The Apple Daily, which has been with Hong Kong people for 26 years, completed its historic mission on Thursday (24) with an “unnatural death” after the Hong Kong government arrested people, searched its premises and froze its assets. The last day of the Apple Daily was issued in 1 million copies, and a large number of people queued up overnight to buy it, with many districts already sold out early in the morning. Some readers described the closure of the Apple as a symbol of the disappearance of press freedom in Hong Kong and the “official start of the dark ages”. The closure of Apple is a foregone conclusion, but the public has not yet given up, and has begun to think about the possibility of Apple’s overseas development.
The 26-year-old Apple Daily was forced to stop publication, and its last issue was printed in a record-breaking 1 million copies with the headline “Hong Kong people say goodbye to ‘We support Apple’ in the rain”.
At 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, the first copies of Apple Daily were sold at a newsstand in Mongkok, where hundreds of people waited in a long line to catch the last bit of press freedom in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong people cry farewell to “Apple Daily”: the official start of the dark ages
Reader Mr. Chen said, in recent years, Hong Kong’s political turmoil, “Apple Daily” can best reflect the voice of Hong Kong people. He believes that the disappearance of Apple also represents the disappearance of freedom of the press in Hong Kong, and believes that more media organizations will be suppressed, and the only remaining freedom of expression is gone, describing it as “the official start of the dark age.
Chen, a candidate for the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination, came to the queue at 12 midnight and said in an interview with the station that the Apple Daily is a memory of Hong Kong people, and the loss of the Apple Daily represents the loss of freedom of speech in Hong Kong.
Chen said, “It’s very sudden, what has always been read before suddenly lost, is the memories of Hong Kong people, is a record of the changing times.”
Ashley, a member of the public, came to line up with her children, she said deliberately across the district to Mong Kok, is hoping to take advantage of the children still have memories, bring him to witness history, “because in the future, Hong Kong can not see the real thing.”
By Thursday morning, Hong Kong districts to reappear queues of people, but also to support the protest “yellow store” free newspaper distribution. Some people said, including freedom of the press, Hong Kong people have lost a lot of things this year.
Apple Daily’s brand is reborn overseas?
In just one week, Apple Daily was hit by the Hong Kong government, including the second time in a year that the company’s top management was arrested and the newspaper office was searched.
When the Hong Kong Apple Daily came to an end, the world began to wonder if the Apple Daily brand could be reborn overseas. Hong Kong marketing consultant John Hsu, interviewed by the station, believes that it is difficult to survive on advertising alone, but if it switches to subscription, there is a chance for Apple Daily to sustain itself in Taiwan for a while.
John Hsu said, “Maybe the subscription model can make Apple survive for a while. If we switch to overseas survival, we have to consider what content we can provide that is relevant to Hong Kong people, like Taiwan’s Apple Daily. I believe that if Taiwan Apple does so, some Hong Kong people will support it anyway, and hope that “Apple” leaves a voice. “
However, John Hsu said that once “Apple Daily” is transformed, the coverage may not be as diversified as before, for example, there will be less coverage of livelihood issues, and he suggested that more in-depth-style feature stories could be conducted.
Guan Zhongxiang, a professor in the Department of Communication at National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan, told the station that it would be very difficult to run a huge media outlet again in the short term, including funding issues. He said many Hong Kong people in Taiwan or overseas are commenting through the Internet, but if Apple Daily is transformed into a small media outlet, it may be able to survive.
No matter what way it is, whether it’s through setting up a new media outside, or overseas Hong Kong people and people from other countries, jointly create some media related to Hong Kong or in Hong Kong, there are still some online media, I think at least we can keep the idea of democracy and freedom, or tell Hong Kong people that democracy and freedom is very important, this seed and fire It is impossible to extinguish this seed and fire.”
Guan Zhongxiang was born in Taiwan during the authoritarian era, and he described the media industry as being under a “press ban” at the time, but the Taiwanese media still insisted on breaking through the restrictions in various ways.
Lee Chi-tak, a veteran of Taiwan’s Apple Daily, believes that it is difficult for Apple Daily to continue operating overseas because of the importance of “locality” in news reporting, and the need to have reporters on the ground when covering in-depth or Hong Kong news.