Press Freedom Under Attack in Hong Kong


Protest for press freedom in Hong Kong. March 2014.

Kevin Lau, former editor of the local Chinese-language daily Ming Pao in Hong Kongwas brutally attacked with a knife and suffered serious wounds on February 26, 2014.

This was the latest of hardships that Mr. Lau had to endure in Hong Kong, a city increasingly hostile towards the press.  In January he had been ousted from his position as Editor in Chief at the newspaper Ming Pao, sparking enough outrage that 90% of the editorial staff at Ming Pao signed a petition demanding that the company state its reasons for dismissing Kevin Lau. Many speculated that it was his critical reporting of the Hong Kong government that was the reason for his removal as Editor in Chief.

Under Lau’s leadership, Ming Pao was critical of numerous government policies and pushed for democratic reforms in Hong Kong. The newspaper also exposed several political scandals, embarrassing political leaders in the city.

Mr. Lau was replaced at Ming Pao by a Malaysian living in Singapore. Sham Yee-lan, chairperson at the Hong Kong Journalists Association, summed up many journalists’ thoughts when he noted that “In this critical moment of political change in Hong Kong, it’s not sensible to replace the chief editor with a person who might not understand the local context.”

Perhaps it isn’t sensible from a journalist’s perspective, but from a corporate perspective of Ming Pao executives who are likely under pressure from the government to cut down their investigative reporting on the government and its politicians, it is quite sensible. Bring in someone who doesn’t know the local political scene and he won’t be spending much time reporting on it.

Government pressure leading to firings and violent attacks against journalists are nothing new. But Hong Kong is particularly interesting because of how the commercial sector has been complicit in restricting freedom of the press….Read the rest >>>

Press Freedom Now

One Comment on “Press Freedom Under Attack in Hong Kong”

  1. […] Pundit from another Planet Kevin Lau, former editor of the local Chinese-language daily Ming Pao in Hong Kong, was brutally […]

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