What is it?
Hong Kong In-Media is the most influential independent online media platform in Hong Kong. It is also the oldest in the territory, having operated since July 2004. Since the 1997 political transition, China’s "one country, two systems" policy allows Hong Kong a degree of media autonomy, but widespread self-censorship and media monopolies threaten the diversity of opinions.
Confronted with this reality, the co-founders of HK In-Media aim to
create an open public platform free from political intervention or
commercial influence, in order to promote democracy and freedom of
speech in Hong Kong.
After a decade, the online traffic volume of HK In-Media surpasses 10,000 visitors per day. While it focuses on local news and opinions in Hong Kong, in text as well as multimedia, its influence continues to grow with more active coverage of social-political issues in Greater China and Southeast Asia.
How does it work?
Combining professional reporting with crowdsourced content, HK In-Media maintains a team of citizen reporters, while also encouraging the public to upload news and commentaries on a wide range of issues.
HK In-Media delivers timely and accurate news due to its "professional" reporting by citizen journalists working for the organization on a volunteer basis. This involves internship programs offering training in news production to students and citizens.
After training, they are able to deliver high-quality citizen journalism reports with enthusiasm. The organization also works to preserve the diversity of opinions on its website.
It almost never deletes articles or commentaries (unless there is hate speech or commercial spam). And deleting messages requires the prior approval of more than half of the members of HK In-Media.
In order to maximize its independence, HK In-Media accepts no donations from corporations or political parties. Instead, it relies on long-term membership support and project-based revenue from work with NGOs and foundations in Hong Kong and overseas.
Why does it succeed?
The achievements of HK In-Media reflect timing and persistence. HK In-Media offers an open and equal opportunity platform on the Internet. It
brings together intellectual resources from different social groups: media
workers, activists, university students, freelance writers, grassroots
citizenry, researchers and educators.
The voices represent a wide range of opinions, thus facilitating democratic deliberation. United by a consensus that online news and discussion needs to break from political and commercial control, HK In-Media inspires considerable support from Hong Kong citizens, especially from young people.
the past decade, limits to freedom of expression have shrunk online and offline
public spaces in Hong Kong. Around 2004, several incidents demonstrated that the
territory’s freedom of speech and media autonomy were being threatened.
Founding HK In-Media was part of a society-wide movement against political co-optation and
commercialization in Hong Kong. HK In-Media also drew strength from interacting
with forces outside Hong Kong.
For example, the 2005 anti-WTO demonstrations brought independent media activists throughout Asia to the neighborhood of HK In-Media. The organization has also collaborated with leading NGOs and foundations in other countries.
Why did we select it?
It is notable for its impressive archive of news and discussion accumulated over ten years. The online archive is a rare resource on social movements and grassroots activism in Hong Kong, for journalists, researchers, students and citizens.
The information is often detailed and rich with contexts, causes, and consequences for critical events, including the 2007 construction worker strike, the 2009-2010 anti-high speed rail movement, and the 2012 anti-patriotic education campaign.
Although independent media in Hong Kong dates back to the 1960s, HK In-Media has successfully capitalized on the opportunities provided by digital media to expose the public to a wide range of topics, especially those related to social movements, freedom of the press, and social issues facing disadvantaged groups.