Hong Kong journalists experienced external pressure and censorship during the recent 79-day democracy protests.
Also, local media was intentionally suppressed and manipulated, Apple Daily reported Tuesday, citing the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
There were at least 39 recorded cases in which reporters were “harassed, beaten, detained or maliciously accused either by the Hong Kong police or by anti-Occupy people”, IFJ said in its annual report.
In some cases, some people in Beijing ordered news reports unfavorable to the protesters to be played up, it said.
IFJ representative Serenade Woo said a number of defamation and battery cases involved working journalists.
Threats were made to force reporters and editors to water down sensitive content.
Woo cited an article by a Hong Kong journalist under the byline Lam Hei.
Lam, who said Hong Kong media abandoned editorial independence last year, wrote that interference from Beijing was raw and undisguised, with Hong Kong-based officials ratcheting up pressure on reporters during the protests.
The fact that some local media outlets completely ignored the story about an alleged HK$50 million (US$6.45 million) payment to Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying from an Australian company showed the extent of such meddling, she said.
She said Hong Kong and and Beijing officials will continue to manipulate Hong Kong media this year.
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