Press freedom in Hong Kong
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Representatives of Hong Kong media organisations attend a press conference on September 24, protesting against new rules restricting who can provide press coverage during demonstrations. Photo: AP

LettersStop the fearmongering over press freedom in Hong Kong

  • The long-predicted death of the free press has not come to pass. Whistle-blowers in Hong Kong can rest easy that theirs will not be the fate of Edward Snowden or Julian Assange
Journalists in Hong Kong have for a long time been predicting the demise of press freedom, claiming that certain actions taken by the government would create a chilling effect on the press, silencing them like “cicadas in the winter”, as the Chinese saying goes.
Today, it is plain to see that, even with the enactment of the national security law, the cicadas are still as strident as ever. The anti-government media, both print and electronic, is very much alive, unlike in Taiwan, where a major pro-China broadcaster has just had its licence revoked. The Post still regularly runs articles that are highly critical of the central government.

However, press freedom should be a privilege reserved for responsible journalism, which means reporting or making observations based on facts, eschewing sensationalism and fearmongering.

In his column “ To stay in Hong Kong or go? Beijing’s latest ruling reignites the dilemma” (November 17), your senior writer Peter Kammerer fears that to have journalists pointing out the mistakes of a dishonest government would now amount to a national security violation.

He also proclaims that there is now a fear factor when going about everyday life in Hong Kong, because any object can be classified as a dangerous weapon, and littering and jaywalking can be classified as unpatriotic. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Or is Mr Kammerer fearful because he intends to blow the whistle on some major mistakes of the Chinese Communist Party, like those uncovered by the likes of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange? In that case, he should rejoice that he is a journalist in Hong Kong, and not the United States.

Raymond Young Lap Moon, CEO, Chinese Manufacturers’ Association