The Chinese authorities should also repeal all regulations restricting the right of Hong Kong and other journalists to work on the mainland, and should adopt a more open and non-discriminatory attitude to these journal-ists.
The HKJA and ARTICLE 19 note that the Hong Kong media continue to suffer from a credi-bility problem, arising from “ethical" excesses, self-censorship and internal measures to side-line journalists who are especially critical.
So, take a stroll down memory lane to remember all of our past Word of the Year selections.
Mak Yin-ting, Chair, HKJA Andrew Puddephatt, Executive Director, ARTICLE 19 2 Conclusions and recommendations Section 1 CHINA’S SENSITIVITIES 5 The Falun Gong factor 5 Subversion and anti-cult laws 8 Beijing lashes out at Hong Kong media 9 Editor forced to resign 10 Sudden resignation of chief secretary 12 Activist charged with flag desecration 13 Pro-Beijing threats to human rights 13 RTHK: Under renewed pressure 14 Controversy over academic freedom 15 Section 2 LAW REFORM STALLS 18 Policing and the public order controversy 18 Setback for interception laws 19 Journalists fear harsh securities law 20 New broadcasting codes cause controversy 20 Confusion in the pay-TV field 21 Section 3 SELF CENSORSHIP AND ETHICAL PROBLEMS 23 Coverage of the Falun Gong 23 Ethical dilemmas 25 A press council comes into being 26 Other privacy issues 27 Significant libel victories 28 Section 4 NET LOSSES 30 Job losses 30 Lesser offerings 31 The money problem 31 New faces 32 Money finds money 33 Online ad threat 34 Threats elsewhere 35 Traditional media survive the onslaught 35 Acknowledgements Editors: Charles Goddard and Cliff Bale Contributors: Cliff Bale, Grace Leung Lai-kuen, Gren Manuel and Charles Goddard c Hong Kong Journalists Association and ARTICLE 19 ISBN 1 902598 43 1 Introduction This is the ninth annual report on the state of freedom of expression in Hong Kong to be published by the Hong Kong Journalists Association and ARTICLE 19, and the fourth since the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. By recent convention we try to begin our introduction by highlighting the positive—that freedom of expression (and associated rights) is still in large measure enjoyed by Hong Kong people—before we discuss our concerns.
The last six months, particularly, has seen the Falun Gong become the target of an escalating campaign of vilification by the SAR administration, using language and terminology that is similarly pejorative in nature—and often indeed the same—as the central government’s own harsh characterisations of the group.Here too we ask the government to uphold and exercise vigorously the principle of a high degree of autonomy which is guaranteed in the Basic Law, which will otherwise also suffer from slow attrition.This report covers many concerns which the Hong Kong Journalists Association and ARTICLE 19 have—some of which also relate to China’s sensitivities, others separate—and we include a set of specific recommendations to address these.The Falun Gong question has been the most challenging issue over the past year.Under pressure from the central government in Beijing, some senior Hong Kong government offi-cials, particularly the chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, have vilified the group in an unwar-ranted manner.
Yet even without “concrete" action, the verbal threats, intimidation and insults hurled at the Fa-lun Gong by the SAR authorities, in our view, represent a serious threat to the open envi-ronment necessary for the rights of freedom of expression, association and assembly to function healthily and normally.