Welcomed as a “breath of fresh air” for the city, Hong Kong Free Press launched in June as a new, completely independent news source for the city. In our first quarter alone, we produced over 1,300 news and comment pieces, attracting almost 1.5 million unique visitors and serving up over 5 million web pages. As a non-profit, any money we make goes directly back into the company. No-one can buy a slice of Hong Kong Free Press – we are owned by you – our donors.
Our content: Publishing a mix of pick-ups, original reporting and viral pieces, our reporters have led coverage in English on topics such as the HKU pro-vice chancellor debacle and the lawyer crackdown in China. Our team have live-blogged the Chief Executive’s LegCo Q&A, the Tianjin blasts, the Beijing WWII parade and the one-year Occupy protests anniversary. We interviewed a host of important local figures such as Alex Chow, Anson Chan, Allan Zeman, Nathan Law, Christopher Doyle and others. We have broken hundreds of news stories first in English and often carry exclusives – from government misspending to security issues at the airport to leaked tapes involving the LegCo president.
Hong Kong Free Press now has a vibrant community of citizen contributors and a beautiful photography section, HKFP Lens. We are also proud to have top names on board as columnists including Steve Vines, Howard Winn, Nury Vittachi, Stuart Wolfendale, Jason Ng and Hemlock.
Our mission: Amid rising concerns over press freedom, we aim to be a truly local news source with a global reach. Our secure, multimedia website is designed to be a platform for expert voices and citizen contributors – we are well-placed to unite critical voices at a vital time in the city’s political development. Through our content sharing links with Chinese media, HKFP aims to raise understanding of Hong Kong issues in the post-Occupy era. Now we have proven our potential, we seek to expand our operations and secure HKFP on its road to sustainability.
HKFP is proudly free-of-charge, not-for-profit and completely independent – we want to keep it this way. In the run-up to 2016, we are fundraising to a new target in order to:
*Invest in original reporting: Though our exclusive features attract readers, our resources and capacity are limited by our modest funds. To fulfil HKFP’s mission, we would like to invest more in original reporting.
*Sustain our talented team: We now have a small but very productive team of four bilingual reporters and we want to keep them. As our office space is being donated to us free-of-charge by D100 Radio, almost all donation money goes directly towards sustaining our brilliant journalists.
*Expand our operations with freelancers and ease our reliance on volunteers: Having perfected our work flow and systems with the assistance of volunteers, we need to find permanent solutions and reward those who contribute to our success. In January, we are looking to hire a full-time news editor.
*Hire a digital marketing expert: As our audience expands, we hope to lessen our reliance on crowd-funding and bring other funding channels online. We are seeking to hire a sales expert to help monetise our growing traffic.