Next Media staff (left) and RTHK Staff (right) dressed in black to form the Chinese word “freedom” 「自由」.
RTHK Programme Staff Union:
Let’s defend press freedom! Let’s support Ming Pao Staff!
Concerns have been sparked over Hong Kong’s press freedom after Ming Pao had decided, abruptly, to replace its chief editor by a “parachuting” a Malaysian to head the newspaper.
The latest incident has prompted widespread concerns from Ming Pao’s current and former staff, journalists as well as academics. Ming Pao has long been performing the role as a fourth estate. The Union believes their concerns stem from their cares of Ming Pao.
We pay tributes to Ming Pao staff who are very brave to stand to the front to express their concerns. They are all professional journalists, they are not fighting for pay conditions, rather the press freedom and the newspaper that they love. The Union urges Ming Pao management not to take revenge on them as they are the most valuable asset of a media organisation.
The union and RTHK staff share the same belief to safeguard editorial freedom. We also share the same concern when Ming Pao decided to replace its chief editor. We believe recent incidents have brought a chilling effect on Hong Kong’s press freedom - fearing it would diminish further: SCMP replacing its chief editor, a Commercial Radio host was reassigned to a less influential programme slot, advertisements being pull out from am 730.
Press freedom does not belong to individual media organisations, but the entire Hong Kong people. We must uphold this core value with the public. Today, let’s speak up and stand firm to the “invisible hand” that want to meddle with editorial independence.
As a union in the industry, we believe safeguarding free speech, press freedom and editorial independence is our duty. Today, along with the Next Media Trade Union, we dressed in black and took a group photo with two Chinese characters that form the word freedom to show our determination. We also appeal to journalists and the public to join the Journalists Association’s campaign - One person one letter - to urge Ming Pao management to uphold editorial independence of the paper.
RTHK Programme Staff Union