RTHK to push govt policies, work with mainland media - RTHK
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RTHK to push govt policies, work with mainland media

2021-05-25 HKT 16:39
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  • RTHK to push govt policies, work with mainland media
Director of Broadcasting Patrick Li told lawmakers on Tuesday that RTHK has more programmes promoting government policies in the pipeline, and he hopes the station's staff can also start collaborating with mainland media.

At a special Legco meeting discussing an overhaul of RTHK's operations, Li said he wants the broadcaster to have more exchanges with radio and television stations across the border, including when it comes to "strengthening editorial training".

He would also like to see cooperation in the production of shows, he said.

On local issues, he said the government station is working with the Hospital Authority to produce shows aimed at answering people's questions about Covid-19 vaccines.

There are also programmes on the way focusing on minority groups and the "one country, two systems" principle, he said.

"We have to produce these shows under RTHK's charter. These topics may not attract a lot of viewership, but we must produce them," Li told lawmakers.

The broadcasting chief also told Legco that staff suspected of sneaking unapproved content into a recent RTHK programme face disciplinary action and could be forced to pay for the production costs out of their own pockets.

Outsiders are taking over the production of Legco Review after Friday's episode contained footage of a run by June 4 vigil organisers, commemorating those who died during the Tiananmen crackdown in 1989.

Senior management, who now screen programmes before they are aired, say they did not give permission for the footage to be shown.

Li said there could be financial implications for the in-house producers if a probe finds wrongdoing.

"If misuse of public funds is involved, we could invoke the Public Finance Ordinance, so the relevant individuals might have to pay compensation to the government," he said.

Li added that the staff in question would be handled through the existing civil service mechanism, and could face disciplinary action.

Lawmakers in the pro-Beijing legislature voiced their support for the new RTHK chief.

But several, including the New People's Party's Eunice Yung, questioned why interviews they had given to RTHK were among those dropped by senior management.

Insurance sector legislator Chan Kin-por asked Li whether his approach had amounted to "overkill".

In response, Li said only three shows that were completed before the vetting mechanism was introduced had been pulled since he took up his job almost three months ago, and in other instances, the editing was carried out as normal during programme production.