At the end of May, regarding the detention of Ching Cheong, the senior journalist of Singapore’s Straits Times daily, the HKJA, for the sake of safeguarding press freedom, requested the Mainland Government to handle the case fairly, openly and legally. We wrote a petition letter to Mr. Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, Secretary for Security; Mr. Gao Siren, Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government; and Director Liao Hui of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council. Furthermore, we organized a signature campaign with Reporters without Borders to collect signature for the release of Ching Cheong. The web site is http://www.petition-chingcheong.org .
The results of the annual Human Rights Press Awards have been finalized. The award ceremony will be held on 16 June. “The best reporter” is a new award for the 10th Human Rights Press Awards, which aims to honour the outstanding journalistic work of our reporters and their efforts in promoting human rights.
The 37th HKJA Annual Dinner is being organized. With the full support of different parties, the sales of VIP tables are going satisfactorily. The fund raised will be used for membership development and service expansion. We hope to maximize our support to frontline reporters and training. Meanwhile, we will safeguard press freedom and freedom of speech.
The election of a new Executive Committee is soon to kick off. Please cast your vote after receiving the ballot forms.
The JA received a complaint against the Head of the CPU, Professor Lau Siu-kai, for his selective approach in accepting interviews from the media prior to the 2005 Policy Address. The HKJA is very concerned about this issue. The investigation committee has released its findings. It criticized every means of discrimination against individual media. News should not be only released to the so called friends of the government. The JA suggests the government should accept different opinions and increase its transparency.
Cheung Ping Ling