Media Control and Self-Censorship in Hong Kong РZhang Tao (张滔)

From Trend Magazine, translated by EastSouthWestNorth:

The Hong Kong political environment is becoming increasingly more like that of mainland China. As this has yet to directly affect the personal interests and daily lives of ordinary citizens, most people do not feel strongly about this. This process is known as “boiling the frog by warming the water”: if the water is warmed up gradually, the frog may not feel it; by the time that the frog feels the heat, it won’t be able to jump out of the boiling water. Among the various changes in the political environment, media control and self-censorship are the most worrisome.

The Chinese Communists rose to power through wielding the rifle and the pen. In Hong Kong, the former is not required yet while the latter depends on media control and self-censorship. When the media are subjected to control and self-censorship, freedom of press and freedom of speech in Hong Kong will be restricted, suppressed, exploited or even extinct. By that time, the personal interests and daily lives of the common citizens will be threatened, but it will be too late to resist. International observers are more sensitive to this.

Last month, Reporters Without Borders announced the new rankings of the degrees of freedom of press around the world. Hong Kong dropped down from last year’s 30th place to 58th place for a drop of 19 places. It is far lower than South Korea (21st place) and Taiwan (43rd place). The Hong Kong Journalists Associates made an announcement to ask for attention from the public. [Full Text]

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