Tue, Oct 31, 2006 - Page 2 News List

HK journalists fighting against `compression'

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Freedom of the press in Hong Kong and the working environment of journalists there have deteriorated since China implemented "one country, two systems" there, Hong Kong Journalists Association head Serenade Woo (胡麗雲) said yesterday in Taipei.

"I think the situation Hong Kong reporters find themselves in is just like a frog that is being cooked in water that is being slowly heated," Woo said during a forum held by the Association of Taiwan Journalists.

"We know there is gradual compression of press freedom in Hong Kong, but it seems that we can do little about it," she said.

It was important for reporters to be aware of the situation, she said.

Woo said that since China took back Hong Kong from Britain, the policy of "one country, two systems" had conspicuously changed Hong Kong's print and electronic media.

Woo said that the Hong Kong government had systematically exerted influence on newspapers and TV stations using "hard" and "soft" tactics.

She said the government would favor certain newspapers and feed them exclusive material.

"The Chinese Communist Party is tightening up its dominance of the direction of news," she said.

Woo said that reporters had been deprived of the right to protect their sources by an ordinance passed in June that allows the government to intercept many kinds of communications.

But she said reporters would not be silent and would continue to speak out over Chinese suppression of press freedom.

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