RTHK to replace China affairs show with Olympics - RTHK
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RTHK to replace China affairs show with Olympics

2021-07-12 HKT 19:40
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  • Veteran China analyst Johnny Lau says there had been no discussion with management over changes made to his show. Photo: RTHK
    Veteran China analyst Johnny Lau says there had been no discussion with management over changes made to his show. Photo: RTHK
Johnny Lau speaks to RTHK's Vicky Wong
A veteran China analyst and co-host of a current affairs programme on RTHK said on Monday he was disappointed with the decision by the public broadcaster to replace the show with a special programme on the Tokyo Olympics.

Johnny Lau is one of the hosts of China On The Dot, which has been on the air for more than three years and features discussions on issues relating to China.

The broadcaster announced that starting from Friday next week, it will air a special Olympics programme at its 3pm slot.

Lau said he was informed of the decision two weeks ago, and that it was not clear if China On The Dot would return after the Olympics.

"It was not a discussion, it was only a notice to me saying that the programme will last [until] the beginning of the Olympic Games," he said.

Lau told RTHK's Vicky Wong that he was disappointed with but respected the broadcaster’s decision.

"I respect their decision, they have the power to do it, what I'm concerned is whether or not the power is appropriate or not," he said.

He said he wasn't in a position to comment on whether censorship was at play, but noted that the "overall atmosphere" in Hong Kong with regards to the media and culture was "not healthy".

Lau stressed he's impartial and objective.

"I always emphasise that I reported everything good about China. I always say that I emphasise on the good performance of China, I do not ignore it, especially the economic development, and also the comprehensive power," he said.

"But I do not neglect the bad performance of China, for example, the soft power in China is very weak, and also the political system in China or the performance of One Country, Two Systems now is not completely what the Hong Kong people want. So I confess that I have to expose everything good and everything weak or the facts, the drawbacks of the government’s performance. This is the responsibility of media, so I only followed my policy, my belief to fulfil my job."

It's the latest in a series of personnel and programming changes at the public broadcaster.

Last month, RTHK scrapped two of its television programmes – RTHK Talk Show and This Week – saying it was updating its offerings.

And several prominent hosts have either been let go or resigned including Allen Au, a longtime journalist and host of Open Line Open View, Tsang Chi-ho who presented the Crazy and Happy radio show, and another veteran journalist Steve Vines who stepped down as host of The Pulse, citing the national security law.