Category: Statements

Joint statement condemning brutal treatment of Hong Kong journalists reporting on Wukan

The Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, Independent Commentators Association and Journalism Educators for Press Freedom have issued a joint statement strongly condemning the Lufeng authorities’ brutal obstruction of Hong Kong journalists reporting on the Wukan villagers’ rights protection movement. The groups note that in recent years, Hong Kong journalists have been repeatedly subject to interference and brutal treatment at the hands of law enforcement agents and people of unknown identity while reporting in the Mainland. In this latest incident, the Hong Kong journalists were unreasonably and violently muzzled. The four groups call on the Hong Kong SAR government to follow up on the incident, to safeguard the personal safety of Hong Kong journalists, and to take effective measures to protect journalists’ reporting rights.

After the Lufeng authorities sent hundreds of police to crackdown on villagers in Wukan, Ming Pao, the South China Morning Post and Hong Kong We Media dispatched at least five reporters to cover the confrontation between police and villagers. According to one journalist, a group of what is believed to be plain-clothes police broke down the door at a Wukan villager’s, where the journalists were hiding. The men asked the journalists to kneel down, one of the journalists received a blow to the back of the head, one was punched and one was pushed to the ground. A villager tried to protect the reporters without success. Although the journalists did not offer any resistance throughout the episode, they were roughed up, cursed and sworn at. They were later driven to the Lufeng Public Security Bureau and detained until 03:00. Police demanded they sign letters stating they would never return to report in Lufeng and agreed not to report any news related to Wukan. They were then taken to Shenzhen and ordered to leave.

The four associations are deeply concerned that the repeated interference faced by Hong Kong journalists reporting in the Mainland, and the continuous decline of press freedom will affect the work of journalists. Although Hong Kong journalists have been repeatedly obstructed and subjected to violence, we have not seen the Hong Kong SAR government following up on the incidents, nor have mainland authorities offered any explanation. In this latest Wukan incident, authorities have not produced any rationale or explanation for their unreasonable detention and violent treatment.

The four associations call on the Hong Kong SAR government and the Central Government to tolerate such reprehensible actions, to safeguard the personal safety of journalists, and to bring the perpetrators to justice. At the same time, we hope the SAR government can reflect Hong Kong journalists’ concerns to the relevant authorities. We hope journalists can carry out their work without unnecessary restrictions, so as to ensure the public’s right to know. We also hope the Central Liaison Office can carry out its role as a bridge, to reflect journalists’ needs to the relevant authorities so that reporters can carry out their work.

 

Hong Kong Journalists Association

Hong Kong Press Photographers Association

Independent Commentators Association

Journalism Educators for Press Freedom

 

15 September 2016

四新聞組織強烈譴責陸豐市當局粗暴阻礙香港記者採訪工作

香港記者協會、香港攝影記者協會、獨立評論人協會與大專新聞教育工作者聯席發表聯合聲明,強烈譴責陸豐市當局以暴力手段阻礙新聞工作者採訪烏坎村村民之維權行動。四會指出,今次事件再次反映香港記者在內地的採訪自由遭到不合理的暴力箝制;四會嚴正要求,特區政府跟進事件,確保新聞工作者的人身安全,並採取有效手段維護記者的採訪權。

陸豐市市政府近日派出數以百計公安鎮壓烏坎村的維權村民,《明報》、《南華早報》和《香港01》等至少五名記者到烏坎村採訪。據其中一名記者透露,昨晚一批相信是公安的便衣人員,到他們躲藏的烏坎村村民家中,破門入屋,叫他們蹲下,其間有人打他後腦,有記者被揮拳打中,亦有記者被按在地上,有村民嘗試保護記者,但不成功。期間記者一直沒有反抗,但仍然受到粗暴對待,被人用粗口指罵。他們其後被押上車帶到陸豐市公安局,扣留至凌晨近三時,記者被要求簽保證書,聲明以後不會再到陸豐「違規採訪」,並保證不報道有關烏坎的消息,然後被送到深圳邊境勒令離開。

四會深表關注香港記者在內地採訪不時受到干擾,而且漸見頻繁,憂慮新聞自由不斷倒退,影響記者的工作。近年來屢屢發生香港記者在內地採訪時被不知名人士甚至執法人員干擾或粗暴對待,事件每每不了了之,未見特區政府跟進或內地當局解釋。今次採訪烏坎村維權事件,記者被無理扣押,武力對待,是嚴重踐踏新聞自由的行為。

四會嚴正要求香港政府和中央政府不能縱容惡行,確保新聞工作者的人身安全,務必將行兇者繩之以法,並施以具阻嚇性的懲罰。同時期望特區政府能向內地有關當局反映本港記者的關注,讓新聞界的採訪工作不會受到不必要的限制,以保障公眾知情權。並期望中聯辦發揮橋樑角色,向內地當局反映記者的需要,令記者順利完成採訪。

