Likes for RTHK programme can't offset charges: govt - RTHK
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Likes for RTHK programme can't offset charges: govt

2020-03-17 HKT 17:34
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  • Likes for RTHK programme can't offset charges: govt
The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau on Tuesday waded into the controversy over a satirical programme aired by RTHK, saying appreciation for a particular programme cannot "offset" the complaints made against it.

The Headliner programme had been targeted by the police department and Commissioner Chris Tang had openly criticised it, saying it is smearing the force and misleading the public.

In a letter released last week, broadcasting director Leung Ka-wing defended the show, pointing out it is not a news programme and is satire.

Leung also said in a letter to staff that the programme had received some 6,500 complaints between February 1 and March 8, while more than 34,200 people complimented it.

But Yau said the complaints will be investigated by the Communications Authority despite the appreciation the show is also getting.

“The Communication Authority has the responsibility and statutory power to investigate the complaints [against RTHK]. And the result of the investigation doesn’t depend on how many people appreciate or don’t appreciate the programme,” he said.

“Even if a programme receives a large number of appreciations, I am afraid it cannot offset the complaints, as there’s an established mechanism to deal with them,” the secretary said.

He said while RTHK enjoys editorial independence, its work is bound by its charter. He said the station's Board of Advisers can give views relating to editorial principles, standards and quality of programmes.

Yau said the director of broadcasting needs to explain to the board if he doesn't accept its advice.

In response, RTHK said it has been abiding by the charter, and the station understands and respects the role of the Board of Advisers.

A spokeswoman also said the station will listen humbly to views on its programmes and see if there is any room for improvement.