Under the pressure of layoffs and wage cuts, Hong Kong journalists have, nevertheless, struggled through the difficulties of December 2008 and into 2009. Apart from the layoffs and wage cuts, the most troubling issue for the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) in December was the mindless and violent attack by unidentified persons on some journalists who were carrying out normal news gathering in the city.
HKJA considers these violent attacks to be serious attempts to curb press freedom and to threaten the personal safety of journalists. The Hong Kong SAR Government cannot turn a blind eye to such incidents. HKJA issued a public statement condemning these unidentified persons’ violent behavior and urged the Commissioner of Police to give attention to the case. The HKJA received a written reply from the Commissioner of Police, promising to follow-up these cases.
Under the auspices of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), HKJA held two workshops separately – in the evening of 29th November (Saturday) and the 6th December (Saturday), concerning “How to Cover Major Disasters” and “Global Financial Tsunami Problem”. In addition, HKJA plans to edit and publish a handbook on “How to Cover Major Disasters”.
On December 20 (Saturday), HKJA also worked with the Hong Kong Ethics Development Center of Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), to jointly hold a seminar on “News Reporting and Anti-Corruption”.
On the affairs of Freedom of Press, after the completion of drafting and revision, and approval by our Executive Committee members in the near future, HKJA will release a formal announcement and a submission on “Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance” (Consultation Paper), which was released by the Hong Kong SAR Government.
On China matters, HKJA had preliminary contacts with some media organizations’ leaders in Guangzhou in mid-December. HKJA wish both organizations may begin a series of professional journalism related activities from the Mid-January of 2009.
Camoes Tam Chi Keung, HKJA Chairperson (2008-09)