香港記者協會
港攝影記者協會
獨立評論人協會
大專新聞教育工作者聯席
2016年9月15日

明報突解僱執總姜國元 七會深表震驚

對於《明報》今日在凌晨時分以「報業經營環境困難」為由,突然解僱執行總編輯姜國元(筆名安裕),七個新聞業界的協會及工會深感震驚,認為理由牽強。對於一名在工作上溫和又專業的報人突然被以行政手段解僱,我們對本港的新聞工作的空間與自由度,深感憂慮與不安。

姜國元先後服務本港多家新聞機構,在2003年的反廿三條、2012年的反國民教育和民運人士李旺陽被自殺事件等敏感題目的報道上,均為領軍人物,是不少同事眼中的編採部「靈魂人物」,而作為執行總編輯及服務《明報》逾十多年的資深員工,姜國元負責重大新聞的部署,對該報之編採方針起主導作用。

《明報》今次以削減資源為理由,解釋今次的重大人事安排,當中卻令人有不少疑問,種種不尋常安排難免令人關注是否另有內情。另外,姜國元作為一名長年秉持客觀報道為原則,以公眾利益為報道考慮的資深新聞工作者,竟不見容於《明報》,我們感到極度遺憾,敦促《明報》管理立即就事件向公眾交代。

我們認為,《明報》既是一家企業,又同時是公眾賦予話語權的主流媒體,承載著海內外無數知識分子的支持、信頼和期許。姜國元作為資深編採部主要負責人之一,其在新聞選取、報道角度及影響分析等等方面所展示不偏不倚的專業報人風範,貢獻至巨。

際此政治爭拗不斷,香港新聞界極需像姜國元這種秉持公道原則,又具有政治、歷史及文化識見的新聞人,以相對公允而獨立的立場與角度,為香港社會與民眾報道新聞、引發討論,並警示危機。

我們認為,姜國元被解僱,不僅是《明報》,更是香港人的巨大損失;同時嚴重打擊明報編採部的士氣,實非受眾之福。

香港記者協會
獨立評論人協會
香港攝影記者協會
大專新聞教育工作者聯席
香港電台節目製作人員工會
壹傳媒工會
國際記者聯會
二零一六年四月二十日
‪#‎安裕‬

Eight media associations shocked by the dismissal of veteran editor

We are deeply shocked and disturbed by the sudden dismissal of Ming Pao’s Executive Chief Editor Keung Kwok-yuen.

In the name of “cost cutting”, the Chinese daily dismissed Mr Keung at midnight Wednesday with immediate effect. No reshuffle has been announced to fill his work.
The handling of Mr Keung’s dismissal is full of anomalies making it difficult for anyone to accept it as a pure cost-cutting move. The management owned its reader and the public an explanation.


Mr Keung is a veteran journalist who has spearheaded the coverage of major controversies in Hong Kong in the past decades. Among them were the 2003 rally against the national security law; the 2012 campaign against national education as well as the death of mainland political dissident Li Wang-yang. He was praised as the soul of the team by many staff members.


If a journalist as moderate and professional as Mr Keung cannot be tolerated, what does it say about the press freedom of Hong Kong?

We are deeply disturbed and worried.

The Hong Kong Journalist Association
the Independent Commentators Association
The Hong Kong Press Photographer Association
Journalism Educators for Press Freedom
The RTHK Programme Staff Union
The Next Media Trade Union
The International Federation of Journalists
Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong
‪#‎安裕‬

As of April 21st 2016

JEPF statement on TVB’s de-facto demotion of journalist

The factual reporting by TVB News on the beating of social worker Ken Tsang by seven police officers in a corner of Tamar Park made waves in our society. Yet, TVB has moved Assistant News Editor Ho Wing-hong, who was responsible for the report, from frontline news gathering to the position of Chief Researcher. Journalism Educators for Press Freedom (JEPF) is deeply angered by this move.

We do not think there was anything wrong with the way Ho handled the news. Rather, it is TVB’s subsequent removal of the terms “kicked and punched” and “secluded corner” that bear the suspicion of self-censorship. Close to 100 TVB employees from the News and other departments have publicly voiced their disatisfaction and unease at management’s distrust of the original report.

We strongly condemn TVB News management’s shirking of its responsibility and failure to confront its mistakes. Instead, it is trying to clean up the mess and suppress  doubts publicly aired by the majority of staff by “killing the chicken to warn the monkeys”. In so doing, it is also ignoring the general public’s concern about possible self-censorship exercised by the TVB News Director.

