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Dear readers,

As our Fringebacker crowdfunding campaign draws to a close, the HKFP team is delighted to announce that we are fully funded, having raised HK$581,051 in just 40 days. Whilst we will still count on ongoing support from advertisers and our monthly donors, we now have the basics to support our team as we head into a critical election year.

We are enormously grateful to the 579 readers who took the time to contribute, helping to secure our independence into next year. We are all humbled by the kind messages we have received over the past six weeks, and we can assure our backers that – as a non-profit – every cent entrusted to HKFP is valued and spent carefully. (Please be sure to take a look at our Annual Report – we will produce another update in a year’s time.)

hkfp team
Hong Kong reporter Ellie Ng, Editorial Director Kris Cheng, Editor-in-Chief Tom Grundy and Deputy Editor Catherine Lai.

A vote of confidence 

Our pre-launch crowdfunding drive in 2015 ended up 392% funded, raising almost HK$600,000 from 740 backers. Our 2016 Funding Drive raised a similar amount, whilst nearly 1,700 people have contributed over HK$1.6 million to our year-round fundraising through one-off and monthly donations since our launch.

In light of this extraordinary support, we promised last December to invest more in original reporting, and this latest fundraising round represents a vote of confidence in the direction we took. Although we are a young team, and are not immune to making mistakes, we have shown that HKFP is able to compete with the big players and tell the Hong Kong story far beyond its borders.

Photo: TC Chan.

With media ownership issues, threats to press freedom and funding puzzles facing the industry, we have demonstrated that Hongkongers are able to come together themselves as citizens to safeguard the city’s defining values. HKFP will continue to be a daily antidote to the noise of social media, and will serve as an alternative to the for-profit, China-backed outlets which crowd the local media landscape.

We do not see our readers as a “target group” or “verticals,” but a community of supporters to whom we are responsible. As we enter 2017, we are looking forward to covering the Chief Executive elections in March, the 20th anniversary of the Handover in July and the ongoing drama and developments at the legislature.

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With the faith invested in our team, we are more motivated than ever to deliver fast, accurate and credible reporting from the front lines. Thank you once again for your generous donations, and Merry Christmas from us all.

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Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.