Online media platforms Post 852 and Independent Media remain optimistic about the prospects of new-age media despite the sudden closure of two-year-old House News late last month.
“I still have faith in the civil awareness of Hong Kong people. This can be seen from the HK$800,000 (US$ 103,225) donations we have received. Hong Kong people are proactive. They want the media to speak the truth. New media does not have any pressure from the big bosses, and they can tell the truth,” said Yau Ching-yuen, founder of Post 852, which was officially launched in January this year.
He also pointed out that quality standards at mainstream media have been falling. Page-views of websites of key media organizations such as Commercial Radio, South China Morning Post and Hong Kong Economic Times are lower than Post 852 ‘s daily average of 200,000, Yau said, according to Apple Daily.
The page-views of Post 852 have nearly doubled after the closure of House News, Yau claimed. House News founder Tong Tsoi cited “white terror” in Hong Kong and financial concerns as reasons for the shut-down, but Yau said his group is doing fine and that it is financially sound.
“Hong Kong has many conscientious people who… support us silently. If Post 852 shuts down, it will definitely not be because of money,” he said.
Ip Iam-chong, founder of Independent Media, said that although the internet is not pure-territory, it helps provide a platform for many people to make their voice heard, according to a separate Apple Daily report.
Independent Media’s page-views have soared tenfold since it was established in 2004, although the figure is still modest at 20,000 per day. Like Post 852, the online platform relies heavily on public donations while exercising stringent control on operational costs.
Ip said Independent Media has the basic structure of a civil society. The executive members are chosen by vote at an annual meeting, and the editorial team and contributing journalists have equal positions.
“There is no editor-in-chief and CEO. Even if certain members face pressure, it will not lead to the closure of Independent Media,” he said.
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