The government says it made a balanced decision when it asked several media organisations to change the reporters they registered to cover the July 1 ceremony.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the administration said the decision was “a balance as far as possible between the needs of media work and security requirements”.
It added: “We will not comment on the accreditation outcome of individual organisations and persons”.
This came after the Journalists Association said at least seven local and overseas media outlets were asked to replace their reporters.
The association said given the requirement for registered reporters to conduct PCR Covid tests from June 26, it would be difficult for the outlets to replace them at such short notice.
A former member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, Rita Fan, said the government has not banned the outlets from sending anyone, so there is no question of press freedom being undermined.
She said some Western and unfriendly forces are smearing Hong Kong, and people who love the city should not allow them to do so and should not make a big fuss.
A former vice chairwoman of the Basic Law Committee, Elsie Leung, said she does not believe the government has any “blacklist” of journalists.
The News Executives' Association in a statement on Wednesday night said it deeply regrets the government's press arrangement, which it called "extremely chaotic and inconvenient".
It said media organisations were told to replace reporters, who had their applications rejected, at the last minute and they may miss out on reporting on such a major news event.
"We strongly demand the authorities to explain this incident, take immediate, flexible and effective measures to ensure the reporting work of invited media will be unaffected, so that relevant journalists can have a peace of mind," the statement said.
It also called on the government to handle the accreditation of affected organisations with flexibility, and ensure new applications will not be rejected again.
Last updated: 2022-06-29 HKT 19:55