What is wrong with journalists carrying out their duties according to professional judgement and conscience? Why must they be moved from their jobs as a result? We invite senior management at TVB News to give the public an explanation as to why Ho has been moved. We are also concerned about those members of staff who signed petitions over this incident and in support of colleagues who were attacked by anti-Occupy protesters. We will watch closely to see if they will be in any way punished.

In these difficult times, we need steadfast journalists standing at the frontline of news. The retribution carried out by TVB News is one more knife stabbed into our already imperiled press freedom. In view of such actions, will our young reporters still have the courage to report with conscience? As journalism educators, we cannot stand by and do nothing. We call on senior management at TVB News to make a public response!

 

就無綫秋後算賬的聲明

七名警員拉社工曾健超到添馬公園一暗角拳打腳踢,無綫電視新聞部拍攝到事件經過,如實報道,引起社會廣大迴響。無綫新聞部近日決定,把負責此新聞的助理採訪主任何永康調離新聞工作前線,轉職首席資料搜集員。我們對此秋後算賬之舉深表憤怒。

我們認為何永康處理該新聞的手法並無不妥,反而是無綫新聞部事後刪減新聞旁白,把「拳打腳踢」和「暗角」等用詞刪去,有自我審查之嫌。無綫新聞部和其他部門近百員工發表公開信表達不滿,就管理層對原來之報道不信任感到極度不安。

我們強烈譴責無綫新聞部決策高層推卸責任,迴避刪剪新聞的過失,反以殺鷄儆猴的劣技收拾殘局,壓平新聞部大部分員工的公開質疑,也懶理公眾對該台新聞總監自我審查新聞報道的關注。

新聞工作者憑專業判斷、憑良心做新聞,有何不妥?為何落得被調職的下場?請無綫新聞部高層公開解釋何永康被調職原因,給公眾一個交待。我們亦關注曾經聯署聲援的無綫員工,密切留意他們有沒有被牽連或懲罰。

香港正值多事之秋,正需要不偏不倚的新聞工作者站在前線。今次無綫新聞部秋後算賬,對本已危在旦夕的新聞自由,再插一刀。年輕記者看在眼裡,還夠膽憑良心做新聞嗎?我們作為新聞系老師,不能坐視。請無綫新聞部高層迅速回應!

就《明報》更換總編輯聲明

大專新聞教育工作者聯席,對《明報》突然更換總編輯,並傳出由馬來西亞籍人士「空降」此職感到意外和憂慮。聯席就此發表四點聲明

1. 《明報》是一份具影響力的報章,近年在偵查報道上屢創佳績,獲得不少獎項,成績有目共睹。在過去多年,《明報》總編輯皆由內部晉升,而歷任的《明報》總編輯都是有豐富香港經驗的傳媒工作者。今次由「空降人士」,擔任擁有編採實權的總編輯一職,屬於不尋常的人事調動,令人懷疑其中有沒有政治和商業考慮,甚至干預。

2. 目前香港處於政制改革的關鍵時期,新任總編輯若不熟悉香港情況,如何能在複雜多變的局面中掌握香港社會的脈搏,以港人的角度和利益去思考,同時又捍衛《明報》的辦報宗旨,切實擔當為民喉舌、監督權力的角色?

3. 這次人事變動,對《明報》員工士氣有一定的影響。管理層必須增加透明度,清楚向員工解釋是次重大決定的原委。《明報》管理層亦必須列出具體措施,以保證該報編採方針不受人事變動影響,員工能夠不偏不倚發掘真相、報道事實。

4. 香港近期發生多宗令人關注的傳媒事件,包括商台節目主持人李慧玲被調離原來節目、《信報》「獨眼香江」專欄因抽稿事件導致記者集體辭職、《經濟日報》刪改周博賢文章、壹傳媒被無綫電視封殺、港視不獲發牌等等。聯席呼籲傳媒高層共同維護香港的新聞和言論自由,捍衛港人核心價值。

JEPF expresses concern over transfer of Commercial Radio’s Lee Wai-ling

Journalism Educators for Press Freedom (JEPF) expresses its concern over the transfer of programme host Lee Wai Ling from Commercial Radio’s On a Clear Day.

On a Clear Day is an important and influential programme where opinions on policies and livelihood issues are freely expressed. Lee is a focal presenter, whose public image as a fearless and dogged monitor of the government is widely accepted by the public. Over the years, and at crucial times, Lee has played an important part by standing on the side of the weak. It would be a loss to Hong Kong to lose her voice.

