Hong Kong, JMSC

Reporting with an agenda

It has been a tough year for press freedom in Hong Kong with Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Al-Jazeera all reporting on the declining state of media freedoms in the city.

There were six attacks on journalists in the past year, advertisers have been withdrawing from media critical of the establishment and HouseNews – a popular liberal news website – was forced to close this summer after its owner was threatened. Late last year, a new television broadcaster, HKTV, was denied a free-to-air licence – mass protests ensued as demonstrators complained that the government’s decision was a political one. The Hong Kong Journalists Association recently stated that it has been “the darkest year in decades” for media freedom as media owners become fearful of harming business interests in the mainland.

Diversity without plurality
Though Hong Kong is home to a wide range of print media titles, there is a deficit in terms of political plurality. There is a surplus of publications on the ‘pro-establishment’ side – some of which are direct mouthpieces of the Chinese Communist Party. Newspapers such as Wen Wei Po, Sing Tao, Oriental Daily, The Sun and Ta Kung Pao – which are supportive of pro-Beijing viewpoints – are balanced only by the Apple Daily, a tabloid, on the opposing ‘pro-democracy’ end of spectrum. The South China Morning Post and Ming Pao occupy the middle-ground, albeit with an increasing slant towards Beijing. Continue reading

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Sadly I left the site early, thinking that the protesters could hold Lung Wo Road at least until the next morning. Only to realise back home that the police pushed everyone back to Tamar Park, and to witness re-occupation and another clearing over the internet. The video combines video material from multiple people.

Finally, AJ+ published the mini-documentary of my colleague Aleksander Solum, an HKU JMSC graduate from last year. I helped him a little bit with producing and shot some of the b-roll. It features some of the students who participated in the movement through art, and follows them with their projects.

I discovered this lovely sketches while strolling through the crowd at Admiralty, which is still the center of the civil uprising here in Hong Kong. They were photocopied multiple times and stuck against lanterns and walls. I do not know who drew them. They are only a tiny bit of all the creativity that the mass gatherings on the street had sparked.

Do you know the artist? I would love to meet him!

Hong Kong, JMSC

Lovely sketches from an unknown protest artist

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