I am writing in response to the article, “ Hong Kong protests: detention of student reporter at mall demonstration sparks debate on press accreditation ” (May 12). The anti-government protests that began in June last year and subsequent law enforcement action have sparked a debate over whether Hong Kong police are disrespectful towards journalists . Recently, a 12-year-old student journalist was not only detained at an anti-government protest, but also humiliated by officers. Although the police have the right to stop and search those suspected of breaking the law, officers are expected to be polite while doing so. Yet, the officers verbally attacked the boy, mocking his height and age. Leaving aside the debate on whether young students should be present at the scene of protests, reporters of all ages and genders have faced verbal attacks from police officers. Since the anti-government protests began, relations between the police and media have deteriorated and officers say reporters obstruct their work. Hence, police not only attack reporters verbally but also appear to treat them as “suspects”. Does the world’s press deserve such disrespect? The press monitors the work of the government and helps to keep its decisions in the public spotlight. The duty of the “fourth estate” is to report the facts to the public, revealing social injustices and abuse of power. The press has an important role to play in securing the right to information in a democracy, informing the public, criticising when needed and stimulating debate. All in all, the press helps ensure that government functions on the people’s behalf. Journalist who lost eye in protest keen to pursue case against police The media has the right to report on important events and the public also has the right to know. But, at the moment, the Hong Kong government seems to be suppressing the media . Law enforcers have begun treating the press as their enemies and hindering them in performing their jobs. To secure our own rights, shouldn’t we step up to save the fourth estate in Hong Kong? Christy Lam, Sai Kung Police handling of protests leaves much to be desired Just as Hong Kong appears to have faced down the coronavirus, people are once again raising their five demands . If there are protests, naturally there would be news reporters at the scene to inform the public. However, police officers recently detained a 12-year-old reporter, hurling insults at him in the process. Does such behaviour really befit our police officers? On the day, hundreds of protesters gathered at malls around Hong Kong to shout slogans and sing protest songs, while people were out shopping or celebrating Mother’s Day. Police entered the malls to “control” the situation. In Moko Mall in Mong Kok, as protesters began venting their discontent at police, officers began arresting them. However, some people who did not participate in the protests, but were simply out and about in the mall, were also arrested. The police should not insult people, especially reporters, when performing their duties and should only arrest those they are sure have done something illegal, instead of rounding up many people and releasing them later. Moreover, the police should offer the public better explanations for their actions. They should improve their handling of the protesters and the press, or the unrest in the city will only worsen. Jerald Lau, Tseung Kwan O Help us understand what you are interested in so that we can improve SCMP and provide a better experience for you. We would like to invite you to take this five-minute survey on how you engage with SCMP and the news.