Ng Hiu-tung, a former reporter with Television Broadcasts Ltd. (TVB), plans to launch a newswire in Hong Kong through a crowd-funding initiative.
The venture, called FactWire, will focus on investigative reports and try to establish itself as an independent media platform, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Ng has targeted funding of HK$3 million in 60 days for his startup. As of 9 am Thursday, about HK$145,000 has been raised from 146 donors.
FactWire will be completely independent, and will refuse any advertisement or acquisition proposals, Ng said.
If the fund-raising goes smoothly and the company is able to secure the targeted HK$3 million, FactWire will be able to hire seven reporters and carry on operations for at least 12 months, he said.
If the venture doesn’t secure funding for the second year, the HK$3 million will be enough for three-month severance pay for staff after a year of operations.
To attract top-notch reporters, FactWire will offer salaries that are 30-50 percent higher than the levels prevalent in local mainstream media.
Staff could expect to be paid anywhere between HK$18,000 and HK$60,000, depending on their skills and experience, according to the report.
Ng is a veteran journalist with over 25 years experience spanning local, international and China news.
Apart from TVB, he had worked for Cable TV and Radio Television Hong Kong, and was also involved in the establishment of EyePress, a press-photo agency, in 2001.
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