DAB hopes to see 'editorial improvement' at RTHK - RTHK
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DAB hopes to see 'editorial improvement' at RTHK

2021-02-19 HKT 14:57
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  • DAB hopes to see 'editorial improvement' at RTHK
The largest pro-Beijing party in Hong Kong, the DAB, said on Friday that it hopes the new director of broadcasting appointed by the government will bring about "editorial improvement" at RTHK.

The public broadcaster has long been under pressure from pro-establishment lawmakers and groups, which accuse the station of anti-government bias.

Speaking after the appointment of seasoned bureaucrat Patrick Li as the new RTHK chief, DAB lawmaker Ben Chan said he hopes the management change means that RTHK can fix its "problems".

He said the government has allowed the station to abuse its power in the name of editorial independence.

Chan said he hopes the new director will reform RTHK so the station can improve its programming and "its credibility", adding that it isn't a concern that Li lacks broadcasting experience.

"Experience is important but not essential. In the past, we also see the chairman [director of broadcasting] of RTHK did not have any experience in broadcasting, but they can also give very good management... Change of management does not mean it will influence, or has any side effects or any adverse effect to editorial independence. Better management can even give better editorial improvement," he said.

One of Chan’s partymates, Elizabeth Quat, said the government's review came too late as RTHK had been "left unsupervised".

She said outgoing chief Leung Ka-wing had neglected his duties, and never tried to improve the station despite public complaints.

Quat added that Leung allows frontline staff to do "whatever they want" with programmes.

Meanwhile, former pro-democracy lawmaker and vice-chairman of the Democratic Party, Lam Cheuk-ting, said he believes Leung, who is leaving his post around six months earlier than expected, was fired by the government because he was unwilling to follow its orders.

He said Li's appointment is intended to bring full-on suppression to RTHK and he will be expected to carry out "political missions" and override professional decisions.

Lam added that RTHK is entering "the coldest days of the winter".