Lee has worked at Commercial Radio for nine years and has been through many programme changes, but has never been in a situation as grave as the current one. Her sudden transfer from On a Clear Day is highly irregular. It is clear the two sides did not reach a consensus. For a morning programme to experience such a change will inevitably arouse suspicions that there are more than commercial considerations at play.

We are worried that the unreasonable transfer of a current affairs programme’s outspoken presenter will have a chilling effect and put pressure on other programme presenters.

商台節目主持李慧玲被調離《在晴朗的一天出發》,大專新聞教育工作者聯席表示關注

對於商台節目主持李慧玲被調離早晨節目《在晴朗的一天出發》,大專新聞教育工作者聯席表示關注,擔心香港言論空間將會收窄。

商業一台節目《在晴朗的一天出發》是本港重要的輿論陣地,對於政策及民生方面影響深遠。李慧玲是該節目的重點主持,監察政府不遺餘力,其不畏強權的形象深入民心。多年來扶助弱勢,站在被欺壓者的一方,在香港重要時刻發揮關鍵作用。香港若缺少了這份聲音,將是一個損失。

李慧玲與商台有九年的工作關係,之前曾經歷過節目調動,也未嘗有這種不愉快的經驗。今次她被倉促調離節目崗位,事件絕不尋常。她被調到主持傍晚的節目,雙方顯然沒有共識。早晨節目的人事調配,也未見有周詳考慮,不免令人懷疑這番調動有超越商業因素的考量。

我們擔心,一位敢言的時事評論節目主持,遭到如此不合理的節目調動,將對其他節目主持人構成心理壓力,產生寒蟬效應。

有關傳召記者就燒區旗案作供的譴責聲明

6月3日,無綫電視記者何永康應法庭傳召,就社運人士古思堯和馬雲祺被控企圖侮辱區旗案出庭作供。

雖然何永康曾請求豁免於庭上作供,擔心此舉會對新聞界的專業操守構成負面影響,但不獲法庭接納。誠然,控方傳召記者出庭作供是極為罕見的。

此案開庭前,無線電視已應警方要求,提供當日示威情況的「出街」片段,另外又協助或配合警方,讓警員在將軍澳電視城內,對何永康以及其他曾處理該片段的攝影、傳送、剪接、編輯、採訪和報道的台前幕後的無綫新聞部員工錄取口供。

而在今次出庭前,何永康已於一年之內接受警方三錄口供。

對於當局在檢控他人的過程中牽涉記者,大專新聞教育工作者聯席表示強烈遺憾和深感困擾,尤其此案已有很多目擊證人,包括警務人員。

我們認為:

  • 當局對記者錄取口供並要求其出庭作供的做法是不尋常、不必要和不合理的
  • 事件反映當局欠缺敏感度,對記者如實、公正報道的角色並沒足夠認識和尊重,要記者為檢控被訪者作供或作證會嚴重影響記者不偏不倚的形象
  • 當局這次做法,對記者和新聞界立下了一個很壞的先例,構成了惡劣的影響

與此同時,無綫電視管理層未能全力支援員工,沒有對他們提供足夠的法律和精神支持,大專新聞教育工作者聯席對此表示震驚和強烈遺憾:

  • 無綫這次的做法明顯偏離以往的慣例,在沒有法庭的命令下已向警方提供新聞片段
  • 無綫協助或配合警方,讓警員在公司物業內,對所有涉及製作、處理、採訪和報道該新聞的員工錄取口供
  • 此舉嚴重打擊新聞部的尊嚴和專業形象
  • 無綫並沒確保員工充分知悉自己的法律權利,包括緘默權
  • 無綫未能對何永康和受影響的員工提供全面和足夠的法律和精神支援,又強調何永康於首次錄口供後,曾經離職,一度並非其僱員。但事實上,何永康之所以牽涉此事,全因他當年任職無綫時所做的採訪工作

此事突顯前線記者,清楚知道自己的權利是十分重要的,因為當局可能會要求記者為新聞採訪錄取口供和出庭作供。

我們促請當局充分尊重記者獨立、如實和公正報道的角色,防止類似的情況再次發生。我們亦呼籲新聞機構在這些情況下,必須全力支援員工,給與他們法律和精神上的支持,捍衛新聞界的獨立和尊嚴。

大專新聞教育工作者聯席

2013年6月13日

Email: info@hkjepf.org

大專新聞教育工作者聯席是一個關注新聞自由、採訪環境和新聞學術的組織,由大專院校的新聞系老師組成,成員包括:

中大新聞與傳播學院講師 陳婉雯
中大新聞與傳播學院講師 譚蕙芸
中大新聞與傳播學院高級講師 陳惜姿

浸大新聞系助理教授 杜耀明
浸大新聞系講師 黃天賜
浸大新聞系客席高級講師 呂秉權