The Hong Kong Journalist Association is disappointed by the government's delaying tactic in the accreditation of digital only media.
The Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah told the Legislative Council, the Information Services Department is studying the feasibility of allowing admission of online media into its press event as well as comparing practices and procedures of overseas jurisdiction and other organisations.
That is as if the issue has been freshly raised by the industry and the government are still at the preliminary fact finding stage.
The reality is the Association has lobbied the government repeatedly to open its door to online only media since 2012. Later on 2014, both the association and the department have already conducted extensive research into overseas practices and exchanged in details in this regard.
In fact, Mr Lau's predessor Tsang Tak-sing has promised the council in January 2014 that "corresponding arrangments will be reviewed from time to time with regard to the views of the relevant stakeholders and the practice of other organisations".
Years have passed and the government has made no improvement but repeated the same fact-finding tone. Neither has it consulted the industry on this issue. Meeting proposed by the association has been refused by Lau twice.
The bar of digital-only media from its press activities as well as the Government News and Media Information System is detrimental to press freedom. It should be lifted without further delay.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
11 January 2017