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Liberal news outlets in Hong Kong such as Apple Daily, whose shuttered headquarters are shown here, have been dropping like flies since a national security law was introduced in 2020. In their absence, pro-China publications have been gaining influence. (Photo by Paul Yeung)
The Big Story

Hong Kong's independent media fight to survive

Erosion of press freedom leaves door open for pro-China publications

PAK YIU, Nikkei staff writer | Hong Kong

HONG KONG -- When the founders of Citizen News told their employees the online outlet would be shutting its doors for good, a familiar sense of dread and shock overwhelmed one of its newest staffers. Phoebe had just joined the newsroom six months ago, after she lost her job when the government's sweeping crackdown forced the city's pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily to shut.

Now the 28-year-old journalist listened on Jan. 2 as Citizen News’ management described how the worsening media environment in Hong Kong and a growing threat to everyone's safety left them no choice but to make the painful decision to close. "At that moment, I thought to myself, well, there's no more room for me to work in this industry anymore," Phoebe, who has been a reporter for more than eight years told Nikkei Asia.

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