The team at Hong Kong Free Press are very grateful for the groundswell of support we have seen over the weekend. We are also very appreciative of the kind messages and comments from readers after we learned that our website had been blocked in mainland China – we agree that it means we must be “doing something right”.
Our HK$2m 2016 Funding Drive ends at midnight tonight. We are suspending news coverage for one day in order to focus on the campaign and discuss future directions as a team. We wish invite our readers to please share our campaign and support press freedom in Hong Kong by donating to HKFP. We are the city’s only independent, non-profit English-language news outlet and we would like to continue our work into the new year.
With press freedom under attack once again and with a lack of diversity among the English-language press in Hong Kong, we feel it is vital that alternatives such as HKFP exist.
We expect to be more self-sustaining within a year and are very lean and efficient as a company. Ads already pay for our web hosting bills, our use of digital tools keeps our costs down and we have free office space kindly provided by Cantonese digital broadcaster D100. As a non-profit, any money we make goes back into the company and practically all donations go towards paying staff salaries. Our pay packets are modest but are in-keeping with entry-level salaries at other English-language outlets.
Since launching in June, our small but productive team have published over 1,900 original news reports, pick-ups, viral pieces and commentaries…
We 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 carried explainers and exclusives – from government misspending
We are also proud to have top names on board as columnists including Steve Vines, Howard Winn, Tom Holland, Surya Deva, Nury Vittachi, Stuart Wolfendale, Jason Ng and Hemlock.
HKFP is proudly free-of-charge, not-for-profit and completely independent – we want to keep it this way. 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.
Please see our new Frequently Asked Questions page if you’d like to know more about our campaign and our work.