IFJ joins global campaign for an independent Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK)

May. 09, 2007

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has given its full support to an international campaign aimed at ensuring popular broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) remains free from government interference and is transformed into a truly independent public broadcaster.

RTHK has a reputation for maintaining its editorial independence, despite being funded by the government, and the IFJ, and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), have long campaigned for its recognition as, and transformation into, a public broadcaster.

However, recent recommendations to the government from the Committee on Review of Public Service Broadcasting prevent RTHK from being transformed into the future public broadcaster, instead recommending the implementation of a Hong Kong Public Broadcasting Corporation instead, with board members appointed by Hong Kongs Chief Executive.

Public service broadcasters play a vital role in cultural diversity, pluralism and a democratic society, and RTHK has long been fulfilling this role in Hong Kong, said Christopher Warren, president of the IFJ, the organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries.

We are deeply concerned that these recommendations are simply a pretext for curtailing press freedom in Hong Kong, and only strengthens earlier fears that the committee was established to reign in the independence of RTHK, Warren said.

We encourage all our affiliates to support this vital campaign to save RTHK and ensure another independent voice is not lost in Hong Kong, he said.

To sign the petition visit: http://www.petitiononline.com/SaveRTHK/petition.html.

To find out more visit the Save RTHK website: http://SaveRTHK.org.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919

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