Hong Kong Public Broadcaster RTHK Criticized for Self-Censorship

New Tang Dynasty Television     February 8, 2011    more

The independence of Hong Kong・s government-operated broadcaster is being questioned after it cancelled a webcast of the funeral for democracy campaigner Szeto Wah last month.

Radio Television Hong Kong, or RTHK, was meant to carry a live webcast of the private funeral service on January 29th. But days before the service RTHK cancelled those plans, saying the webcast was available on other websites, and the station did not want to waste resources.

Hong Kong Journalist Association spokeswoman Mak Yin-ting is an advocate for RTHK to become independent of the government. She believes the webcast was cancelled for other reasons.

[Mak Yin-Ting, Spokeswoman for Save RTHK]:
:RTHK・s management・s change of heart seemed to coincide with the Hong Kong government and Beijing. They・ve taken political considerations over the media・s professionalism in this decision. From this we see a clear example of self-censorship.;

A former British colony, Hong Kong is ruled separately from mainland China. But in recent years, that separation is being doubted, as the local government often appears to act in cohort with the Chinese regime.

Before Szeto Wah・s funeral, Hong Kong immigration authorities denied entry to two Tiananmen dissidents who wanted to attend the service. Hong Kong's government officials were also noticeably absent at the funeral.

[Mak Yin-Ting, Spokeswoman for Save RTHK]:
:Hong Kong・s government is not in full control, and has to bow to Beijing. This clearly tells that very little of the .one-country, two system・ framework is left.;

RTHK・s Program Staff Union has written to management to express concern over the cancelled webcast. A report on Monday by the station says the Union is still waiting for a response.