Independent Hong Kong Media Outlet Citizen News to Close Due to Safety Fears

Independent Hong Kong online media outlet Citizen News announced on Jan. 2 that it will close, citing the deteriorating media environment and safety of the staff.

Citizen News said that it will cease its operations starting from Jan. 4, becoming the third independent news outlet to shut down in the last six months.

Apply Daily closed in June and Stand News closed last week.

Citizen News added that its website will stop updates and will shut down later.

“Sadly, we can no longer strive to turn our beliefs into reality without fear because of the sea change in the society over the past two years and the deteriorating media environment. At the center of a brewing storm, we found ourselves in a critical situation. In the face of a crisis, we must ensure the safety and well-being of everyone who are on board,” Citizen News said.

Reporters Without Borders East Asia Bureau Chief Cédric Alviani told Hong Kong Free Press in a statement that like Apple Daily and Stand News, Citizen News fell “victim of the intimidation and police harassment campaign led by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, whose goal seems to be a total suppression of press freedom on the territory.”

InMedia Hong Kong becomes the oldest digital news outlet still running in Chinese, following the closure of Citizen News and Stand News.

A number of Hong Kong journalists founded Citizen News in 2017 “against the backdrop of growing worries about Hong Kong’s press freedom.”

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