Speaking on a radio show on Thursday after the newspaper printed its final edition, Professor Clement So said the tabloid had revolutionised the territory’s newspaper industry since its establishment in 1995, with moves such as the launch of Apple Action News, which used dramatic animations to present stories.
Describing the newspaper as being part of Hong Kong people’s heritage, the scholar said Apple Daily also played an important role at key moments in history, and performed well in providing checks and balances in society.
So said Apple Daily’s shutdown means that the expression of strong criticism in society is practically gone, adding that it’s uncertain whether other publications can fill the void.
“We must have channels in society to let citizens reflect their views. Without Apple Daily, can other media replace this role? I really can’t say now,” he said.
Speaking on the same programme, the head of the Coalition of Hong Kong Newspaper and Magazine Merchants, Bacon Liu, said Apple Daily’s closure is also a loss for his industry as it will reduce vendors’ income.
Liu said the tabloid had daily sales of around 100,000 copies per day, and most readers won’t switch to other newspapers.
“It is just going to deal a further blow to the industry,” he said.