HKJA welcomes the motion proposed by Legislative Councillor Leong Kah Kit on safeguarding editorial independence and media autonomy that was passed yesterday (Jan 22, 2014). The motion is of great significance for all in the Hong Kong media when press freedom is in greatest danger. The sudden replacement of Ming Pao’s chief editor, the swift and inexplicable withdrawal of advertisements from am730, Apple Daily and others are strong evidence that an “invisible hand” is working overtime to remove whatever remains of our treasured Press Freedom.
Press Freedom is a cornerstone of Hong Kong’s success. It must be allowed to flourish, free of outside intervention. It bears repeating that this freedom is protected under Article 27 of the Basic Law.
HKJA expresses its deepest gratitude to all lawmakers who spoke up for the motion, enabling its approval by a narrow margin of one vote. We deeply regret the absence of Ma Fung Kwok, the Legislative Council member of the Sports, Performing Arts, Culture and Publication Constituency, who failed to cast his vote in favour of the motion.
HKJA urges all journalists, representatives of media companies and all Hong Kong people to join hands with us in fighting for editorial independence, opposing outside suppression and intervention, so that our media and its practitioners can continue to carry out their tasks of reflecting the truth and scrutinizing our government and society for the good of our community.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
23 January 2014