Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Friday the government will not suppress press freedom, but that journalists have to abide by the law.
In a press briefing during her visit to Beijing, Lam was asked about the case of RTHK producer Bao Choy, who was charged this week with violating the Road Traffic Ordinance after the public broadcaster searched for car owner information with the Transport Department for a programme about the Yuen Long mob attack last year.
The Chief Executive declined to comment on the specifics of the case, citing ongoing legal proceedings.
While critics have said that RTHK is being targeted, Lam rejected suggestions of selective prosecutions or selective law enforcement, insisting everyone is equal before the law.
She also gave an assurance on press freedom.
"Press freedom is protected by the Basic Law, and we will not suppress press freedom. But media workers, of course, have to abide by the law," Lam said.
On the national security law, the Chief Executive insisted that stability has returned to Hong Kong after the law took effect in late June.
"You don't see major violent incidents anymore. So in this sense, the law has been very effective in having a deterrent effect," the Hong Kong leader said.
Lam said the return of stability enabled the government to focus on the city's economic development and people's livelihoods.