The Hong Kong Journalists Association has sent three observers to protest areas in Causeway Bay, to monitor how the police handles reporters, after the force last month placed additional restrictions on media coverage.
There was a public outcry when the police narrowed down its definition of “media representatives” to exclude those not registered with the government or work for well-known foreign outlets.
One of the observers, journalism lecturer Bruce Lui at Baptist University, said he said he hasn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary as of early Thursday afternoon, but he will pay attention to how reporters are affected when officers cordon off certain areas.
“We are concerned about… whether there will be some unfair or unreasonable treatment upon those unrecognised reporters, especially when police cordon up certain areas and exclude their rights of coverage,” he told RTHK’s Jimmy Choi.
Local journalism schools linked to major universities had objected to the new police rules, saying it will deprive the news gathering right of not only non-mainstream journalists and freelancers, but also ordinary citizens.
But police say it is needed to allow frontline officers to identify media representatives more quickly and effectively, to increase the efficiency of their operations.