Media, including radio, television, newspaper, magazine, internet media like website, message board, personal blog and social media, etc., is a kind of communication instrument which helps deliver information to people and facilitate communication in society. Generally speaking, media refers to “mainstream media” or, as the critical theorists argued, “mass media” in the modernity. The main contents delivered by media can be advertisements, news reports, entertainment programmes and so on. In theory, people can have new knowledge and keep in touch with social reality. However, many commercial corporations and even governmental units have invested in global media market nowadays. Especially, some of them have specific political stance or have established an interest relation with parties or figures in the political realm, impacting the subsidiary media’s reporting orientation and programmes content negatively heavily. This is a serious problem of the development of media industry: media, in this context, becomes an instrumentalized means to direct the formation of a social consciousness or value of the mass conforming to the interest of the minority top, to control the concentration of the public and to silence people’s dissenting voice in society. For instance, please read the British Broadcasting Corporation’s report “Occupy protests disrupt ports across US West Coast”. In this article, it can be discovered the national media has a “judgment” on the Occupy Wall Street Movement: first, the news content does not explain why the movement is organized, none of history or socio-political background of the movement introduced. Audiences are unable to structure a whole picture of the social activism because the report just concentrates on emphasizing the negative influence of the movement on society. On the contrary, in another news article “Deal in China rebel village Wukan welcomed” the BBC does report the factors and other relative important developments of the Chinese subversive movement in detail. Different reporting orientations are shown in the above two instances, evidencing the social movements have been partly or distortedly reported by the media funded by the British government.
In view of this issue, some social activists start to operate their own media independent from any authority or business body, fighting for a public space against any form of media manipulation practice. The concept of “independent media”, or “alternative media”, is brought out based on people’s demand for the real and unbiased, opening up an alternative approach to social issues debating and political deliberation in the public. According to Ip Iam Chong (Ye Yincong葉蔭聰), one of the founders of the Hong Kong independent media “Inmediahk.net (香港獨立媒體網)”:
“‘independent media’, in this discussing context, is a kind of media which is independent from the influence of governments, political parties and business corporations on financial and editorial matters of the operation with a non-profit perspective.”
In other words, this is a media which is run “by the people and for the people”, being free from being influenced or directed by the current development of media industry and mass consumerist culture. In addition, Ip emphasizes that the most important characteristic of the operation of independent media is a non-profit perspective: independent media should refuse to accept any financial aid from political and economic powers, escaping from the dominance of the capitalist economy apparatus.
(See: The Theory and Practice of Anti-Globalization Movement: Case Studies of the Independent Media in the Chinese Societies – Hong Kong and Taiwan. Bonn: Bonn University. 2014)
Retrieved December 13, 2011, from the “BBC News” website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16152553
Retrieved December 22, 2011, from the “BBC News” website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-16297463
 “Chris Atton uses the term ‘alternative media’ to mean ‘a range of media projects, interventions and networks that work against, or seek to develop different forms of, the dominant, expected (and broadly accepted) ways of “doing” media’ (2004: ix). This is a useful definition as it includes projects outside a narrow definition of ‘media’, and allows space for consideration of, for instance, broader activities such as the open-source and anti-copyright movements that are aligned with many alternative media projects. Atton believes that alternative media must encompass all cultural forms of independent production and should display the following characteristics (Atton 2002b: 27): radical content, be it political or cultural; strong aesthetic form; employ ‘reproductive innovations/adaptations’ (ibid) taking full advantage of the available and cutting-edge technology; alternative means of distribution and anti-copyright ethos; transformation of social roles and relations into collective organizations and de-professionalization and; transformation of communications processes – ‘horizontal linkages’ (ibid).” See: Coyer, Kate, Dowmunt, Tony, Fountain, Alan (2007). The Alternative Media Handbook. Oxford: Roudledge. p. 3.
 Ip is Teaching Fellow of the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.
 “Inmediahk.net” has been a representative independent media in Hong Kong since 2004: “The main purposes of the media are to support the development of Hong Kong democratic and social movements, to establish a ‘public space’ which is not controlled by governments, corporations and political parties, to organize citizens for social, political and cultural issues debating, to open up a grassroots perspective on humanistic knowledge, deep thinking and diversified information, to facilitate the dialogue between the Cross-Strait and international communities, to construct a radical approach to social progressive movement, etc. …Inmediahk.net does not accept any financial support from bussinesses or political parties. …Our resources are all from public donation and voluntary support as well as social groups offering.” Retrieved November 1, 2011, from the “Inmediahk.net” website: http://www.inmediahk.net/about
 See: Ip, Iam-Chong (2009). New Political Power: The Development of Hong Kong’s Independent Media (新政治力量:香港獨立媒體的發展). Mass Communication Research, 99, p. 223.