Response to People’s Daily’s accusation of ‘double standard’

Hong Kong Journalists Association has taken note of an article carried in the People’s Daily’s official weibo, which criticised the association of “being forgetful” and “double standard.” The article noted that HKJA has in a statement earlier reminded journalists to wear passes during reporting. But an article published on September 2 said it is not appropriate to require journalists to wear passes that are given recognition by the issuing bodies. Doing so, the article said, would deprive Hong Kong of genuine press freedom.

On September 2, HKJA has shared an article on our Facebook, which is a blogger article having been published in other media outlets. It was written by Dr Yan Mei-ning, an expert on media law. It is our longstanding practice to share articles relating to the media sector and journalism with our profession on our Facebook page and official website.

HKJA holds the view that journalists, including those who are locals, from mainland China and overseas, should try to meet the requirement of interviewees and event organisers for them to provide proof of their identification. As for special occasions such as the recent large-scale protests, we suggested journalists to show their identification clearly. This will enable the public and the police to know their press identification so that misunderstanding can be avoided. We have never said reporters must wear passes for them to be allowed to do reporting. The question of “being forgetful” and “double standard”, therefore, does not exist.

Hong Kong Journalists Association

September 6, 2019

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