Date
25 September 2017
HKJA chairperson Sham Yee-lan (inset) has called on the government to enact a freedom of information law. Photo: HKEJ
HKJA chairperson Sham Yee-lan (inset) has called on the government to enact a freedom of information law. Photo: HKEJ

HK press freedom index falls for second year

Press freedom in Hong Kong has deteriorated for the second year in a row, according to a poll of journalists and local citizens.

In the latest survey commissioned by the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), the Press Freedom Index stood at 47.7 for the general public, down 1.4 points from a year earlier, Apple Daily reported.

In the case of journalists, the reading was at 38.2, down 0.7 point, against a range of 0 to 100, pointing to the low level of satisfaction about press freedom in the city.

Both the scores marked their lowest levels since the survey was launched in 2013.

For the 2015 index, a total of 1,021 members of the public aged 18 and above, as well as more than 400 journalists, were interviewed by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong.

The interviews took place between January and February.

The survey showed that 54 percent of public respondents believed that press freedom had worsened, compared to 85 percent among journalist respondents.

The former were worried that journalists were facing more pressure from owners or management of their companies, while media professionals regarded self-censorship as the most serious problem.

Sham Yee-lan, chairperson of HKJA, said the significant drop in press freedom perception suggests that the problem has become so obvious that even the general public is aware of that.

She urged the government to safeguard press freedom, which is one of the rights guaranteed by the Basic Law, as well as introduce an Access to Information Act as soon as possible to counter the deterioration in press freedom.

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TL/AC/RC

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