The media in Hong Kong strongly condemned the mainland authorities for assaulting and making false accusations against Hong Kong journalists. After organizing a demonstration with record high participation, your union launched a signature campaign within the industry and among teachers and students of journalism. The campaign demanded the vindication of Hong Kong journalists from the fabrication of groundless accusations as well as protection of press freedom. It secured 1350 signatures in support.
We had support from all levels of the industry, from chairman, publisher, chief editors, news editors down to reporters. And this was not confined to local journalists only. Colleagues working on the mainland also signed up and donated to the cause without fear of reprisals.
Every name represented not just the pursuit of press freedom. It also showed that journalists valued the dignity of their calling. I would like to send my solemn gratitude to every signatory as well as coordinators in every media outlet who collected names of supporters and donations for your union.
After looking into the names, I find some of the “high points” that I would love to share with you.
● Media outlet with the highest number of signatories: Ming Pao Daily. The newspaper alone provided 100 signatures, with its Ming Pao Weekly pushing the final total to 114. The first runner up was TVB with 95 signatories and the RTHK was second runner up with 82 signatures.
● The journalism school that got highest number of signatories: Hong Kong Shue Yan University. The faculty got 178 journalism students and teachers to sign. From their enthusiastic support, I see a good future for the industry.
● The media outlet that provided the highest donation: The Apple Daily. It raised $17,040 in support of the publication of our statement and supporters’ names in newspaper. I would like to add, however, that Ming Pao Daily accounted for $8,100 from an across-the-board donation among its staff.
● The most generous journalist: Ip Yut Kin, Chairman of the Apple Daily in Taiwan, donated $10,000. Please don’t use this to ask for him to donate for other causes or he will give me a hard time.
Your union also lobbied individual delegates to the National Peoples’ Congress and members of CPPCC to convey our concern to the Central government or related officials when they attended the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the National Day. However, results are yet to be seen. We shall keep on fighting for our cause and put pressure on the Central government. I believe that even if no open apologies are forthcoming, mainland authorities would know clearly that Hong Kong reporters cannot be played around with like this.