Hong Kong Government Considering to Exclude Certain Media, incl. Foreign Press, from Frontline?
The Hong Kong Government may in the future allow only journalists with press cards and reflective vests issued by the authorities to cover frontline and other news. (Chapman Chen, HKBNews, reports)
Police Public Relations Bureau Acting Chief Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung said at a press conference today (Oct 18) that during the protests of the last 4 months, the police clearly had difficulties in identifying journalists. Yesterday, Mingpao reported that the Hong Kong Police Force is studying how to manage reporters at the scene of protests, including the option of the Information Service Department centralizing the issuance of press cards to journalists. The report quoted Chan Yik-chiu, Acting Chair of the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association, as saying that at the end of last month, a staff member of the Information Services Department sounded him out in relation to a press card system. Chan immediately objected and asked to meet with the Commissioner of Police, but so far there is no further news. Chan pointed out that if the system is implemented, the police will keep out student journalists, freelance journalists, and foreign media.
We speculate that the real purpose of the licensing system for journalists is to hide frontline police brutality from the cameras of independent, outspoken media, that only pro-CCP media will have the privilege of covering sensitive news. Indeed, ever since the beginning of the Time Revolution/Anti-Extradition Law Movement in June, numerous media have captured moments of Hong Kong police breaking subdued activists' heads and bones with batons, pinning protesters to the ground with their knees on their necks, shooting them at a close, point-blank range, sexually molesting young pretty girls, etc.