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Hong Kong’s third news company shuts down amid growing media concerns

Hong Kong: A journalist at Citizen News in Hong Kong blamed the plunge in press freedom that was closed yesterday and said it was no longer safe to publish after rival outlet staff were arrested for “incitement.” Citizen News, one of Hong Kong’s most popular news websites with more than 800,000 social media followers, is the third to stop publishing as Beijing oversees a thorough crackdown on dissent. It is a media company.

A crowdfunding independent platform, founded in 2017 by a group of veteran journalists, announced a shock closure on Sunday night, saying its website will stop updating from midnight today. On their final day, reporters revealed that their decision was fueled by fears caused by a national security police attack on stand news last week.

“We’ve done our best not to violate the law, but the boundaries of law enforcement have become less clear and we can’t work safely,” said Citizen News co-founder. Chris Yeung, a former president of a Hong Kong journalist, said. The association told reporters. “Journalists are also people with family and friends,” he added.

Mr Yong said their newsroom had not been contacted by law enforcement agencies but decided to close it after seeing what was happening in the media. “Can we work on some” safe news “? I don’t even know what “safe news” is, “former HKJA chairman and editor-in-chief Daisy Lee told reporters. As they were talking, Hong Kong’s new “patriots only” legislative banned opposition to traditional democracy and saw most candidates selected by the pro-Beijing Commission. Following the process, he swore a pledge of allegiance.

Last week, 89 of the 90 new lawmakers issued a joint statement welcoming the attack and arrest of Stand News. China’s Global Times welcomed the closure of Citizen News yesterday. “Similar to the stand news, we also published an article that severely criticized the central government and the Chinese Communist Party,” the newspaper wrote.

Changing landscape

Hong Kong has long been a regional and international media hub, despite a steady decline in the press freedom index over the last decade. However, in the last 18 months, unprecedented changes have spread throughout the industry, primarily targeting the local press. The candid tabloid Apple Daily collapsed last year after assets were frozen and key leaders were arrested under the new National Security Act over published content.

Stand News was closed last week after seven current and former members were arrested on their reports. The company, co-founder Chung Pui-kuen, and last editor-in-chief Patrick Lam have been charged with “a plot to publish an incendiary publication.” Both journalists were denied bail. With a few exceptions, the rest of the local outlets are increasingly embarking on official routes, and new government appointees have turned public broadcaster RTHK closer to China’s state media.

Over the weekend, South China Morning Post chief news editor Yonden Ratu failed press freedom in Hong Kong as WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange remained in a British prison awaiting delivery to the United States. He described the Western criticism as “morally bankrupt.” “Before giving us a lecture on hygiene, wash your stool first,” he said. Human rights and media rights groups such as Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, and the International Federation of Journalists are calling for Assange’s release.

Questions are increasing into the future of Hong Kong’s international media, where companies such as AFP, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Economists, Nikkei and the Financial Times all have Asian headquarters or regional offices. Other companies such as The New York Times and The Washington Post have moved to South Korea or opened new Asian offices due to the political situation in Hong Kong.

Last month, the Hong Kong government threatened to file a proceeding against The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times for editorials that were critical of government policy. In a recent letter to the WSJ in response to last week’s editorial, “Nobody is Safe in Hong Kong,” Secretary of State John Lee accused the newspaper of making “unfounded claims,” ​​and the arrest of Stand News. “Freedom of the press”. – AFP

https://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/third-hong-kong-news-company-shutters-as-media-fears-grow/ Hong Kong’s third news company shuts down amid growing media concerns

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