Former Chief Executive CY Leung on Sunday dismissed calls by an advisory panel for RTHK for more funding for the public broadcaster, saying the government should instead ask the Audit Commission to look into its books to see if there is any room for funding cuts.
In a social media post, Leung said there are only 7.5 million people in Hong Kong, who only have 24 hours in a day to peruse news, information or entertainment.
He added that with a bevy of online news platforms available, the Auditor should see if funding for RTHK offers value for money.
However, one of the 26 members of the RTHK Programme Advisory Panel, Francis Fong – also the honorary chairman of the Hong Kong Information Technology Federation – said Leung may have given a bit of a skewed picture of what RTHK offers.
He said the station is actually underfunded, as it runs multiple television and radio channels. He also noted that the broadcaster provides a variety of programmes covering topics not often covered by commercial media organisations.
Fong said he thinks the actual issue that the pro-government camp has with RTHK is that its news coverage of current events may not paint the administration in the best light.
“When they think it’s negative they think actually RTHK is not functioning very well, but to a lot of Hong Kong citizens, including many of our advisors, I think RTHK has been doing a very good job in providing news in a neutral way”, Fong said.
Last updated: 2019-12-29 HKT 17:45