Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warns against the selection of journalists in Hong Kong as some of them were denied entry to an event attended by the Chief Executive and the director of China’s liaison office on December 4.
On December 4, reporters from Stand News and Apple Daily were denied access to an event organised to celebrate China’s “Constitution Day”, which was attended by Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the director of China’s liaison office in Hong Kong, Wang Zhimin. Although the event was supported by the authorities, the organiser said that only invited media were granted entry.
“By taking part in an event that is not open to all media, Chief Executive Carrie Lam condones a practice that disregards press freedom,” said Cedric Alviani, the head of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia bureau. In her response to an RSF Open Letter last summer, Carrie Lam had yet assured that the respect of press freedom was ‘vital’ for the future of Hong Kong.
In October, RSF and a coalition of NGOs and media groups already expressed their concern over the possible selection of journalists through the establishment of a centralised system of identification. Since the beginning of the Hong Kong protests in June, freedom of the press has deteriorated with a growing number of attacks against reporters (see chronology).
In the RSF World Press Freedom Index, China’s Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong has plummeted from 18th in 2002 to 73rd this year. China itself is ranked 177th out of 180 countries and territories monitored.
Even tighter control
By relying on the massive use of new technology, President Xi Jinping has succeeded in imposing a social model in China based on the control of news and information and online surveillance of its citizens. At the same time, he has been trying to export this oppressive model by promoting a “new world media order” under China’s influence. China’s state and privately-owned media are now under the Chinese Communist Party’s close control .