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Annual Report

Editor-In-Chief/Co-director. In 2017. We made big investments last year in our team. Whilst citizens remain unable to hold the powerful to account at the ballot box. human rights and minority issues missed elsewhere. our digital outlet was finally recognised as a newspaper by the government. 42 Wong Chuk Hang Road. Despite a limited budget and resources. The Hive Spring. 2 . HKFP is run by journalists. it is critical that an independent press is able to operate freely and keep Hongkongers informed. allowing us proper access to press events. 3/F Remex Centre. Annual Report 2017 Page 2: Message from the Editor-in-Chief Page 10: Staff & Structure Page 3: Our Mission & Impact Page 11-12: Transparency Report Page 4-6: The Best of HKFP 2017 Page 13: Press Freedom Status & Page 7-8: 2017 Achievements HKFP’s Priorities in 2018 Page 9: Placement & Partnerships Page 14: Support HKFP It has been another turbulent year for Hong Kong. In the autumn. commercial difficulties. national security legislation back on the table and Beijing's hand in the city becoming ever more visible. Hong Kong. original features and a new opinion section. the independence of the judiciary in question. hongkongfp.com info@hongkongfp.our not-for-profit. In an ever- evolving media environment . our platform matured into a vital and influential part of the local media landscape.rife with political pressures. drop or bury a story. and invite you to review our team's work as we prepare to report on what may be another roller-coaster year for the city. and well-funded state-sponsored players .000 news and comment pieces. No media tycoon can tell us to change. backed by the public and is answerable only to readers. Hong Kong Free Press. reader-backed model is standing up to the test. having now published over 10. with opposition at the legislature neutered. reporting tools. Aberdeen. We would like to thank our supporters for backing us over the past 12 months.com Tel: +852 9447-3443 Hong Kong Free Press. we were able to punch above our weight and give greater focus to social. Tom Grundy. No shareholders or umbrella company can influence our reporting. Hong Kong Island.

• We now reach over 76.400 Twitter followers.90% between 25-34. 38% are female.6% 6. YouTube. 62% are male.00% 25. 30. We seek to amplify the voices of the voiceless.00% 76. • HKFP attracts 30% more social traffic and 70% more direct traffic than 20 other similarly sized local news sites. Widest reach in 15.2 on social media among all Hong Kong English-language news outlets. 3 . without fear. Our Mission & Impact Our mission: We aim to be the most independent and credible English- language news source in Greater China. HKFP raised over HK$1m directly from donors to fund our operations and safeguard our independence.00% 20. Most are aged 37. LinkedIn. • No. Gender Mobile Desktop Tablet • 72% of HKFP readers use English as a first language.4 million tweet impressions in 2017.800 YouTube subscribers.10% 62. 19.00% 72.5 million pageviews since our 2015 launch. not the powerful.800 Facebook fans. apps. • We are reaching thousands of readers though our newsletter. 15-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ 519 videos.1 million views. Age 81. favour or interference. The HKFP team is fully committed to reporting the facts. 10.800 Facebook fans and 81.1% 31. Website audience Male Female stats since 2015. hosting writing from 242 authors and organisations. 62.00% 1. Telegram and other channels. • Our team have published over 10. G+. And our platform will act as a monitor should Hong Kong’s core values and freedoms be threatened. followed by 35-44.00% 0. Instagram.3% • 61% are Hong Kong-based. 2.400 Twitter followers.000 news and comment pieces in under three years.00% Hong Kong.00% 5. followed by the US and UK. 35. • In 2016 alone. • HKFP has served up over 26.000 tweets.

