According to the latest Press Freedom Ranking by Reporters Without Borders (released on Thursday), Hong Kong’s ranking fell to 73rd place under Côte d’Ivoire and Tunisia. 6 years ago, it had been ranked 58th out of 180 countries.
The city’s new placement is not surprising as Beijing retains considerable influence on the media year after year. This erosion of press freedom is a reminder that there is an urgent need for independent media in Hong Kong. With only a handful of free and independent news organizations, the fate of free speech in HK is under a massive question mark.
Although the government has assured onlookers that press freedom is being respected in Hong Kong, recent developments show that there is still a long way to go. At this delicate point in time, Shroffed stands with its fellow independent online media organizations, such as the Hong Kong Free Press and Citizen News Hong Kong, to present its audience with fair and just reporting.
With a team of 18 writers from more than 5 countries, Shroffed has shared stories from Hong Kong through a global lens. When covering stories from around Hong Kong, we all had different perspectives to share. Over the past few weeks, our team came together to report issues in Hong Kong. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we also represented Hong Kong and incorporated the Hong Kong perspective in our reportage. Our work ranged from cultural insights to wider social issues, from lifestyle to opinions on various political issues.
Here, stories from Hong Kong came to life to meet a global audience. Local stories were appreciated by a wider range of people. In a city where history and future stand side by side, we were able to find hidden gems – reports that some locals would pass by but that genuinely aroused interest from an international audience and vice versa. And so, Shroffed strung together a unique chain of news production and consumption where the stories that we share are not constrained nor confined by geographic location or ethnic background.
Now, our run has come to an end. We are pleased to have encountered diverse stories across Hong Kong and to have been able to bring liveliness to all the events that occurred during our time at Shroffed. There was an endless number of interesting and fascinating accounts coming in from different parts of Hong Kong and our team worked tirelessly to carefully select and shape the stories for our audience. We tried to not just report on what was happening, but also highlight some of the wider implications of specific reports. This would not have been possible without our writers who spent day and night trying to present facts, without forgetting their context and background, in diverse multimedia forms – photos, videos and much more.
Last but not least, we wish to tell you that we will return in the next season this year. Our team acknowledges our role as an independent media organization in Hong Kong. That being said, we hope to contemplate more on readers’ needs and advice before we come back. Meanwhile, we wish our readers all the best. Thank you and see you soon.