At the beginning of the month we had organised the second WTO seminar, in response to the demand from colleagues, to discuss Intellectual Property, Labour and Medicine in the framework of the WTO, which enables our journalists to get a better grasp of the situation from different angles.
Around 13 December, the reporters were working hard to cover the WTO Ministerial Conference, from both inside and outside the Convention and Exhibition Centre. In every protest area, especially the protest method of the Korean farmers and their variety of strategies gave us a good lesson. On the first day of the Conference, I received complaints about journalists, including a photojournalist encouraged the protestors to assault the police defensive line in order to take some exciting photos; also a TV station reporter put on full protection gear when broadcasting live, regardless of the peaceful atmosphere around. At that moment some people were furious, accusing journalists of making up news.
It was a rare opportunity for local journalists to take part in this worldwide news coverage, but what experience did we get to increase our professionalism? “Journalists were led by the Korean farmers’ tactics; the coverage was more emotional than rational”, a senior colleague said in our seminar — Covering the WTO Conference: Lessons Learned. I encourage those who participated in this coverage to spare some time to draw conclusion from their experience, so that they can be more professional and objective.
Besides, when the police was clearing the area, some photojournalists complained the police intentionally used pepper spray and water cannon against them, and used tear gas without prior warning. These acts harmed the working journalists physically and damaged their equipment, they said. The HKJA encourages any colleagues who had these experiences to provide information (Tel: 6155-0564 or Email: [email protected]); and we will consider to take up further actions to the police.
The HKJA has set up a Committee to revamp the HKJA Constitution; we welcome all members who care about the long term development of the HKJA. Interested members please contact the office at 2591-0692.
The HKJA is organising the one-day Chinese Pun Choy trip. Limited seats are available, please sign up ASAP. We wish you every success in the New Year.
Finally, we mourned the senior journalist Mr. Yeung Chi-kong who passed away this month. We gave our deepest condolence to his family members.