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Chairperson Report


Chairperson Report, December 2007


In December, we were concerned about a case of a TV cameraman, who was attacked and hurt while performing his duty.

In the early hours of December 6th, a few media outlets went to Tsim Sha Tsui for a story on assault. When cameramen took shots at the scene, a friend of the injured suddenly threw an oxygen bottle towards a Cable TV cameraman, causing him to fall down on his rear head.

We could understand the injured party or his friends were in terrible mood, but we could not accept that they had passed their anger on the news practitioner. We condemn such practice, as we could not tolerate violence that limits our press freedom. 

Looking back at the news clipping, it struck us how slowly the police in the scene reacted in the whole incident. They did not ask the attacker to stop, nor did they use handcuffs in the arrest.

It was common for reporters to be disturbed, pushed or even attacked in the process of news gathering, as shown in many newspapers reporting the next day citing several other cases. There were some less brutal cases during the Legislative Council by-election, which was held on December 2nd. Some reporters and photographers were pushed or deliberately slashed by supporters of one of the candidates.

We sent a letter to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Tang King-shing, asking him to handle our case seriously and ensure reporters’ safety while performing their duties.
 
The police recently responded in writing that the alleged attacker on the Cable TV cameraman will appear in court in mid January again. We shall keep a close eye on the case to make sure justice is done to the injured.
 
I am here to ask our colleagues to immediately report to the police if they are treated unfairly or in extreme case, in violence. Reporting the truth is our job, and that should be protected by the law.

Furthermore, we also noted a similar incident happened to a worker union representative in Shenzhen. We gathered Mr Huang Qingnan, 34, was badly hurt because of his job. Mr Huang was a name familiar among the workers union here, and our committee agreed to donate HK$2,000 as part of his medical fee. According to the hospital, further operation is needed and unions in Hong Kong still pledge funds for him.

I also like to report I was in a few public occasions as HKJA chairperson. Recently I took part in a forum on Hong Kong’s press freedom at the University of Hong Kong. Another occasion I was invited by RTHK to speak to a few hundreds of primary and secondary students on media ethics. Students are our future pillars in society, and I treasure this opportunity to share my thoughts with them.

Besides, our General Secretary Mak Yin-ting also joined a few seminars and made response to media enquiries. Executive Committee member Ben Kwok also sat on a panel selecting the best social workers for Hong Kong Social Workers Association.

I am happy that more committee members are representing HKJA for some public functions, showing that we are working as a team.  
 
Finally let me remind our members that the Consumer Rights Reporting Awards is approaching deadline of January 11th, 2008. Another co-sponsor Human Rights Press Awards will be closed on January 21st. Please actively participate. 

Of course, you won’t miss out 23rd HKJA Cup final and award presenting ceremony on January 20th. On the same day, Clube de Journalistas de Macau and the government information service representatives will join us for a friendly match at the No.14 stadium in Happy Valley.


Fan Ho-tsai
07/01/2008 13:59:00   updated more
Previous: Chairperson Report, January 2008
Next: Chairperson Report, November 2007

 

  

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