Page 19 - Varsity Special Issue
P. 19

16 / Periscope                                                                                            / 17

      Reporting on Thin Ice

      The implementation of the national security law has put the journalism indus-
      try at risk. Journalists and media outlets are now seeking ways to survive in

      the tight corners.

      By Charlie Yip & Reus Lok

                                                                                         Photo courtesy of  Cheung
                                                                                         Photo c ourtesy o f  Cheu ng

 rotection  of  sources  has  privacy protection. To keep himself  Kwan O and conducted inspection on   Deterrent Effect and Panic  two main responsibilities of journal-
 become  journalists’  major  and his interviewees safe, Chan steps  news desks, sparking an outcry over   Cheung, a free-lance reporter,  ists. Unfortunately, under the national
 Pconcern in Hong Kong after the  up security by using more reputable  the implications for press freedom.   shares Chan’s worries.  She thinks  security law, perhaps journalists can
 introduction of national security law.  communication softwares and appli-  Chan  thinks  that  the  law  is  gen-  ambiguity in the law allows flexibility   no longer serve the public, but the
 “I won’t just phone call an interviewee  cations.   erally seen as a menace to all media   “  for interpretation. “The  law gives  government. We have to report the
 whom I think is in need of high   The national security law aims to  practitioners.  “The law threatens free-  them a very convenient tool to curb  truth even when we are facing an in-
 security. I will use applications such  prevent, stop and punish secession,  dom of speech and discourages peo-  The law threatens   press freedom,” Cheung says.  creasing risk,” Cheung adds.
 as Telegram or Signal to contact my  subversion  of state power, terrorist  ple from voicing out their opinions,”   freedom of speech   Cheung is worried and  aware that
 interviewees,” says Ronson Chan  activities and collusion with foreign  he says. He also describes the job of   some journalists have already self-  Journalism is at Risk
 Long-sing, the deputy assignment  countries with legal accusation or  journalists now as skating on thin ice   and discourages   censored their works to avoid falling   The HKJA conducted a survey after
 editor of The Stand News and the   even life imprisonment.   and expects to see a decline in the   into any legal trap.   the introduction of the law between
 vice-chairperson  of the Hong  Kong   On August 10, 2020, Apple Daily  number of outspoken media outlets   people from voicing   “No matter what aspect a story  June 8 and June 11. Of the 535 jour-
 Journalists Association (HKJA), says.  founder Jimmy Lai, Lai’s younger son,  which are critical of the government   is about, say education or entertain-  nalists  polled,  98  per  cent  disagreed
 Signal is an instant messaging ap-  Ian Lai Yiu-yan and a few executives  and Beijing.  out their opinions.  ment, as long as it is associated with  with the enactment of the national
 plication currently on shelf with in-  of Next Digital Media, which is well-  “Of course my wife and my par-  politics, people no longer have the  security law and 98 per cent were con-
 creasing popularity, especially among   known  for  being  critical  of  Beijing  ents are worried about me, but they’re   guts to speak up. It makes the inter-  cerned about adverse effects on press
 Hong Kongers after the law went into   and the Hong Kong government, were  well-aware of my passion and ambi-  viewing process much harder when  freedom and expected stronger self-
 effect on June 30, 2020. It works just   arrested for alleged collusion with for-  tion for my job,” Chan says. He also   ”  even speaking the truth has such seri-  censorship.
 like  other instant messaging tools,   eign forces.    reveals that he is mentally prepared   ous consequences,” she says.  Chris  Yeung Kin-hing, chairman
 but with more security features such   About 200 officers raided the  for the worst.   “Holding the authorities account-  of the association, says that the con-
 as end-to-end encryption for better   premises of the company in Tseung   able and informing the public are the  cern reflected in the survey is well-
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