DESPITE having had more than their fair share of encounters with journalists when they last tried to put on a production - the controversial, Vietnam-visiting A Midsummer Night's Dream - the Hongkong Players have decided to Press ahead regardless. The ground-breaking theatre group has decided to venture into the on-stage world of journalism by performing Tom Stoppard's Night and Day. Its setting, the White Highlands, its contents, ''an African war, journalists, a brutal tribal chieftain and a sensual and passionate woman''. ''I chose this play not just for its presentation of the steamy side of colonial Africa, but also because of the issues Stoppard discusses with his well-known light-hearted wit and verbal legerdemain,'' explained director John Hunt. Night and Day boasts a cast of new actors, Hongkong personalities and old hands - some of whom are cannily suited to their parts. Former paparazzo Guy Nicholls, for instance, plays a mini ng engineer - funnily enough something he used to be. Huw Griffiths, a young Welsh journalist, plays a young journalist from Wales, and Richard Morris, a hard-boiled solicitor for whom facts are sacred, plays a hard-boiled journalist for whom . . . OK, so you get the idea. The plot: under the threat of war and an awesome president with unbuttoned flies, the play investigates the nature of journalism and journalists. What is a relatively free press - one run by your relatives? Night and Day will be performed from June 8 to June 12 at the Drama Theatre, Hongkong Academy for Performing Arts. Tickets cost $150 ($100 for students), and are available from the APA and URBTIX outlets. For phone bookings, call 734-9009.