BCM 332 Case Study:Rights Of the Press Liberty in China (Part 1)

When we comment on social conditions, we care our rights of the speech are free or not. Freedom of speech is a kind of basic human rights. It refers to the statutory political rights of a country’s citizens who can express their opinions and ideas according to their wishes. These expressions need not be subject to the government’s “ex-ante” review and restriction, nor need to worry about retaliation from the government.

According to the Chapter 3 of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Basic Rights and Obligations of Residents) Article 27, Our freedom of speech, press and publication, freedom of association, rallies, processions, demonstrations are guaranteed as the HongKong citizen. Similarly, Hong Kong journalists’ freedom of speech is also protected by the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.  But have you ever wondered if such legal protection is really effective and good enough when we are out of the Hong Kong area? How about in China?

Hong Kong journalist was beaten covering the 10-year anniversary of Sichuan earthquake:

On May 12th – the tenth anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake, a Cable TV Broadcasting company’s journalist name Chen Ho Fai (陳浩輝) was being attacked by two local plainclothes officeholders when he was interviewed at the Juyuan Middle School in Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province. His body was hurt by those attacks.

Via RTV provided the video record of “the reason why HongKong’s journalist got attack” from the mother Mrs. Lu Bik Yu (魯碧玉) of the victims of the earthquake. The mother of the victims of the earthquake stated that during the entire process, two Hong Kong journalists were discovered and taken away by plainclothes personnel. She also claimed that parents of other witnessing processes stated that they saw reporters being beaten while another journalist safely left the scene under the escort of parents.

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The reason of the same day morning, there were about 200 parents arrived at the Juyuan Secondary School (聚源中學) for memorial their children as it was a place where the number of Wenchuan, Sichuan earthquake victims was severe in 2008. They erected a memorial wall and affixed students’ photos. Set up the banner to demanded stern punishment the people who were in charge of the “bean curd residue” school building project. At the scene, a large number of local plainclothes officers were present to monitor people’s every move.

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Mrs. Lu Bik Yu (魯碧玉) was angry at the authorities’ actions of treat journalists. She believes this is the guilty conscience of the authorities and does not allow the outside world to know the performance of the “bean curd residue” school building project.

Ten years ago, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region alone had already sent 10 billion Hong Kong dollars worth of public funds to Sichuan for reconstruction purposes. The follow-up report by Hong Kong journalist was actually beaten. Through Mrs. Lu Bik Yu (魯碧玉) statement in the video recording, we can realize that China is very sensitive to media involvement. This cannot help but doubt of are journalists’ rights of interview and speech and personal safety guaranteed in China?

Here I would explore more of how China intervene the rights of the journalists by my case study since our press and the global media affect our society.

Reference

弗林. (13 May 2018 ). 香港記者採訪汶川大地震10周年紀念被打.  retrieved from http://trad.cn.rfi.fr/%E4%B8%AD%E5%9C%8B/20180512-%E9%A6%99%E6%B8%AF%E8%A8%98%E8%80%85%E6%8E%A1%E8%A8%AA%E6%B1%B6%E5%B7%9D10%E5%91%A8%E5%B9%B4%E7%B4%80%E5%BF%B5%E8%A2%AB%E6%89%93%E6%89%93%E4%BA%BA%E8%80%85%E5%BE%8C%E8%A2%AB%E8%A6%81%E6%B1%82%E9%81%93%E6%AD%89

Anonymous. (19 May 2018). 香港記者接連被打 媒體環境更顯黑暗. retrieved from https://www.renminbao.com/rmb/articles/2018/5/19/67363b.html

Anonymous. (13 May 2018). 川震十周年 國殤竟變感恩日 中共為掩真相 毆打記者拘牧師. retrieved from https://hk.news.appledaily.com/local/daily/article/20180513/20389396

CPJ. (15 May 2018). Hong Kong Journalist was beaten covering the 10-year anniversary of the Sichuan earthquake retrieved from https://cpj.org/2018/05/hong-kong-journalist-beaten-covering-10-year-anniv.php

Anonymous. (n.d).《基本法》全文及相關文件retrieved from http://www.basiclaw.gov.hk/tc/basiclawtext/index.html

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4 thoughts on “BCM 332 Case Study:Rights Of the Press Liberty in China (Part 1)”

  1. This really shows us the differences in journalism from Hong Kong and China. In Hong Kong, we are protected by the Basic Law. However, in China, we are not. There are laws differences between Hong Kong and China which is the part of the reasons that these conflict keeps happening. In Hong Kong, we have our freedom in more aspect than China does. As a matter of fact, I think when the journalist from a place visits another place for the interview should comply with the local law. Although there is no guaranty that the similar events would happen again next time. In fact, it is hard to guaranty what would happen when journalist interviewing in China nowadays due to their limitations are hard to measure by us.

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  2. As a journalist, reporting the news is their job and also their responsibility. And we as the reader also have the right to about the truth. However, in China, it becomes something difficult to fulfil. And in fact, it is quite hard to compare the situation in Hong Kong and China. It is something basic for we to enjoy the right but in China, they are used to cover all the information that may harm the government. This tragedy was happened due to such difference between Hong Kong and China. Since media can be a useful tool for the government to maintain their support from the people, it is hard to think that China government will bear the risk to let any sensitive information to be leaked.

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  3. The media especially the journalist have the role and right to find the truth of the issues in order to report to the public in a clear way. However, just like what you have mentioned in your case study, there is some difference between the journalism of Hong Kong and Mainland China, no matter the limit of how the journalists collecting the sources or details of the issues or even the right to interviewing with those people who are related to the issues. Moreover, the human right and safety of the journalists also should be respected, and I do feel sad to hear about those news about the rights of the journalists have not be respected well like the case that about the Sichuan earthquake you’ve mentioned.

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  4. This is very common in the totalitarian state which they want to control the media press to keep their power to rule the country. Usually the citizen in these kind of country do not had the idea about freedom of speech and interviews. Moreover the media inside those totalitarian will had the censorship themselves before the messages are sent.
    In some kind of situation that Hong Kong is more silmilar to China that the media press stated to censorship themselves. I think it is a tragedy for both China and Hong Kong because people have lesser chance to know the truths.

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