Five Press Unions United in Condemning Malicious Harassment of Journalists and the Media

With the confrontation arising out of the Occupy Movement continuing, there are people who vent their frustration on frontline journalists and media organizations. Such harassment takes various forms and is of different degrees. Apart from abusive phone calls, The Apple Daily has had its office entrances blocked and its website paralyzed for two days, resulting in serious disruptions of its distribution and operation.

Five press unions, namely the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, the Next Media Trade Union, the RTHK Programme Staff Union and the Ming Pao Staff Association, hereby strongly condemn such disruptive acts directed against media operation which trample on press freedom and the public’s right to know.

During the early morning of yesterday and today (October 12 and 13), a large number of people gathered outside the main entrance to the Next Media building, using container trucks and setting up tents to stop the distribution of newspapers. In the early morning of October 13, Next Media had to use a crane to move batches of The Apple Daily out of its printing press. Its sale in the market was delayed as a result. Moreover, the newspaper’s website has been under continuous, malicious attacks recently; its intranet was also hacked, affecting its news gathering; its journalists have also received abusive and nuisance phone calls, and some are being harassed or even chased and attacked when out gathering news.

We urge those members of the public who are not happy with any media organization to be rational and make their complaints via the proper channel. Please do not vent your anger on journalists. We also demand that those carrying out such unreasonable and harassing conduct cease and desist immediately.

Such malicious acts will not deter any journalist from doing their job to report faithfully to the public what takes place in society.

Hong Kong Journalists Association

Hong Kong Press Photographers Association

Next Media Trade Union

RTHK Programme Staff Union

Ming Pao Staff Association

13 October 2014

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