New Games rules for HK media

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 31 December, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 31 December, 2006, 12:00am

China has relaxed regulations for Hong Kong and Macau journalists reporting on the mainland during the 2008 Olympics, who will receive the same treatment as those from Taiwan and the rest of the world.

From tomorrow until October 17, 2008, Hong Kong and Macau reporters will be allowed to interview individuals and organisations.

Hong Kong and Macau reporters will also be able to get multiple-entry visas to the mainland because of their Olympics accreditation and other valid travel documents

According to the regulations issued in 1989, Hong Kong journalists are required to apply through Xinhua in Hong Kong 15 days in advance if they want to report on the mainland.

However, in reality, few journalists follow the rules and ask for permission as this usually proves difficult and time-consuming.

The new regulations also allow Hong Kong reporters to hire mainlanders to help them.

But an official from the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said mainland citizens could only work as assistants to the journalists and were unlikely to be granted press accreditation.

Cai Wu , minister of the State Council Information Office, said the regulations might be extended once the Olympic Games are over.