We won exclusive interviews with the city’s last governor Chris Patten. as well as interviews with lawyers and opposition leaders. We also gave greater emphasis to social. live rolling video and blogs of the pro-democracy resistance efforts and police crackdown during Xi’s state visit. and the city’s youngest lawmaker who was ousted by a court. the democracy activist beaten by police in 2014. gaining worldwide traffic to our live blog after we fought to access the vote count. 4 . The Best of HKFP 2017 Following our pledge to invest in original reporting. Carrie Lam’s inauguration and President Xi Jinping’s visit to the city. We published 300 stories on the 2017 Hong Kong leadership election. We hosted opinion pieces from figures such as activist Joshua Wong. This July. We assessed outgoing leader Leung Chun-ying’s legacy on civil liberties and profiled the city’s new leader. Ken Tsang. Hong Kong’s ‘public enemy no.1’ pro-independence figure Andy Chan. senior counsel Philip Dykes. HKFP was the only English-language outlet to publish full. We also translated another televised “confession” by a detained China rights lawyer as part of our ongoing coverage. the number of homegrown features we published this year almost doubled. “QT”. human rights and minority issues and launched a new opinion section. columns and reflections on the 20th anniversary of the Handover. HKFP ran special features. the anonymous British lesbian at the heart of Hong Kong’s LGBTQ legal fight. interviews.

reported on the growing phenomenon of compensated dating. controversies surrounding the Zhuhai-Macau bridge. Howard Lam "abduction" case. pro-LGBTQ Christians working to reform the church. The Best of HKFP 2017 HKFP published original features on land rights issues in the New Territories and villagers’ resistance efforts. sexual harassment in China. police targeting of ethnic minorities. activist fans defending their sports centre. We covered a community group creating public spaces for independent film. the border checkpoint row. the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. and the conviction of seven policemen for beating a pro-democracy activist. We were the first to report in English on the post-election crackdown on pro- democracy activists. politicised filmmakers and a band composed of asylum seekers. discrimination faced by the transgender community. among other topics. highlighted the unchecked power of local developers. a group seeking to support jailed democracy activists. the race to preserve rural minority “mountain songs’’ the grassroots democratic efforts by a ‘shadow district council’. the jailing of pro-democracy activists. the resignation of Hong Kong University's Vice-Chancellor. the continuing activism and grassroots community work of Hong Kong’s ousted lawmakers and free speech and selective law enforcement.” we broke dozens of stories this year. the issues faced by Hong Kong sex workers. We also covered the city’s new upcoming national anthem law. a new generation of young. land rights issues in the heart of the city. the jailing of Mong Kok protesters and activist Joshua Wong. As part of our aim to be “first in English. 5 . and chaos in the legislature.

a veteran pro- democracy politician. Buddhists seeking a greater political voice. By investing in video. We published two original features about homelessness in Hong Kong. government misspending. 6 . mobile and photographic gear this year. The Best of HKFP 2017 In 2017. We hosted live coverage of the biggest ever protest by police officers. poverty among minorities in To Kwa Wan. an Afghan journalist who survived a massacre and one of Macau’s only pro-democracy activists. and the government’s Policy Address. street food hawkers returning to a local district and the death of a public housing estate at the hands of big business. a Sikh temple which promotes equality though food. We also employed a freelance researcher in London to scour recently declassified UK files on Hong Kong. as well as features about environmentally disastrous packaging at supermarkets. producing ten original stories relating to the colonial authorities. profiled a citizen who spent decades suing the government and interviewed a journalist who was ousted from China. We interviewed one of Hong Kong’s leading human rights lawyers. HKFP took a comprehensive look at street harassment in the city. Typhoon Hato. published a story about disenfranchised ethnic minorities. the pushback against controversial high-pressure exams in schools. we were able to provide richer multimedia reporting from the ground.

By censoring our homepage for a day. Meanwhile. our staff reported for an international audience on BBC World. Ng. 2017 Achievements • This year. Tim Hamlett. NOS and RTHK this year. we helped to raise awareness about the increasing threat to free expression in the city. Deutschlandfunk. Reporters Without Borders and others. • The HKFP story was covered by the BBC. • In February. It features renowned writers such as Steve Vines. As the team lost access to desktop PCs. Yuen Chan. we launched an HKFP Opinion section for much-needed commentary and analysis missing elsewhere in English. Jason Y. Kent Ewing. David Bandurski. the Journalists Association. sponsoring Pride 2017 and publishing over 120 stories and features on the topic in 2017 alone. • HKFP moved its operations from Cyberport to The Hive following a public appeal. • HKFP won recognition as a newspaper this autumn after a years-long fight against the government. Vaudine England. Al-Jazeera. 7 . Ilaria Maria Sala. Southside Magazine. the authorities barred HKFP and other digital media from attending government press conferences to question officials. • We launched new. we “redacted” our website as part of a campaign for Amnesty International. Amnesty International. Hong Kong Tatler. We succeeded with the support of the Committee to Protect Journalists. a kind donor provided four new Dell computers. ABC Australia and others. dedicated sections for Macau and Taiwan coverage and welcomed cartoonist Badiucao to our platform. Previously. • We openly advocated for LGBTQ and gender equality. Sharon Hom. Sai Pradhan and Evan Fowler.

