Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins the Hong Kong Journalists’ Association (HKJA)
in voicing deep concerns about the appointment of a civil servant as director
of broadcasting of publicly-owned Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) on
Hong Kong’s Commerce and Economic
Development Bureau, which oversees public broadcasting, appointed deputy
secretary for labour and welfare Roy Tang Yun-Kwong as director of broadcasting
despite his lack of experience in the media sector.
Tang, who has been a civil servant
since 1987, was appointed after no candidate was found to be suitable among 26
applications for the role. His appointment drew immediate criticism from former
RTHK director Franklin Wong, the broadcaster’s staff union,
academics and legislators.
RTHK Program Staff Union chairwoman Janet
Mak Lai-Ching described Tang’s appointment as a “dark day” for the public
“Tang has no knowledge of public
broadcasting,” Mak said. “His appointment is an indication of the Government's infringement of RTHK's
The HKJA, an IFJ affiliate, condemned
the appointment, saying it would diminish RTHK’s role as a public broadcaster
and put it at risk of becoming a propaganda tool for the Hong Kong Government.
RTHK staff members have fought a
long campaign for RTHK to become a truly independent broadcaster, rather than
its current structure as an independent government department. The Commerce and
Economic Development Bureau ruled in 2009 against establishing RTHK as an
According to a Sing Tao report, Tang was a classmate of Michael Wong Wai-Lun, the director
of Hong Kong’s Information Service Department.
“It is frustrating that this appointment
comes so soon after the HKJA and Hong Kong News Executives’ Association met
Hong Kong Chief Secretary Henry Tang and Michael Wong on August 31 to express
their concerns about the rights of media covering government activities,” IFJ
Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.
is a regressive step for press freedom and highlights serious reservations about the
ability of the Government of Hong Kong to maintain a transparent and
accountable system of governance for RTHK.”
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific
on +612 9333 0919
represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries
IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific
IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific