Reporters Without Borders says: Hong Kong is experiencing interference by the Chinese authorities.
Chinese authorities’s growing interference in the media has put Hong Kong’s press freedom at the world’s 70th, according to a Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
In announcing the 2018 World Press Freedom Index yesterday, RSF said the city’s journalists are “finding it increasingly difficult to cover subjects involving governance in Hong Kong and mainland China”.
It pointed out that a handful of independent online media are putting up resistance to such interference. The result is a rise of three places from last year’s ranking.
Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) noted that despite the rise in ranking, there is no reason to be optimistic on the state of press freedom.
The union’s 2017 Press Freedom Index survey found a new low in the public ranking of press freedom in Hong Kong. Besides, 70% of the journalist respondents were of the view that press freedom has become worse compared to a year ago. Pressure from Beijing was seen by both members of the public and the media as a major contributing factor to that.
The Association urges the Chinese Central Government to respect press freedom and adopt a restrained attitude when exercising its powers. Freedom of the press and information is one of the four pillars of Hong Kong’s success, and we urge both the Central Government and SAR Government not to do anything that erodes the pillar.
RSF published the first worldwide press freedom index in 2002, and Hong Kong was ranked 18th among 139 countries and regions in that first index. In 2010, Hong Kong was ranked 34th among 178 countries and regions. In 2017, the city’s ranking dropped to 73rd .