Mr. Hu Xijun, Editor-in-chief,
Dear Mr. Hu,
I referred to your article, “HK journalists call on IFJ to cancel HKJA’s membership”, published on your website on September 23. The article has made groundless allegations against the Hong Kong Journalists Association, which needs clarification. Opinion is free, but facts are sacred. We hope Global Times will respect facts and tell the truth, not disinformation, to your readers.
Your report says, “The HKJA showed its apparent partial political position and tendency in reporting the ongoing riots in Hong Kong. For example, when some rioters were exposed pretending to be journalists, the HKJA issued a statement saying that “anyone can be a journalist in a place that enjoys press freedom” and “a press card is not necessary when conducting interviews in Hong Kong.”
To say HKJA reporting the ongoing riots in Hong Kong is completely untrue. You did get it right when you say HKJA is a journalist association. But you are damningly wrong to say we report the riots. We are a government-registered labour union, not a media organisation; we do not conduct reporting. Furthermore, we have not issued any statements that contain the quotes that you quoted in your report. (“Anyone can be a journalist in a place that enjoys press freedom” and “a press card is not necessary when conducting interviews in Hong Kong.”) Those words seem to be taken, without context, from an article written by a University of Hong Kong journalism academic Miss Yan Mei-ning, which was re-posted on our Facebook. Just like some articles written by other writers Global Times has re-posted on your website, they do not necessarily represent your views. Correct us if we are wrong.
Your report quoted an anonymous online campaign that accused our association of “connivance with fake journalists.” Your report has not provided any evidence of how we connived with fake journalists. We are opposed to acts of fake press identification and have indeed taken the initiative to report to the Police one suspected “fake press card” case last month, the only one we received in the past few months. It emerged that a reporter who apparently worked for the Chinese-language Ta Kung Pao in Hong Kong held another press card issued by a Macau media outlet. But the Macau company denied they have issued that card. In fact, they have not issued any press card. We reported the case to the Police, but have no idea about the progress of the investigation, if any.
In your report, the HKJA was accused of “black-box operations” in our Election Committee election. The fact is the last Election Committee election, held in June, was conducted strictly in accordance with the rules and requirements in our constitution as it was in previous years. We have not received any complaints from members about any irregularities in election. HKJA is not a political organisation. Candidates standing for the election are not required to declare their political affiliation. No candidates in the last Executive Committee election have indicated their political tendency or background.
We deeply regret that Global Times has published a report based on an anonymous online campaign without conducting basic fact check, causing serious damage to our reputation and misleading your readers about our association. We sincerely hope Global Times will give fairness to our association for us to set the record straight.
Chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association
Email: [email protected] Fax: (852) 25727329