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Hong Kong’s Citizen News shuts down to protect its staff

Hong Kong’s Citizen News shuts down to protect its staff

Posted January. 04, 2022 07:57,   

Updated January. 04, 2022 07:57


Hong Kong’s anti-China online news site Citizen News closed on Sunday. It appears the new site decided to cease operations after even large media outlets shut down one after another due to the growing suppression of the press from the authorities. There are growing concerns that the freedom of press has virtually disappeared in Hong Kong as three anti-China media outlets shut down in the past half a year following the closures of Apple Daily, the largest daily newspaper in Hong Kong, in June, and Stand News on Dec. 29.

On its official Facebook account, Citizen News made the announcement “with a heavy heart,” saying they must ensure the safety of everyone who are on board in a time of crisis. It went on to say that they wanted to serve the public by inheriting the spirit of journalism, but due to changes in Hong Kong and worsening environment for media in the past two years, a small boat called Citizen News was hit by strong winds and waves.

In a press conference on Monday, Citizen News’ founder and chief writer Chris Yeung said the decision to close Citizen News was made in a short time, adding they could not rule out that they might be exposed to some risks. In particular, he said that the announcement made four days ago by Stand News to cease operations was the decisive reason to decide the closure. Both Apple Daily and Stand News decided to shut down after former and incumbent executives were arrested one after another and company assets were frozen. It appears Citizen News made the decision in order to protect its staff.

Founded on Jan. 1, 2017, Citizen News is a small online media outlet with 40 staff. In pursuit of freedom, openness, diversity and inclusiveness, Citizen News faithfully delivered the voice of democracy during protests against the Hong Kong extradition bill in 2019 and Hong Kong security law in 2020.

Eun-Taek Lee nabi@donga.com