charities. Top Story 2017. • HKFP’s chief editor joined the Rory Peck Trust committee. we signed a contract with Dow Jones Factiva to ensure our news is accessible through their databases across the world.000 subscribers. India and Hong Kong. • In 2017. • Also in November. • In June. • In November. Several new partners joined the platform in 2017. We hosted several groups of local and foreign journalism students and school groups at our office. academics. It received a record number of entries. making it easier and faster for readers to make a one-off or regular donation. we are reaching over 3. Psiphon and Instagram feeds. • In September. we launched a weekly HKFP Dim Sum newsletter to showcase our best coverage. The deal also provided a new income stream. • HKFP Voices aims to provide a free platform for NGOs. we linked with RTHK and PEN Hong Kong to run a short story-writing competition. minority voices and the powerless. we rolled out a new Stripe payment system for monthly donations. • In March. We also launched and automated our Flickr. HKFP improved staff conditions to meet or exceed industry standards. we partnered with No Air-Con Night to help promote green habits. The self-hosted system also saved us thousands of dollars in administrative fees. and held five professional development workshops. 2017 Achievements • We rolled out Facebook Live video coverage at events. and published our first 360 sphere image. 8 . • HKFP staff spoke at four local universities and at conferences in the US. Pushbullet. As of December.

multiple local and regional outlets and in several gov’t/NGO reports. our coverage was cited by the BBC. Our partners have included: 9 . TIME. the New York Times. This year. the Daily Mail. Press TV. Placement & Partnerships Hong Kong’s media landscape: Chinese-language news (digital): Independent English language news: [independent bilingual news wire] Chinese-language traditional news (print): English-language traditional news (digital/print): Our impact goes far beyond the city: HKFP’s reporting has been cited and picked up by numerous international outlets. the Telegraph. Advertising and media partnerships are a growing part of HKFP’s income stream.

Huffington Post. His work has been featured in Washington Post. art and feminism. hongwrong.com. ArtAsiaPacific. Sky News and Channel News Asia. In 2013. Karen worked at Daly & Associates. Hong Kong Economic Times and others. HKFP will form a board to enhance our accountability and corporate governance. Democracy Now. The Underground HK. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. a new music & culture online magazine in Hong Kong. accounting and editorial volunteers. She is the co-founder and managing editor of Still / Loud. Hong Kong Free Press would not be possible without the support and 10 assistance of our countless tech. limited by guarantee. At HKFP. He has contributed to BBC World TV and radio. We are answerable only to ourselves and our readers. Editorial Director Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. she is also interested in urban spaces. . Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs. openDemocracy. amongst others. DLA Piper. he founded the popular local news/culture platform. In 2012. he co-founded a multimedia and legal campaign for domestic workers. Global Post. Kris guides the team’s daily Hong Kong political coverage. In-house Management Editor-in-chief / Co-director Co-director Deputy editor Company members Editorial Director External Senior Reporters Contributors Columnists Reporters & interns Volunteers Freelancers In 2018. and Eastern Chambers. not shares. Senior Reporter Karen Cheung is a journalist and writer. She has written for Al Jazeera. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia. Staff & Structure Hong Kong Free Press is structured as a not-for-profit company. Time Out. and HKELD. In her past life as a law student. leading HKFP’s legal coverage. Deputy Editor Catherine Lai is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong. Our current full-time staff include: Editor-in-Chief & Co-Director Tom Grundy is a British multimedia journalist based in Hong Kong for 12 years. working in TV and online media. Public Radio International. Quartz. Catherine was quickly promoted to Deputy Editor after joining HKFP in 2016. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong.

