RTHK advisers meet govt after latest rebukes - RTHK
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RTHK advisers meet govt after latest rebukes

2020-05-21 HKT 12:29
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  • RTHK advisers meet govt after latest rebukes
  • Members of RTHK's Board of Advisers say they had assumed that all was well at the public broadcaster. Photo: RTHK
    Members of RTHK's Board of Advisers say they had assumed that all was well at the public broadcaster. Photo: RTHK
Headliner actor Wong He speaks to Priscilla Ng
Members of RTHK's Board of Advisers were holding talks with the government on Thursday, saying they needed some clarification on their roles now that the station has suddenly found itself in hot water with the authorities.

The meeting, requested by the board, comes after the public broadcaster on Tuesday received its second warning from the Communications Authority in a month over programmes touching upon issues relating to the police force.

Board chairman Eugene Chan suggested that the advisers had been caught off guard by the recent concerns that RTHK is not complying with its charter and a television code of practice.

"We have given advice on various programmes, on programming standards and quality and editorial principles, and so far no difficulty was encountered by the director of broadcasting so we assumed everything was well," Chan said.

"But considering all the reports form the Communications Authority, obviously there is a mismatch. So we are looking for ways how we can best do our job to advise the director of broadcasting so that RTHK can comply with the charter."

The advisers were holding talks with Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Edward Yau, who this week demanded that RTHK carry out a thorough review of its management, governance, and editorial processes.

His bureau also demanded that the public broadcaster initiate disciplinary action against any staff who have been "negligent".

On Tuesday, RTHK apologised to any police officers who had been offended by the station's output, and it announced it would suspend production of Headliner, a satirical show the Communications Authority said had "denigrated and insulted" the police force back in February.

The actor involved in the controversial sketch, former police officer Wong He, questioned on Thursday why the government appears to have suddenly become intolerant of political satire, considering the show has been aired for more than 30 years.

He rejected the suggestion that there were insufficient checks and balances in the production of the show and said nobody involved in the process had found anything amiss.

"We produce the programme with ordinary procedures and we go through different departments. A lot of people have their eyes on the procedure and they know what we are doing, from concept, to script, to the final product," Wong said.

He also dismissed criticism that he had insulted officers by portraying them as being "trash".

"Their job is to protect the members of the public. But these protectors need to be protected. It's a little bit funny. They're so fragile."