Officials target Hong Kong public radio – Robert Marquand

From the Christian Science Monitor (link):

A quiet battle over whether the only free and independent broadcaster on the land mass of China will remain so is intensifying. Over a 77-year span, public radio has dished out a blend of credible news and cultural programming in three languages, served as a link between expatriates and the street, and has gained increasing editorial autonomy and respect in China’s most sophisticated city.

Yet that is exactly what bothers influential pro-Beijing forces who wish media to more fully trumpet government policies. Many of them see Radio Television Hong Kong, or “RTHK” as it is popularly known, as an irritant at best and a damaging critic at worst – allowing a broad range of opinion, including mild satire and programs that may challenge official proposals, all at taxpayer expense.

The basic issue: Will RTHK be cut, restricted, or turned into a cheerleader for government policies? Or will it evolve into a subsidized but separate identity, similar to the BBC or Channel 4 in London?

See also “Cultural Revolution Expert Says Free Media Crucial to Hong Kong” by the Radio Free Asia


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