Luk Hon-tak, former director-general of the pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), started his job Monday as managing editor of TVB News.
His appointment, a decision by TVB News director Keith Yuen Chi-wai, came after several reporters and editors of the news division of the commercial television station have left or are planning to leave amid concerns about media freedom, am730 reported.
Some TVB News staff have voiced concern over his appointment, noting that Luk will be responsible for approving local political stories, according to the newspaper.
A graduate of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Luk had worked at pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po, TVBS and Tian Tian Daily News, which was closed in 2000. During his time at the DAB from 2011 and 2014, he was in charge of the party’s district chiefs.
DAB chairman Tam Yiu-chung said Luk, who retired from the party last year, will be succeeded by Caspar Tsui Ying-wai, who quit last week as chief aide to the home affairs minister.
Yuen stressed that there are no political considerations in Luk’s appointment, noting that the former DAB official is a veteran newspaper manager and journalist.
Still, some TVB News staff are questioning the appointment, saying that Luk is not only an outsider but also a former official of a political party identified with the establishment.
Most of the senior management positions at TVB News were filled by people who were promoted internally, they said.
Also, the staff noted that Luk will only be in charge of political news, unlike his predecessors who also had to take care of other aspects of the news division’s operation, including the morning news program, foreign reports and the news agenda.
TVB News figured in a controversy in October last year after it broadcast footage of police officers beating up Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu at the height of the Occupy protests in Admiralty.
Later, staff issued a joint statement protesting management’s decision to temporarily remove and then tone down the voiceover description that accompanied the footage.
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