Statement on TVB’s rescheduling of “Headliner” programme

Hong Kong Journalists Association expressed shock over TVB’s decision to postpone the airing of an episode of RTHK’s Headliner programme originally scheduled for TVB Jade at 6 pm on Friday (June 30) to the early hours of Saturday (July 1). We urge TVB to give an explanation of the replacement of the political satire show with an entertainment programme at the Jade channel to allay doubts about whether it was a move aimed to “coordinate” with the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping in Hong Kong at that time.

According to RTHK, they were told by TVB that the programme needed to be postponed for the airing of an excerpt of a speech given by Xi. But the excerpt was not a live report with urgency. It could be run after the airing of the Headliner programme. There is no absolute need to postpone the programme. We urge TVB to clear the air.

TVB’s decision has raised questions about why they had to postpone a regular programme for the airing of footage of speech by Xi that is neither urgent, nor it is breaking news and exclusive. Why it must be aired at 6 pm, but not 6.30pm? It has raised questions about whether it was rescheduled to avoid any political embarrassment to the authorities.

Headliner has been a subject of criticism by pro-establishment figures. The episode scheduled for June 30 has reports about the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Journalists Association

30 June 2017

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