PTU News Reporter
No exact words can sufficently depict the serious moment, dangerous threats and difficult siutations facing the local mass media, though no substantial evidence can be found to support our feelings. A series of incidents which have currently happened to the members of the press are obviously not accidental, and the ugliness behind the scene is all traceable. All these incidents are terrifying, and we notice that the crisis of press freedom befalling to the local mass media is imminent.
Our Executive Committee, which is always concerned with the press freedom of our community, organised and took part in the following actions, through which we hope to respond actively to these sensational incidents, in which our local press freedom has been undermined.
(1) 19 Jan – we held a press conference to address our concern to the public, on the incident of the sudden replacement of Chief Editor of Ming Pao, in which a declaration was announced to defend for our press freedom and our freedom of speech, and we also launched an appeal for the protection of the independence of editorship of Ming Pao. Moreover, a signature campaign in the education field was organised to support our actions.
(2) 26 Jan – our Executive Members attended the blue-ribbon public meeting held outside Ming Pao Industrial Centre to support the fight for our press freedom.
(3) 12 Feb – Our Executive Members joined the candlelight gathering at Commercial Radio Building in defence of the freedom of speech and press freedom after the sudden sacking of Li Wei-ling (who is an outspoken radio host of Commercial Radio).
(4) 23 Feb – Our Executive Members joined the procession and the public meeting organised by Hong Kong Journalists Association in defence of the press freedom.
(5) 26 Feb – We announced a statement to condemn the attack after Kevin Lau, the former Chief Editor of Ming Pao, being stabbed on the street by attackers and urged the authority to look into this case. Ip Kin-yuen, Legco member of PTU, visited Mr. Lau and gave regards to his family.
(6) 2 Mar – Our Executive Members attended the “Stand up to fight against violence” gathering.
It is so understandably that in any modern civilised and rule-of-law society, freedom of speech, which is one of the most important pillars underpinning the value of democracy and justice, has to be strengthened by the press freedom. In this connection, when the press freedom has been undermined, our freedom of speech will also be deteriorating and our core values will hardly be sustained. Therefore, let’s keep alert and let’s show up to struggle for our press freedom, so that our freedom of speech and core values such as democracy and justice can also be defended.