The Hong Kong Free Press team would like to thank readers for supporting our #PressingOn 2021 Funding Drive.

We have exceeded our 1,000-Patron target and now have 1,050 monthly Patrons contributing HK$204,063/month (before fees) to our operations. The average Patron contributes HK$194/month.

100 per cent independent, governed by an ethics code and not-for-profit, HKFP is #PressingOn with its impartial, award-winning coverage, achieving top marks for credibility. Founded in 2015, we are backed by readers and run by journalists – there is no tycoon, no shareholders and no Chinese conglomerate behind us – no-one edits our editors.

Financial shortfall: Audited each year, we are the most transparent news outlet in Hong Kong and the city’s only truly independent English-language outlet. Read our Transparency Report to see how we spend every cent, and where our income comes from. Later this month, we will publish our latest figures.

Although HKFP is set to make a shortfall of up to HK$100,000/month, our company – as a non-profit – is able to reinvest our earlier surplus and remain online for many years thanks to the renewed support of our monthly Patrons. We will nevertheless need to continue to bring new Patrons online as 2022 unfolds.

We are enormously grateful to our readers for recognising the need to safeguard independent journalism and appreciate your kind words and contributions over the past three months.

“The mission of journalism has never been needed as much as it is now.”

journalist maria ressa, nobel peace prize winner

#HoldTheLine: 2021 was a brutal year for the media industry in Hong Kong, with newsrooms raided, editors arrested, outlets disbanding in fear, all whilst the authorities said press freedom was intact, deeming foreign criticism a violation of international law.

HKFP was founded seven years ago as a response to press freedom concerns, but – aside from our 2020 work visa denial – our newsroom has never been contacted or troubled by the authorities. This is likely owing to our impartial stance, transparent funding, and balanced coverage guided by an Ethics Code and Corrections Policy. Press freedom is guaranteed by the Basic Law, Bill of Rights and security law – it is in our name, and it is on this basis that we operate.

For these reasons, HKFP staff are united in our commitment to continue our on-the-ground award-winning reporting. Nonetheless, we cannot be naïve when it comes to ensuring staff safety and security, protecting sources, and trying our best to navigate unclear legal realities whilst test cases go through court. We are a Hong Kong news outlet, we love this city, and we have not entertained the idea of reporting on it from elsewhere. Besides, it is only by being on-the-ground that we can maintain nuance and accuracy though attending events, press conferences, court cases and speaking directly with Hongkongers.

But because of the current uncertainties facing journalists, we may make some precautionary changes this year upon legal advice that readers will spot. Above all though, we will always be guided by the journalistic tradition, our ethics code, and the day-to-day mission of ensuring accuracy and fairness. And despite recent events, we do not believe there are any Hong Kong stories we would have to avoid reporting on and – thanks to your support – the HKFP team will continue to hold the line and press on.

HKFP’s new office. Photo: HKFP.

New staff: As part of our long-planned 2022 expansion, HKFP moved to a larger office at The Hive Kennedy Town late last year. We hired two new Hong Kong reporters: Hillary Leung and Peter Lee, who were previously with Coconuts and Initium, as well as a new editor, Mercedes Hutton, previously with the SCMP.

Thanks to the kind support of readers, we are thrilled to welcome new talent to the newsroom in 2022 as we cover events at the city’s courts, Hong Kong’s leadership contest, the new “patriots” legislature, the security law, and the 25th anniversary of the Handover.

Hong Kong Free Press

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.