- We strongly oppose the recommendation made by the Report on Review of Public Service Broadcasting in Hong Kong, which excludes, without solid reasons, the option of letting Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) be transformed into the future public broadcaster. The recommendation ignores the fact that RTHK has been a de facto, and highly respected, public broadcaster in Hong Kong for many years. We think this recommendation is reckless and irresponsible.
- We cannot accept the contradictory conclusion made by the Committee on Review of Public Service Broadcasting. On one hand, the Committee says discussing the future of RTHK is beyond its terms of reference; yet on the other it says it does not favour the transformation of RTHK into a public broadcaster.
- We demand that RTHK be de-linked from the government structure and that it be transformed into a truly independent public broadcaster. There have been a few cases in recent years of self-censorship at RTHK under undue political pressure.
We believe, however, that once de-linked from the government structure, RTHK can become a genuine and successful public broadcaster. Meanwhile, a totally new Hong Kong Public Broadcasting Corporation, whose board members are to be appointed by the Chief Executive, lacks any established public trust.
- We are concerned that this exercise of reviewing the future of public broadcasting could be a pretext for curtailing press freedom inHong Kong. RTHK has long been regarded as a barometer of press freedom in Hong Kong, and its future has always been carefully watched byHong Kong people and the international community. We urge the Hong Kong Government to act prudently in any actions regarding the future of RTHK.
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