Chairperson Report, May 2008

        Hong Kong media organizations are deploying a lot of manpower to do coverage on the aftermath of the earthquake in Sichuan, bringing valuable information to the general public. This is indeed a challenge of journalists’ physical strength and wisdom.
Sometimes reporters are in a dilemma on judging when to move forward or backward in view of the danger of the aftershocks. One reporter described to me that by working in Sichuan he came to understand how important it was to uphold team spirit and mutual support.

HKJA issued safety notes to the media organizations on coverage of the earthquake and psychological counseling service is provided for journalists in need. In addition, medical kits donated by a medical association to journalists are ready to be picked up at our office. I would also like to give my encouragement and blessing to those in Sichuan.

The 40th HKJA Annual Gala Dinner was held on May 16. I have taken part in the fund-raising dinner for more than 10 years. When I first learned that JA had to raise enough funding for the operation of the whole year just in one evening, I could not help but think that it was a miracle. The guests helped create a miracle every year and this year was no exception. Once again I would like to extend our gratitude to our members and guests.

May 3rd was the World Press Freedom Day. I have given a briefing in last month’s chairperson report of the seminars JA co-organized along with seven other international and local freedom of expression advocacy groups. The purpose was to press for freedom of expression in China.

On May 3rd, representatives from the eight groups petitioned to the Central Liaison Office and submitted an open letter. We urged the Central Government to honour the right that citizens have freedom of expression which was enshrined in the Constitution.

After that we rode on an open-top bus to shuttle throughout Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, using loudspeakers to chant slogans to express our demands and draw the attention of the public. The groups also held an Art Fair and set up booths at Chater Garden in Central where through performing art and games we conveyed the message to the public.

The 8th Consumer Rights Reporting Awards, jointly held by the JA, the Consumer Council and the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association has passed the deadline for submission. This year we received 177 entries which are now in the hands of the panel of judges. The results will be announced as early as the end of June.

The JA Executive Committee election for 2008-2009 has been started as nomination forms posted to members. We sincerely call on our members to consider standing for the election and serve your fellow journalists. This year’s Annual General Meeting has been scheduled for June 28, to be held at Room 405, YMCA, 4th Harbour Road, Wan Chai. Please be present and exercise your rights.
Fan Ho Tsai
Chairperson Report, June 2008
Chairperson Report, April 2008