November 01, 2004
Asia by Blog
Asia by Blog is a twice weekly feature, posted on Monday and Thursday, providing links to Asian blogs and their views on the news in this fascinating region. Please send me an email if you would like to be notified of new editions. Previous editions can be found here.
This edition contains the consequences of unpaid wages in China, an American nuclear scientist who defected to China, profits and politics don't mix, being gay and fast food in North Korea, Singapore's unfree press and more...
Hong Kong, China and Taiwan
Korea and Japan
SE and Other Asia
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While I applaud your aesthetic appreciation for what is gorey versus what is beautiful, the recent newsroom information piece about not being able to use police scan radios is about more than just protecting people's privacy and not putting gorey pictures on the news.
It's more about the squelching of press freedoms and the larger climate of inhibitions being put on the press in Hong Kong.
Research into the problem will surface more than just this petty squabbling over photos that depict death and gore. It's not even about that.
It's about the government's ability to reinterpret laws, and overextend laws that prohibit freedom of information.
As a blogger, you should be concerned, not relieved, that you won't be able to see death in teh paper.
Moral judgements about aesthetics win no cases for the future of Chinese or English language journalism.
In short, wake up.posted by: hk on 11.01.04 at 03:34 PM [permalink]
HK, couldn't disagree more. It's becoming common in Hong Kong for everyone to cry "press freedom" on anything and everything. That's a shame when there are serious and real press freedom issues in this city. The police radio incident is NOT such a case. Firstly the police necessarily should have secure communications, just like the military have. There are good operational reasons for this. Sceondly what about privacy concerns. In many places, including those with high press freedom, there are restrictions on what papers can report and print. These restrictions include the laws of libel and the laws on privacy. I agree these can be a deilcate balance: Singapore often abuses its libel laws to browbeat its press. Nevertheless there is a balance of rights to be struck, and it should not come down singly on the side of the press at the expense of all else.
I have not seen a case where the press having access to the police radios have benefited the people of Hong Kong or the cause of press freedom other than to display a gruesome car crash or to pry in a celebrity's accidents.
In short, this is not a case of press freedom being restricted.posted by: Simon on 11.01.04 at 04:36 PM [permalink]
Sure it is.
Police mention on the radio that more officers are n eeded to regulate teh problems with ballots on election day.
Journalists get there first, see the real situation.
Believe me, I've been wracking my brain having to study all these media law cases for my journalism degree, i am aware of the press freedom issues affecting hte city.
And this one stands in with them.
Police never use operational language over insecure radio. They have another set of equipment for that.posted by: hk on 11.02.04 at 02:19 AM [permalink]