The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) on Friday hit back at criticisms about the media coverage of the July 21 Yuen Long attacks, saying reporters had just live streamed what was happening and raised questions that were in public minds.
HKJA chairman, Chris Yeung, said it's unfair for police to question reporters' professionalism and impartiality at a media briefing, as this may affect public opinion of the media.
Senior superintendent Chan Tin-chu on Wednesday had said the live streaming of the mob attack that happened at the Yuen Long MTR station by a reporter was one-sided and didn’t give a fair representation of the events. He also questioned why reporters didn't ask about arms carried by protesters who rallied on Hong Kong Island the same day.
Yeung took exception to the officer raising counter questions to reporters' questions on why some armed people they came across on Yuen Long on July 21 were not detained.
"Members of the public would like to know why the police did not take any action outside the village where there were hundreds of white-shirted people holding things like iron bars and all these things,” said Yeung. “And why not take action? Why not take the simple act of registering their identity cards."
“Those are questions in the mind of the public and reporters asked the questions in the interest of the public.”
“The way the superintendent asked questions to the reporters suggest that he thinks the media took the position and asked one but not the others,” said the HKJA chief.
Yeung also refuted criticism from police that media footage of the attacks in Yuen Long was one-sided. He said if that were the case, police wouldn't have used the footage during their briefing.
He said reporters acted on their instincts and would just show what's happening at the scene, and people can watch the live videos and judge for themselves.
In a media briefing on Thursday, Police Commissioner Chris Tang said some of the comments that Chan made were unwanted and said police officers should focus on evidence and facts.
Media just beamed the events in Yuen Long: HKJA
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