Government ignoring logical solution

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 November, 2002, 12:00am

Once again, the renewal of licences for terrestrial TV and radio has been a complete charade. Should we expect anything else?

Now TVB and ATV will have to provide subtitles in English for English news and current affairs programmes - big deal. English viewers do not need it and the Chinese will not watch it. At the same time, we will be deluged with even more Chinese commercials and movies, no doubt with nonsensical would-be English subtitles, in prime time. How does this enhance English programming?

Apart from news, so far as I know TVB produces just one serious English programme a week - half an hour of The Pearl Report. ATV doesn't even rise to these heights.

Wednesday evenings are just horse racing and mainland Chinese programming. Neither channel bothers to broadcast any local news in English at breakfast time.

As for Commercial Radio and Metro Broadcast, they mostly put out just a couple of minutes of news on the hour - plus occasional links between records - and are deemed to be providing a full-time English service.

This is not good enough. The government has fudged the issue again, by doing the absolute minimum the local commercial stations will agree to.

Better by far to cancel these worthless franchises and give RTHK the right (and the money) as a public broadcaster, to put out a single English TV channel, including both local and international input, along with Radio 3, and enable it to put out a high-quality, 24-hour service that both English speakers and learners can enjoy and gain something from, without interruption.

This is logical and so, will probably never happen.


Wan Chai