Hong Kong experienced an earthshaking change last year. Yet excellent news reports can dig out the facts from a world full of confusion and highlight the crux of the problem. These are the characteristics embodied in the winners’ articles of the Kam Yiu-yu Press Freedom Awards.
Winner of Print & Online Media:
Shibani Mahtani, Timothy McLaughlin, Tiffany Liang and Ryan Ho Kilpatrick of Washington Post
“In Hong Kong crackdown, police repeatedly broke their own rules – and faced no consequences”
Winner of Television & Radio
Hong Kong Connection, Radio Television Hong Kong
“Anti-Extradition Bill Movement Series ”
There were 34 entries in the category of Print and Online Media and the report named “In Hong Kong crackdown, police repeatedly broke their own rules – and faced no consequences” of the Washington Post is so excellent that it got both the highest marks and top marks of all four judges of this category. The news report uses police guidelines and training manuals obtained to evaluate police force’s actions taken in the crackdown of the anti-extradition bill movement which took place last year and portrayed how police force violated its internal rules. It is so well produced that one of the judges as well as the Chairman of the Committee of the Kam Yiu-yu Journalism Foundation, Ching Cheong remarked that “the standard of the report employed can be used in a possible independent investigation in the future”. Such a remark underscored the extra-ordinary standard of the article.
Regarding the winner of the Television and Radio category, the RTHK’s Hong Kong Connection team made a 20-episode “Anti-Extradition Bill Movement Series” starting as early as April 2019, with a story documented Mr. Lam Wing Kee, the head of the Causeway Bay bookstore, who departed Hong Kong to Taiwan, showing the strong news sense and comprehensive planning of the team. The series include follow-up, exclusive report, as well as reconstruction of major events. Among which, “721 Yuen Long Nightmare” is the best among the reconstruction of events. In lack of full information from the police, the team reconstructed the indiscriminate attack of civilians by assailants wearing “white shirts” at the Yuen Long West Rail Station through enormous CCTV footages they collected around the vicinity. The documentary underscored the police’s improper and inadequate deployment. The reconstruction of fact confirmed the public’s doubts about the role of the police and aroused a strong response from the community. Such reaction imposed profound impact on the Anti-Extradition Bill Movement.
It is the practice of the Award to organize award ceremony cum seminars for the awardees to share their joy and the experience gained in the news production. However the covid-19 makes such an event almost impossible. The committee therefore postponed the prizing ceremony cum seminar to next year when the awardees of the next press freedom awards are selected.
The management committee of the foundation would like to take this opportunity to express our compliments to the winners. Thanks should also be given to all participants’ efforts in compiling good news reports, without which the quality of the news industry cannot be maintained.
The management committee also would like to express our gratitude to all judges, namely Prof Joseph Man Chan, Emeritus Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Prof. Paul Lee Siu-Nam, Professor, School of Communication, The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong; Dr. Fu, King-wa, Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Studies Centre, The University of Hong Kong; Mr. Lui Ping-kuen, Senior Lecturer, Department of Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist University; Dr. Au Ka-lun, Professional Consultant, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Mr. To Yiu-ming, senior Journalism Scholar; Mr Yeung Kin-hing, Chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association; and Mr. Ching Cheong, Chairperson of the Kam Yiu-yu Journalism Foundation