採訪/易如 編輯/尚燕 後製/陳建銘
Occupy Central A Test of Hong Kong Media
The UN has proclaimed Nov. 2 the International Day to
End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists.
It is to prevent the phenomenon of crimes against journalists
resulting in non-punishment, yet even the freedom of press
is being stopped.
However, journalists have been attacked and frightened
consistently around the world.
Especially in recent Hong Kong’s Occupy Central, not only have
journalists faced the issue of safety, but freedom of press
has also faced a test.
Sham Yee-lan, chairperson of Hong Kong Journalists
Association (HKJA) told New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television that
Occupy Central has lasted over a month, HKJA received 24
reports over journalists encountering various attacks.
Sham Yee-lan: Some attackers were protesters, some have triad
background, they attacked journalists by all means.
Some were policemen, who treated journalists differently,
that is violently.
Sham Yee-lan said that during blue ribbon’s anti Occupy
Central rally in Tsim Sha Tsui last Saturday, four journalists
were injured, she felt shocked.
Sham Yee-lan: Journalists’ cameras were smashed, some injuries
occurred to their faces, feet and hands.
In one case a journalist’s camcorder was thrown to the ground.
All this behaviour have seriously abused Hong Kong’s
freedom of press.
Except personal safety, journalists’ freedom of reporting
is facing a test.
Taking TVB Assistant News Editor Ho Wing-hong
as an example.
He recently was moved from frontline news gathering to the
position of Chief Researcher because of his factual reporting
on the police beating video.
Ho made a coverage report on Oct. 15 exposing details of
police clearing out protesters in Lung Wo Road, Admiralty.
The report showed several police dragging a handcuffed
protester Ken Tsang to a “secluded corner” in Tamar Park,
being “kicked and punched”.
However, the terms were subsequently removed from the news,
which triggered 58 TVB employees to have voiced their
dissatisfaction and unease at management for improperly
handling of the issue.
They suggested that the company should support journalists’
independent reporting and shouldn’t stop factual reporting.
Sham Yee-lan: Overall, the reporter has done nothing wrong.
He didn’t subjectively describe the news, but only
put the facts together.
So this thing has reached the bottom line.
That is when there is no room left to talk about the facts,
there will be great resistance.
Staff in TVB said that Ho Wing-hong was obviously being
punished in the end.
Journalism Educators for Press Freedom also issued a
statement, stating that it is one more knife stabbed into
Hong Kong’s already imperilled freedom of press.
Will the young reporters have the courage to report
with a conscience in the future?
Sham Yee-lan: It will come at a cost to be an honest and
conscience reporter in the past and today in Hong Kong,
which is very sad.
However, TVB wasn’t an isolated media incident following
Beijing, being suspicious of self-censorship.
Sham Yee-lan: Several months ago, a Hong Kong media
senior level delegation went to Beijing and met
with high level leaders.
The director of Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office also
met with them.
The director told them to strengthen news reporting over
anti Occupy Central.
In this great historic era, media are often in the frontline,
Beijing certainly wants to dominate public opinion.
During Occupy Central, personal safety, career and
conscience of press are facing a test.
Not only for Hong Kong journalists, it includes the whole
media industry around the world.
Sham Yee-lan: As we know, many media in Hong Kong
have been compromised.
For Chinese sensitive news and news that Beijing dislikes,
media companies would cooperate with Beijing.
Paris-headquartered Reporters without Borders issued the
2014 World Press Freedom Index in February, Hong Kong is in
61st position dropping from 18th in 2002.
China is at the bottom sixth amongst 180 countries.
Reporters without Borders stated that under the Chinese
Communist Party’s influence, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan’s
freedom of press are facing a threat.
Interview/YiRu Edit/ShangYan Post-Production/Chen Jianming