Lawmakers slam, hail action against RTHK - RTHK
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Lawmakers slam, hail action against RTHK

2020-05-20 HKT 10:52
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  • Charles Mok (left) warns of a chilling effect on the media while Eunice Yung says RTHK's apology shows the station acknowledges its wrongdoing. Photo: RTHK
    Charles Mok (left) warns of a chilling effect on the media while Eunice Yung says RTHK's apology shows the station acknowledges its wrongdoing. Photo: RTHK
The chairman of Legco's Panel on IT and Broadcasting, Charles Mok, on Wednesday warned that the ongoing RTHK row will have a chilling effect on local media, while pro-government lawmaker Eunice Yung said the government action against the public broadcaster is justified.

Taking part in RTHK's Millennium talk show, Mok said there are obvious signs that RTHK is being suppressed due to political reasons, adding that freedom of expression has been further limited in the SAR.

He also said he's concerned that the incident would send a chilling effect within the media industry, with practitioners constantly being kept on their toes and worrying when they may cross the red line.

Another member of the same Legco panel who was also taking part in the show, Eunice Yung from the New People's Party, differed with Mok and said RTHK should be penalised for producing "impartial and biased" programmes.

She said the fact that RTHK has apologised for offending people and the police shows that the station acknowledges its wrongdoing, adding that as a public broadcaster, it should not insult or defame the police or other public figures.

Yung added that the name of the 30-year-old programme that is in the eye of the storm, "Headliner", suggests that it really should be about news and not have satirical elements to it.

She also said that because RTHK is bound by a series of rules and regulations, including the RTHK Charter which stipulates that the station should produce impartial programmes, the broadcaster should stop making satirical shows altogether.