The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses
regret at a decision by Hong Kong’s Commerce and Economics Development Bureau
against reshaping Hong Kong’s public
broadcaster, Radio and Television Hong Kong (RTHK), as an independent media
bureau announced on September 22 that RTHK would remain in its current
structure as a government department. The decision follows more than two decades
of campaigning by RTHK and the public for the broadcaster’s independence.
announcement said the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region, Donald Tsang, would be responsible for appointing a new board to
provide editorial policy advice to RHTK. It said the board would not intervene
in RHTK’s day-to-day operations.
for an RTHK-run television channel and a channel for the Central Government
Broadcasting in mainland China
were also made known in the announcement.
members of RTHK’s staff raised concerns about the influence of the new advisory
board over the broadcaster’s content and editorial policy.
the public will question its credibility and neutrality,” RTHK staff union chairwoman
Janet Mak said.
influence of heavy censorship and regulation from the mainland creeps further
into Hong Kong, it is crucial that Hong Kong
maintains a voice and a media that upholds press freedom and the information
needs of its people without restriction,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
maintenance of public service journalism in Hong Kong relies upon public
media’s independence from political agendas of the Hong
Kong administration and the mainland’s Central Propaganda
calls on the Commerce and Economics Development Bureau to reconsider its
decision in favour of encouraging a more open and democratic space for
independent journalism in Hong Kong.
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide