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Open Letter to Chief Executive C.Y Leung

Open Letter to the Chief Executive C. Y. Leung

This is our urgent appeal to the Government to allow our members from the online media who hold full membership in our organisation to be included in press activities organized by the Government in relation to the election of the Chief Executive on 26 March 2017.
Under existing policy, the on-line media will be excluded from all official functions and denied entry to locations where elections will be held. This is neither conducive to the promise of an open, fair and honest election as promised by you and your colleagues, nor in keeping with the government's aspirations to have Hong Kong fully engaged in the digital age.
In this regard we would also stress that the Ombudsman had concluded in its December 6 ruling that the Government has offered no convincing justification in its ban of online only media from its press events. The Government is obliged to facilitate press access as part of the protection of press freedom promised in the Basic Law. Yet, the Ombudsman’s call for the lifting of the ban has yielded no result. Nor has there been any move towards accreditation of online media. In fact, there has been no discussion, whatever, with the industry in this regard.
Instead of waiting for the bureaucracy to overcome its inertia in this regard, we call on the Government to accept our membership card as an accreditation proof on Election Day. Its holder should thus be allowed full access to all press events and facilities including the Election Centre on Election Day.
Founded in 1968, the Hong Kong Journalists Association is regulated by the Trade Unions Ordinance. Our constitution stipulates that only those earning majority of its income from journalistic work is entitled to full membership. Each membership application has to be vetted by an elected 12-member executive committee. Both the Hong Kong Police and the Legislative Council have long accepted our membership card as press accreditation.
We sincerely hope that this urgent request will allay any misgivings or security concerns that your administration may have about the online medium. Ignoring what has become an integral part of life worldwide is not in anyone's interests, least of all the younger generation to whom the online medium is their sole access to the wider world.
07/03/2017 14:37   updated more



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