Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Continuing Erosion of Press Freedom

Calling for press freedom following the attack on a former Ming Pao editor
This year is hardly over yet but already the Hong Kong Journalists Association is calling 2014 the darkest in decades due to violence, financial pressure and the reliance by the government on anonymous sources.

And the association expects things to get worse.

"We reckon that Hong Kong's press freedom had its darkest year in several decades," said association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan yesterday. "As political pressure between Hong Kong and Beijing increases, we expect further deterioration in press freedom."

She cited such incidents as the meat cleaver attack on former Ming Pao editor Kevin Lau Chun-to, the sacking of Commercial Radio host Li Wei-ling, and advertising boycotts against Apple Daily and am730 as troubling incidents.

Press freedoms need to be protected more than ever
Most recently on July 2, reporters were cordoned off when they tried to report on the arrests the day after the march in Central.

Journalists claimed that when they agreed to go into a press area, police officers formed a human wall around them so that they could not get a clear view of what was happening.

Tensions seem to be rising between society and the authorities and the media is caught in between. Journalists are trying to report on what they see or to verify something and most of the time they are met with silence or prevented from doing their jobs.

The media culture in Hong Kong feels like it is being "mainlandized", where most inquiries aren't even acknowledged and reporters have to read between the lines when officials speak.

The less accurate information that gets out, the less trust people have in Hong Kong, resulting in less investment and confidence in the city. It's a domino effect we can't afford to let happen.

There will probably be more marches for press freedom in the coming months, but in the meantime we must support journalists who are on the front lines who are trying to find out what is really going on for us to know.

1 comment:

  1. well, the HK Police is becoming licensed thugs of the mainland by telling the demostrators "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" very similar line to the Mainland CCP Public Security Bureau.

    Is HK becoming a police state like China? hmmm...