Recents in Beach

Hong Kong, Pro-democracy news outlet Stand News closes opinion columns

Hong Kong, Pro-democracy news outlet Stand News closes opinion columns




Now here's our top focus freedom of the  press  is under assault in hong kong after the  demise of apple daily another  pro-democracy news outlet  stan news has announced that it will  remove opinion articles and columns it published before june and  stop accepting donations  a stand news said in a statement that  the measure taken were to protect the  news outlet supporters  writers and editorial staffers in the literary inquisition of hong kong i think that the situation and the  message is clear to from the government  that  making reports and doing uncovering new  story  will have some criminal results  you may be charged you may be limited  your freedom whatever so it's not easy to say  that i'm not afraid of the situation  this comes after an editorial writer of  the now defunct hong kong pro democracy  newspaper apple daily  was arrested at the airport on sunday  night while attempting to leave the city  so far seven journalists and executives  of apple daily have been arrested  as hong kong cracks down on dissent in  the city  despite the crackdown stan news has  pledged to keep reporting the news  the online platform which is public  funded said it would stop taking money  from subscribers and donors  and stop accepting new subscribers this  is because under the national security  law assets can be frozen if authorities  believe  the money is linked to a crime with the demise of apple daily there only remains  a handful of small  online pro democracy outlets in hong  kong  all right for more on this story violent  correspondent richard kimba is joining  us live from  hong kong richard first up uh would it be right if we say that  freedom of press is under assault in  hong kong at the moment  well that's certainly the fear in the  media industry here many of these small  online operators such as standard news  and citizen news another operator whose  founder i spoke to yesterday say that  they really feel the pressure after the  efforts by police to put a stop to the  apple dailies operation because of  the police concerns over it violating the national security law  they say that there are major concerns  about self-censorship as you mentioned  there  with journalists now becoming afraid to  write what they think  and also concerns about how these  platforms can continue to be funded  if they have to switch off basically the  means by which they're getting donations  from uh wealthy individuals who want to see  an independent press continue or indeed  just from public donations  stan news is now the first to come out  and basically turn off the taps for its  own funding operation  it says that it has enough money to  continue operating for the rest of the  year but it's also taken other  steps which seem fairly drastic among media operations it's actually cancelled  the contracts of all of its employees so  that the employees themselves are not  seen to have a business relationship  with the news organization  and it's recommended that all of its  board of directors resign  so as to also distance them from the  operation in an effort really to try and  protect their employees  and allow it to keep operating and  reduce the chance of its own fears  that some of those employees or  directors may be arrested as part of  this ongoing effort  by police to clamp down on national  security threats  right uh just to elaborate a bit on that  since you mentioned about the contracts  between the employees the writers  and the editorial staff just help us  understand this stan news has said in a  statement that the measures that were  taken were to protect the news outlets supporters  writers editorial staff as i just  mentioned  what kind of a threat to the rally face  they're worried that rather like in the  case of apple daily there may be a  widening  spread of arrests taking place as part  of a broader effort by police to prevent  a series of articles that police say  have undermined national security on the  apple daily platform  by calling for or encouraging the idea  of sanctions  against hong kong and chinese officials  because of the implementation  of the national security law that was  the justification that the authorities  have given  for arresting and charging two of the  most senior members of the apple daily  staff but since then we've seen more  apple daily staff  been arrested as part of this  investigation so the concern from the  likes of stan news citizen news these  smaller  operators is that they may be dragged  into this as well which is why in the  case of stand news they're now proactively and preemptively taking down articles on their platform  which have made references to things  like sanctions in the past  which are now such political hot  potatoes and to try and protect their  own staff  trying to pretty much eliminate any  obvious business relationship that  exists between their staff and themselves  but they do still want to keep operating  so for the challenge going forward is  how to keep running themselves  as an efficient news operation without  these types of fundamental business  things in place like contracts for staff  as you mentioned and i'd like to take  that forward richard uh uh you talk  about what  really the future holds for them now  with the demise of apple daily what's  the road ahead really for the remaining  uh pro democracy news outlets that  you've got in hong kong what do you  reckon is the future  well if you speak to the founders of  these organizations they say that  they're still determined to keep  reporting as you mentioned earlier stan  news says it wants to keep  telling the news but the question is how  freely can they do that and how  confident can they be  that they can write exactly what they're  used to the hong kong journalists  association that oversees  all of these operators is asking the  government to clarify exactly  what is acceptable and what is not  acceptable so it's  easier for these types of operators to  know where that red line is  the government has said that the red  line should be obvious because it says  that the national security law is  perfectly clear  and it maintains that it is not trying  to crack down in any way on press  freedoms and it simply  observing the national security  regulations but the main concern from  all of the media industry here is as i  say that that red line  is very blurred and only really when  this apple daily case comes to court  will we start to see how the the judges  and the courts themselves  deem these police efforts to try and  crack down on media operations and see  whether or not the specific articles  that police  are alluding to are deemed by the courts  to be breaking the law.

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