RTHK's decision to outsource production of one of its programmes after "unapproved content" made its way into a recent episode is both "disturbing" and "totally disproportionate", the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) said on Tuesday.
The government broadcaster says its producers added footage to the end of last Friday's episode of Legco Review, showing the organisers of what used to be the annual June 4 Tiananmen massacre vigil taking part in a run.
Senior management, who now screen programmes since the arrival of new director of broadcasting Patrick Li, said they had not given their permission for this footage to be included.
An investigation has been ordered into the alleged "violation" and in the meantime, an outside team is taking over production of the politics show.
HKJA chief Chris Yeung said RTHK management are just "finding an excuse to get rid" of the in-house production team.
"What’s the big deal? Was there a complaint? If not, then it’s even more worrying that it is another case of self-censorship by the management," he said.
"In every newsroom, [management] have to have a degree of basic trust in the judgement of the production team. If management have zero trust in the production team, it simply won’t work, and will cause problems, never-ending problems."
Yeung added that the decision to drop the RTHK production team would cause anxiety among the station's staff and damage their trust in the bosses.
His concerns echoed those raised by the RTHK Programme Staff Union.
It queried whether management were planning to replace frontline workers, saying the opinions and editorial judgement of staff are being ignored and their professionalism "trampled on".
'RTHK dumping staff disturbing and disproportionate'
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