Twelve journalists unions and media groups wrote to three Chief Executive candidates and the incumbent to appeal for professional online-only media’s full access to all government press events and facilities on the Election Day.
They urged the candidates to write to the Electoral Affairs Commission or any relevant department(s) to indicate their intent to include online-only media in their press events including those held in the press area in the vote counting centre and to demand the authorities’ facilitation of their intent.
Under the existing policy, this media is barred from all government press events and facilities. In a December rule, the Ombudsman Office has found this unreasonable given the press freedom promised in the Basic Law.
However, with only ten days go before the Election, the Information Services Department has provided no accreditation channel for those media.
Letters and emails sent by five professional online only news platforms seeking registration for the election day press activities remain unanswered.
They said such continued inaction is not only regrettable but also unreasonable, given the significance of the coming election.
The press area, which would be located in the Hong Kong Convention Centre, should be spacious enough to include those journalists.
Besides, in their lobbying of the government over the past years, they have already proposed different ways of accrediting journalists that are widely adopted by various authorities overseas.
Among the twelve new organistions are the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong Journalists Association, Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, Independent Commentators Association and five online only news platforms.
Hong Kong Journalists Association
Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong
HK Press Photographers Association
Independent Commentators Association
Next Media Trade Union
Ming Pao Staff Association
RTHK Programme Staff Union
Hong Kong Free Press
March 16, 2017