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ATV - Asia Television Limited

ATV chief faces Legco grilling over Jiang report

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 11 June, 2015, 3:50pm

ATV executive director James Shing Pan-yu is expected to be questioned by lawmakers on Monday about controversies related to the station's erroneous report that former president Jiang Zemin had died and allegations it broadcast sponsored content in a news programme.

The Legislative Council's information technology panel has also invited the broadcaster's major investor, Wong Ching, to attend. However, panel chairman Wong Yuk-man said yesterday that he had not received a reply from the investor so far.

The station's news chief, Leung Ka-wing, and his deputy Tammy Tam - who have both resigned - will also attend the meeting to provide details. It will be the first time the two have faced an open inquiry and asked to explain their resignations.

Leung quit this month, saying he took responsibility for failing to prevent the airing of an erroneous report on Jiang's death. Tam resigned on the same day.

Their departure raised the question of whether the broadcaster's management had interfered in the editorial autonomy of its news department.

The Broadcasting Authority has received complaints over the incidents, and is investigating whether Wong Ching had any role in the misreporting.

The authority said earlier that Wong did not have any right to exercise control over the station or participate in its day-to-day management because he was neither a director nor a principal officer.

The authority is also investigating complaints about the station including sponsored material in a financial news programme.

Raymond Roy Wong, a former TVB news controller who is now retired, said yesterday that Leung had done the right thing by resigning. He said Leung should quit if he found himself failing to safeguard editorial autonomy - part of journalistic ethics.

However, Roy Wong said Leung should not easily reveal any news sources.