A few days ago, at least 10 reporters who had registered to cover official events on July 1 were suddenly rejected by the Government Information Service for "security reasons".
Today (29th), reporters who were allowed to conduct interviews were temporarily disqualified from interviews when they stayed in a designated hotel for closed-loop quarantine.
Although the authorities have allowed the media organizations to "substitute", the quarantine requirements remain the same, that is, the replacement candidates must undergo daily acid inspections from last Sunday (26th), so in reality, it is difficult for journalists who meet the requirements to replace them.
Following the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the Hong Kong News Executives Association issued a statement stating that the media interview arrangement this time was extremely chaotic. There are many difficulties in the arrangement of the media, and they may not even be able to interview this important news.
The Hong Kong News Administrators Association pointed out that the replacement of reporters involves epidemic prevention requirements, which is extremely inconvenient for media organizations. It may also be unable to participate in interviews because they cannot meet the number of nucleic acid testing requirements stipulated by the authorities, which affects and hinders news interviews and reports. The public's right to know is compromised.
The association asks the authorities to flexibly handle media organizations that have been notified to change reporters in the past two days, so as to ensure that the replacement staff will no longer be rejected, so that they can successfully complete the interview task.
The association asks the government to review the incident and arrange the process to avoid similar situations from happening again.
New thinking prompts doubts: should avoid perceived damage to press freedom
New Thinking also issued a statement, saying that it was shocked that some media were not allowed to cover the "July 1" return activities, and believed that the 25th anniversary of the return of the motherland is an important moment and event in Hong Kong. Publicly and widely reported, reflecting the freedom of the press.
New thinking said that the Information Service of the Government banned at least seven media from participating in the interview on the grounds of security, and did not explain the relevant reasons to the parties and the public, which is confusing.
New Thinking recommends that the Information Services Department immediately re-examine the relevant arrangements, with an open mind, to allow local media to have the opportunity to send reporters to report on relevant events and moments, while avoiding the perceived damage to Hong Kong's freedom of speech and press.
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