which shows no signs of easing since the Occupy Central movement burst onto the city.

“Our launch is well-timed, coming amid rising concerns over the decline of press freedom in the territory,” says an announcement on the fundraising site.

After the target was reached, Grundy posted a comment yesterday expressing gratitude on behalf of the HKFP team: “The Hong Kong Free Press team is grateful for the unprecedented response to our campaign – thanks to our backers, we achieved our initial goal within 48 hours. This original target was set to sustain HKFP throughout our two-month start-up period with minimal staff.

“Further contributions will strengthen our independence, help us to kick-off stronger and will bolster our capacity to provide a much-needed credible news source for Hong Kong.

“Every HK$50,000 provides the basics for us to survive for an extra month, support an extra reporter and build an audience in order to become self-sustaining.

“Please continue to share our project over the coming month and many thanks to all who have supported us so far!”

Launching next month, HKFP is set to run with a visual and multimedia design with a focus on local breaking news, showcasing translated and viral content. It also aims to serve as a direct platform to carry expert voices, citizen contributors and advocacy groups.

The news site will provide comment and analysis, investigative journalism and regional coverage as it grows.

The fundraising will end on 8 June.