Page 22 - Varsity Special Issue
P. 22

20 / Periscope

                                                 Journalist Definition Revised
            Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) sent an email (the email) to four journalist associations including Hong Kong
          Journalist Association (HKJA), Hong Kong Federation of Journalists, Hong Kong News Executives’ Association and
          Hong Kong Press Photographers Association (HKPPA) on September 22 to inform them about an amendment in the
          definition of “media representatives” in the Police General Orders. Under the new arrangement, holders of identity
          documents issued by the following organisations will be recognised as journalists:
            1. Media organisations registered under the Government News and Media Information System (GNMIS) system;
            2. and internationally recognised and well-known non-local news agencies, newspapers, magazines, radio stations
          and television stations.
            “Media representatives” in the Police General Order before the amendment was defined as holders of following
            1. press passes of HKJA or HKPPA;
            2. and Identity documents issued by news agencies, newspapers, magazines, radio stations and television stations.

           The amendment came into effect  sued by HKJA are no longer recog-    Secretary of Security John Lee Ka-chu
        on September 23, one day after the an-  nised under the Police General Order  stresses the amendment does not af-
        nouncement, without discussing and  despite repeated requests for clarifica-  fect the lawful reporting of  journalists
        consulting HKJA or HKPPA.           tion.                               and the press freedom in Hong Kong
           HKJA, HKPPA, Citizen News Staff     He points out journalists who  has not changed in an article dated on
        Union, Independent Commentators  work as freelancers, stringers, fix-   September 23 on the Security Bureau’s
        Association, Journalism Educators for  ers and foreign freelance journalists  website.
        Press Freedom, Ming Pao Staff Asso-  are not on the list of the Information
        ciation, Next Media Trade Union, and  Service Department’s GNMIS system,
        RTHK Programme Staff Union issued  their reporting job will be affected.
        a  joint  statement  on  September  22  They face higher legal risk when do-
        to  voice  their  opposition  against  the  ing reporting in public places and may
        amendment.                          be liable to charges of offences such as
           “The amendment allows authori-   unlawful assembly.
        ties to decide who are reporters, and   Ronson Chan Long-sing, the dep-
        this  fundamentally changes  the  ex-  uty assignment editor of an online
        isting system in Hong Kong. It is no  news website, The Stand News and
        different from having an official ac-  the vice-chairperson of the HKJA,
        creditation system. The amendment  says the amendment limits reporting
        seriously impedes press freedom in  duty of journalists working for online
        Hong Kong, leading the city toward  media outlets that are not on the list of
        authoritarian rule,” the statement  GNMIS system.
        reads.                                 The police explain that the new ar-
           Chris  Yeung Kin-hing, chairman  rangement allows frontline police of-
        of HKJA says the police have not fully  ficers to recognize media representa-
                                                                                          Edited by Emilie Lui
        explained why membership cards is-  tives more efficiently in the email.          Edited by Emilie Lui

          The amendment seriously impedes press

           freedom in Hong Kong, leading the city

                     toward authoritarian rule.

   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27