As she stood holding her microphone towards the government official, Kwan did not dare look at her phone and the news it heralded: Apple Daily was shutting down. Today.
“I had the mic and I said, ‘This is a question from Apple Daily’. And then I stopped for a second or two, just thinking: this is my last time saying this.” Speaking to the Guardian from the Apple Daily office, 24-year-old Kwan’s voice cracks. The reporter joined the ranks of Hong Kong’s most vocal and popular pro-democracy newspaper just a year ago. She had received other job offers, and knew what she was getting into. Beijing had just imposed its controversial national security law (NSL) on the city, and authorities had been cracking down on the media for months.