HONG KONG—The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) has issued a press release criticizing South China Media for firing a reporter who had worked on a feature story about the 1989 June 4th Tiananmen Square Massacre.
According to Mak Yin-ting, chair of HKJA, the incident represented a step backward for Hong Kong media, who she believes to have stepped up “self-censorship” in order to avoid displeasing the regime in China.
HKJA called on South China Media to apologize for the firing.
Esquire magazine, published by South China Media, withdrew a feature story by the journalist, Daisy Chu. According to the press release by HKJA, they told her the articles were “seditious.” Ms. Chu disagreed with this and publicized her views on the Internet. She was fired shortly afterward, on June 29.
Mak said that this was the first time a reporter had been fired over disputes about June 4th coverage. “I saw some reporters resign because they disagreed with how the management dealt with June 4th news. However, those are the cases where reporters resigned from their positions themselves.” She also said that the managing editor was fired because of the incident as well.
In their press release, HKJA stated they were worried that the incident could set a dangerous precedent for Hong Kong journalists by discouraging them from working on “topics which are incompatible with the business interests of the owners of media companies.”
According to a July 6 report in the New Zealand Herald, Mak has said earlier this month that Hong Kong media scaled back their reporting of the Tiananmen Massacre during the 10-year anniversary this year. She also said some programs aired on TV appeared to follow the Chinese regime’s line.
Read the original Chinese article.