The issue of underage reporters covering anti-government protests has been in the headlines lately. For many commentators, the biggest worry is that the aspiring journalists are still too young, so their professional ability is in doubt, while there is also concern about their safety. However, what has led a large number of students going to the front line and asserting their rights? Many young people have been forced to take to the streets, leading to the arrest of more than 1,000 juveniles . No one wants to risk their life on a battleground. The reason they are risking all is the Hong Kong government and police. Rather than ask why juveniles must go to such dangerous places, we should ask why the government has left the younger generation in a warlike environment. Society focuses on age, and adults criticise students for being exposed to politics and underestimate them because of their age. However, we have seen in the past year that being young doesn’t mean being ignorant. Police are continually needling reporters covering protests. How does this show the professionalism of the force? Article 27 of the Basic Law clearly states that Hong Kong residents have the freedom of speech, the press and publication. In Reporters Without Borders’ 2020 World Press Freedom Index, Hong Kong ranked 80th, down seven places from last year. It is an indisputable fact that the space for Hong Kong’s press freedom has narrowed. In recent years, the government has continuously tightened the access to information for news media and citizens. Official responses to media inquires aren’t real answers. My expectations of the press in modern society are that journalists shall have the freedom to interview, report and publish honestly, as well as pursue editorial independence without interference; that a news report is not biased and refuses to transfer benefits; and that reporters are free to do their work. Pinky Chan, Tseung Kwan O What’s wrong with young people having opinions? Upon reading the letter “ Hong Kong protests: children have no business reporting on risky ground ” (May 16), I realised how hard it is to be a youth in our society today. When I was young, all I needed to do was focus on school and worry about my assignments. On the weekend, I would hop on a bus and go out with my friends to catch the newest shows at the cinema. If you asked me what my aspirations were, I wouldn’t be able to answer you. The young boy in question who was arrested on Mother’s Day might not have been a real reporter, but he clearly aspired to be one. Even if that is not the case, he is old enough to have his own beliefs and interests. I own a tutorial centre and in no way do I impose my beliefs on the children that walk through my doors, but your correspondent should know that even students as young as seven or eight already have very clear insights into the happenings in Hong Kong. They haven’t been brainwashed, as he suggested, they are just bright kids with active minds who are aware of their surroundings. Mother's Day in HK: A 13yo student reporter was arrested in Harbour City and accused of being a "child labourer". His mother said her boy was scared when police threatened to fine her if they saw him again. Outside police station, boy said "Happy Mother's Day. I am sorry." pic.twitter.com/sCYyQPvsdp — Xinqi Su 蘇昕琪 (@XinqiSu) May 10, 2020 Your correspondent said shame on those who placed these children in the line of danger. Well, actually, shame on you for trying to silence a child who has a valid opinion, for thinking everything is a conspiracy by powerful people to inflict harm on Hong Kong, and for accusing his parents of failing to protect their child. Harvey Lam, Tsz Wan Shan 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.