BBC: Hong Kong Media Community Worries about Legislation on Article 23 (Photo)
Tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong participated in the demonstration against the anti-subversion law on Sunday.
BBC reported on December 20 that a survey had found that the Hong Kong media community is worried about the anti-subversion legislation on Article 23. Over 80% of Hong Kong's reporters think that legislation on Article 23 will negatively affect freedom of the press, for example while conducting interviews and reporting news.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association sent out over 1200 questionnaires to journalists of Hong Kong's 18 media outlets including TV, radio, and newspapers. Half of the questionnaires were returned with answers. The Department of Journalism in the Hong Kong Chinese University analyzed the results.
In addition to expressing their worry, about 10% of the journalists said that they would resign if the legislation were passed. About one third will consider leaving, and two thirds believe that the legislation on Article 23 will add pressure to their work.
The survey showed that 70% of the journalists thought the government should consult the residents with a White Bill and make sure everyone understands the legislation before introducing the Blue Bill.
Director of the Journalists Association Mr. Chen said that the worry of the media community is real. He hopes that the government will pay attention to the journalists' concerns. He pointed out that the survey results indicated that the proposed legislation is shaking the confidence of media community towards the government. He said that it was the biggest challenge to freedom of the press and freedom of speech in Hong Kong since the handover.
This week Hong Kong's international relief organization also expressed its concern about Article 23.
This week the Hong Kong Legislative Council collected views of organizations on Article 23. Director of the international relief organization Oxfam Hong Kong Mr. Chen You said that the government needs to clarify if humanitarian aid to what the government considered to be the enemy would violate the treason law.
Similarly, when relief organizations work in the Mainland to help eliminate poverty and have information about poverty in the Mainland, will this violate the law for disclosing national secrets?
Catholic Bishop Joseph Zen said that this was not the right time for either white bill or blue bill, as the Legislative Council was not elected by the people and the proposal that the government submitted would definitely be approved without any problems.
Hong Kong newspapers reported that Bishop Zen said, "Only after the Legislative Council is elected by the people in 2007, will the people of Hong Kong feel confident about the modified bill after consultation."