RTHK always complies with its charter, says chief - RTHK
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RTHK always complies with its charter, says chief

2020-05-29 HKT 13:12
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  • RTHK always complies with its charter, says chief
Director of Broadcasting Leung Ka-wing said on Friday that the staff of Radio Television Hong Kong always follow the station's charter, even as the chairman of the Board of Advisers complained there have been incidences of "serious non-compliance".

Leung's insistence came a day after the government announced that a task force comprising of civil servants from outside the public broadcaster is to carry out a thorough review of RTHK's management and governance and to check that its programmes comply with the charter.

Speaking after a meeting with the Board of Advisers, Leung said had not received any instruction to punish staff involved in producing several episodes of TV programmes which have drawn the wrath of the police and other authorities in recent months.

He also said he had not been pressured into resigning over the controversies.

"We are always working in compliance with our charter. The charter governs what we have to do ... So far I didn't feel any pressure to leave RTHK," Leung said.

He added that he would fully cooperate and support the work of the government's task force, while continuing to uphold the station's editorial independence.

But board chairman Eugene Chan reiterated how disappointed members are with RTHK following two recent warnings from the Communications Authority over episodes of TV shows that made references to the police.

"The Board of Advisers fully support the verdict of the Communications Authority. We felt that all programmes under RTHK should be under the charter, should all be accurate," Chan said.

"We have given repeated advice to the director and the management and it is very disappointing that despite their assurance that all the programmes are complying with the charter, we still received a serious warning and a warning."

Speaking to reporters at Legco on Friday, Commerce and Economic Development Secretary Edward Yau said they have not yet come up with a list of people who would make up the review panel and that the list will be issued “in the fullness of time”.

On Thursday, IT sector lawmaker Charles Mok described the government's decision to set up the task force as an "unprecedented move to control the public broadcaster".

The panel will report its findings to the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau which oversees RTHK and which earlier this month demanded an apology from the station and for staff to be disciplined over a February episode of the satirical show Headliner which mocked the police.

RTHK issued an apology to the police and announced that production of Headliner was to be suspended pending a review of the programme after the Communications Authority ruled that the broadcaster had not been able to demonstrate that the jokes made about the police were factually accurate.