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Hong Kong media is no longer dead but always at the difficult times

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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Hong Kong media is at difficult times

By Kelvin Wan, 12/9

Starting an independent news organisation in today’s media environment would face obstacles. After the controversial incident of a legislator Howard-Lam Tsz-kin‘s kidnap claim, ‘I start to become aware of being neutral, and should remain unchanged.’Ng Hiu-tong said, a founder of FactWire.

FactWire news agency obtained several CCTV clippings showing Howard Lam was not kidnapped by Chinese agents. It has raised public awareness on FactWire because of its methods of news investigation and searching for news evidences. ‘It is a matter of politics and social issues, reporters should stay neutral while writing any news articles.’ Ng said. He also mentioned, public are indeed care about the background of news organisations, in terms of their finance and political inclination.

The only way that news organisations will be sustainable is being neutral all the time, Ng said. Most of readers and audience choose news that fits their views. "This phenomenon is very different from the past, it will be difficult for local media to operate in this environment and will threaten freedom of expression in society in the long run.

‘Crowdfunding is not good for any media actually.’ Ng said. Factwire is an online news agency established 2 years ago, HK$4.75m has been raised through a crowdfunding campaign in the summer of 2015. "owever, people won’t keep donating money," he added.

Factwire started to promote reader subscriptions. Ng took New York Times, Bloomberg as references and learn from them. But he still feels doubt of the subscription business model, since the media scene is still dominated by large-scale news organisations. "Is it possible to sustain the operation of the online news agency in the future? We don’t know yet,’ Ng pondered. --155041 2017年9月12日 (二) 17:57 (CST)

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