No plan to privatise RTHK, says govt - RTHK
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No plan to privatise RTHK, says govt

2021-02-03 HKT 13:23
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  • The government says it will ensure RTHK meets the requirements of its charter "fully and completely." File photo: RTHK
    The government says it will ensure RTHK meets the requirements of its charter "fully and completely." File photo: RTHK
Timmy Sung reports
The administration on Wednesday said it has no plan to privatise RTHK despite worries that its dual roles as a public broadcaster and a government department are in conflict with each other.

The statement was made in writing by commerce minister Edward Yau, in response to a written question raised by DAB legislator Ben Chan.

Chan also asked whether there will be any short-term measures for the government to step up its monitoring of RTHK before a review panel completes its work.

The government had last year ordered a full review of RTHK's management after two of its programmes – including the now-suspended TV satire Headliner – received warnings by the Communications Authority over how they addressed the police's handling of pro-democracy protests.

Yau, whose bureau oversees the station, said the existing positioning and functions of RTHK were determined after extensive discussion and consultation.

"At present, the government has no plan to privatise RTHK. Nevertheless, it will continue to improve RTHK's governance and management with a view to meeting the requirements specified in the charter fully and completely," Yau said.

The secretary added the Communications Authority has found seven complaint cases against RTHK justified between 2019 and January this year. This he said, is a matter "of serious nature".

Yau said the review panel, headed by former Permanent Secretary of the Chief Executive's Office, Jessie Ting, will later submit a report to him, and his bureau has also requested the broadcaster to review its "editorial oversight" to avoid similar mistakes from happening again.