Public loses confidence in press freedom: survey

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 September, 2011, 12:00am


Public confidence in press freedom has dropped significantly in the past five months, but the credibility of the news media has increased, a University of Hong Kong survey has found.

Only 38 per cent of 1,038 people asked said they were satisfied with the state of press freedom in Hong Kong, a drop from 55 per cent in April.

However, the news media's credibility rated 6.29 on a scale of 0 to 10, the survey found. The figure was 6.03 five months ago.

The interviews were conducted between September 5 and 10. During that period, ATV news chief Leung Ka-wing resigned, saying he took responsibility for the failure to prevent the airing in July of an erroneous report on the death of former president Jiang Zemin .

On September 9, Roy Tang Yun-kwong, a veteran civil servant with no broadcasting experience was appointed the new head of RTHK, prompting criticism and fears that the public broadcaster's independence would be undermined.

The survey found that 42 per cent of the interviewees were satisfied with the city's news media, a slight increase from 39 per cent in April. But 57 per cent believed the local news media sometimes misused or abused press freedoms and 46 per cent thought it practised self-censorship.