January 25, 2006

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CEO Killed the Radio Star

The CEO in this case being Hong Kong Chief Executive Sir Donald Tsang, and the Radio Stars being RTHK, the only public broadcaster in Hong Kong. RTHK, thought up as a local equivalent to the BBC during the colonial era, broadcasts some of the territory's most popular programmes. But Sir Donald doesn't want it airing Top 10 music shows - he wants it to be a mouthpiece for government policies, as this Standard article mentions.

Now the BBC in Britain has certainly demonstrated, perhaps to its detriment, its willingness to expose scandals and issues in its own government, despite being publicly owned. RTHK has not done that, but does air local news in a fairly objective manner. It seems clear that having a lively, free press, and a broadcaster with editorial independence, is important in Britain and Hong Kong. Although Hong Kong is not a democracy, the liberty afforded to its people is what makes it the vibrant place it is today. Given RTHK's prominence in public broadcasting in the city, it would be embarrassing, not to mention unwatchable, for the government to turn them into an unholy aural combination of CCTV and C-SPAN.

But that's what the government seems bent on doing by appointing a 7-person 'independent' panel. It reminds me of my youth, playing around with short-wave radio, and tuning into English North Korean broadcasts - with a beautiful female voice speaking about American imperialists and running dogs. I exagerrate, of course - it will never come to that in Hong Kong, I should think - but is this not the wrong direction for media censorship in Hong Kong?

posted by HK Dave on 01.25.06 at 10:50 AM in the Hong Kong democracy/politics category.


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RTHK Review Update
Excerpt: The Standard this morning carries a partial update to yesterday's post on the RTHK Review and the RTHK Music Awards. (via HK Dave at SimonWorld). Of course I expect the head of RTHK to speak in support of the station's most popular shows. Could you im...
Weblog: Daai Tou Laam Diary
Tracked: January 25, 2006 08:00 PM


Great title, Dave. lol..

posted by: Gordon on 01.25.06 at 11:11 AM [permalink]

Missed this story this morning.

Looks like answers to this post from yesterday

posted by: Tom - Daai Tou Laam on 01.25.06 at 01:45 PM [permalink]

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