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Hong Kong Free Press has met all nine of the NewsGuard initiative’s credibility and transparency criteria, a week after we launched our Code of Ethics and just ahead of our website relaunch.

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NewsGuard lists green or red credibility scores for over 4,000 news websites, representing 95 per cent of all online news engagement. The assessments – carried out by humans, not algorithms, appear next to links across search engines and social media after the NewsGuard plugin is installed.

The initiative is run by journalists and is part of a global fightback against misinformation, unreliable content and fake news. Their assessment for HKFP was completed on Wednesday.

“Misinformation on social media and state-backed propaganda became rife during the recent protests in Hong Kong, and media credibility is ever-more critical with this year’s coronavirus outbreak,” said HKFP Editor-in-Chief Tom Grundy. “Whilst readers need to navigate what sources of information are credible, media outlets must also demonstrate their independence and be open about how they operate, who’s in charge and how they’re funded. In the past week, we have published a comprehensive ethical code and corrections policy as part of our leading commitment to transparency, and ahead of our April website relaunch.”

NewsGuard cited evidence of HKFP meeting its nine criteria:

  1. Does not repeatedly publish false content 
  2. Gathers and presents information responsibly
  3. Regularly corrects or clarifies errors
  4. Handles the difference between news and opinion responsibly ✓
  5. Avoids deceptive headlines 
  6. Website discloses ownership and financing 
  7. Clearly labels advertising 
  8. Reveals who’s in charge, including possible conflicts of interest 
  9. The site provides the names of content creators, along with either contact or biographical information

The final phase of HKFP’s relaunch involves a complete website redesign and overhaul as part of the Newspack initiative – we aim to complete the website migration in early April following a brief shutdown.

Not-for-profit, run by journalists and completely independent, the HKFP team relies on readers to keep us going and to help safeguard press freedom. Learn more about our achievements in our latest Annual Report. Our Transparency Report shows how carefully we spend every cent.

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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.