When I first joined RTHK in 1979, everyone said I had a good job because it combined civil service security with the work of a creative industry. But now the broadcaster's employees are among the most worried in town. We have not been supported with enough resources, and are anxious about our future. RTHK is a small government department with only about 1,000 employees and an annual budget of just over HK$400 million. But we have generated more controversies than any other government agency - touching on the waste of money, editorial freedom and our future status. It was frightening when the government announced the launch of a panel to review the future of public broadcasting in Hong Kong - especially if you looked at the chain of events in the preceding months. We first faced a controversy last year over the suspension of horse-racing programmes; then an audit report pointed to a misuse of funds. Most of us thought, at the time, that the panel was set up to 'fix' the broadcaster - end its independence. We were also scared by the fact that the panel chairman, Raymond Roy Wong - who was also my journalism teacher - is a very tough guy. It is hard for outsiders to believe how badly we are supported in terms of resources. For example, five colleagues had to share one computer at RTHK for a long time. That situation improved only this month, but work stations are still shared by two employees. There is also a lot of red tape in the office. All entertainment expenses, no matter how big or small, must be approved in advance by an assistant director. This is very inconvenient, for instance, when a reporter wants to buy a contact a cup of coffee. It highlights the point that a media organisation should not be operated as a government department. We are happy, so far, with the progress of the review panel. To his credit, Mr Wong has been open-minded and listened to our views. It was also a pleasant surprise when a number of liberal and outspoken people were selected to three focus groups drawing up plans for RTHK. The direction taken so far by the panel is also encouraging. Its preliminary proposals call for the new public broadcaster to be independent of government, and governed by a board. But we still have a few concerns. We are worried that the government will not follow the panel's proposal, but will keep the status quo. That would mean leaving RTHK's problems unresolved for years to come. This city has been debating RTHK's independence for more than two decades: we have waited too long for a permanent solution. We're concerned that, if the government adopts the proposals, RTHK would be divided into two stations. There are fears that some of us would remain with a government channel while the rest were transformed into the new public broadcaster. We don't want that. We also have reservations over the political influence that might be exerted on us, since our funding would have to be approved by the Legislative Council. We think that if our funding were pegged to a specific figure, such as the percentage of a government tax, it would limit political influences. Most importantly, we hope staff transferring from RTHK to the new public broadcaster will be given some assurances of job security. At present, we can always have heated debates with our seniors about programme content, since we are civil servants. Most RTHK employees do not like politics. All we want is to produce good, unique programmes for our audience. We just hope the issue of our future will be settled soon. That will give us a stable working environment and a significant morale boost. Janet Mak Lai-ching is the chairwoman of RTHK Programme Staff Union.