334 Staff Payroll [86%] Mandatory Provident Fund (pensions) [4%] Website. professional and audit fees HK$10. Our income and expenditure for the period between 1/1/2016 and 31/12/2016 was as follows: Income Amount Donations [91%] Advertising [8%] Donations HK$1.942 Website.063. • As a non-profit.624 Bank charges HK$2. 11 . • We are on target to end 2017 with a surplus.035.654 after tax. any surplus is recycled back into the company.125 Events [1%] Bank interest [0%] Advertising HK$92. newswire text/photo. software [3%] Office.569 • In comparison.267 Stationery and printing HK$6.531 Legal.218 Total: HK$1.209.083 Office.845 Merchandise and delivery expenses HK$10. drinks.500 Travel HK$8. newswire text/photo. HKFP is externally audited every year. sundry and recruitment expenses HK$25.801 Meals/drinks for volunteers and staff HK$25.765 Expenditure Amount Staff payroll HK$1. software HK$33. sundry and recruitment expenses [2%] Meals. professional and audit fees [1%] Selling and delivery expenses [1%] Travel [0%] Stationery and printing [0%] Bank charges [0%] Our balance as of the end of the year: 2016 total deficit: -HK$45.352 Bank interest HK$12 Total: HK$1. entertainment [2%] Legal.523 Mandatory Provident Fund (pensions) HK$50.163.276 Events HK$8. Transparency Report 2016 As a non-profit company. HKFP ended 2015 with a surplus of HK91.

events. 12 . UK. 86% of all spending goes directly towards supporting our hard-working 24/7 news team • Our income streams in 2016 included: Donations. 59 monthly donors give an average of HK$268 . using free software wherever possible and making full use of automation to save on labour costs. content sales. reporting equipment. audit and tax services. We make savings by partnering with other media outlets. and meals/drinks for staff and volunteers. • Our expenses in 2016 included: AFP news wire service. employee insurance.767 from patrons each month. HKFP employed 5-6 full- time staff members. in order to maximise the impact of our donors’ generosity. • During 2016. we already have a total of 99 HKFP Patrons. Google/YouTube display ads. company secretarial services. we also enjoyed free rent at our office courtesy of D100 Radio.totalling HK$6. accountancy costs. HKFP will shift towards a monthly donor model after our 2018 annual fundraiser. We need around 500 patrons in order to become fully self-sustaining. web hosting and domains. Through our self-hosted Stripe payment system. excluding those who donate by cheque/transfer. and merchandise sales. In 2016.535/month.totaling HK$13. Australia and China. • Through Fringebacker/PayPal. postage/stationery. • We receive HK$19.232/month. though we also have backers in the US. travel and transport. Donors are overwhelmingly from Hong Kong. we have 40 patrons giving an average of HK$152 . accountancy and security software. Google Suite tools. Transparency Report 2016 • HKFP is run as efficiently and prudently as possible. As of the end of 2017. directly purchased rate card ads.

Press Freedom Update A summary of major press freedom incidents in Hong Kong during 2017: February: • A former editor at pro-Beijing Hong Kong newspaper Commercial Daily resigns to seek asylum in the US. we will invest yet more resources in original reporting.in order to become more sustainable. September: • The Hong Kong government lifts its ban on digital media outlets following a years-long campaign. May: • Major news broadcaster i-Cable is sold to property tycoons amid financial distress. • We will seek to expand our reach in English-speaking areas of Hong Kong. • Pro-Beijing newspaper Sing Pao says its management received threats in the lead-up to the chief executive election. October: • Police launch an investigation after threatening letters are sent to HKFP staff and their families. We will also start running our funding campaigns independently to save costs. • Following our 2018 funding drive. with more homegrown daily reports as well as weekend features and interviews. • We will further diversify our pool of contributors to ensure we are amplifying views from minority communities. and host more community events. November: • HKFP attends its first government event after the lifting of the digital media ban. July: • Investigative magazine Next enters into a sale agreement with businessman Kenny Wee.monthly donors . • HKFP will form a governing board and code of ethics to improve our accountability. HKFP will focus on growing the number of HKFP Patrons . December: • Online outlet HK01 is criticised by the Journalists' Association for its treatment of declassified Tiananmen massacre files. • A cybersquatter renews an HKFP domain name to misdirect web users. 13 . HKFP’s Priorities in 2018 • In 2018. March: • The Hong Kong Journalists' Association files a court challenge against the government's non-recognition of digital media.

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