A former chairman of RTHK's board of advisers, Eugene Chan has played down suggestions that the public broadcaster dropped a relay of BBC services under pressure, though he said the director of broadcasting should explain the move.
RTHK announced on Friday that it would stop its overnight relay of the BBC World Service channel and cease broadcasting a weekly programme in Cantonese, hours after the National Radio and Television Administration in Beijing announced that it was banning the British broadcaster.
Chan, who served on RTHK's board of advisers for ten years and chaired the body for four years until last year, said he was sure that the decision was made by management, though it still warranted further explanation from the director of broadcasting, Leung Ka-wing.
"I'm always asking the director of broadcasting to come out and meet the public and to show his desire to make RTHK a much better public broadcaster," Chan told RTHK's Backchat programme.
"We had seven complaints in the past two years whereas during my term there were, like, four, and there's a public outcry that they want to meet the director.
"I think the director should come out. I agree totally. He is the guy in charge of RTHK and we all want to hear from him."
However, Chan rejected suggestions that the move was a result of outside pressure.
"Honestly, it's definitely the director and the management of RTHK's decision," he said. "To me this is just a programming change. I think it's within the charter, because the director of broadcasting has the final editorial decision.
"So, it's up to them why they do it and I'm sure, because with my long association with three directors in the last ten years and the management, I'm sure they know the charter very well, they know the rules very well, so I would trust the management, their judgement."
Ex-RTHK adviser: dropping BBC was management's move
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