Media freedom concerns arise as journalists quit TVB

February 26, 2015 15:07
(From left) Chow Kit-yee, Lam Tsz-Ho and Maggie Tam are reportedly leaving or have left TVB. 
Photos: HKEJ, internet,

Several reporters and editors at TVB News have left or will leave their jobs in the near future, Metro Daily reported Thursday.

Chief reporter Lam Tsz-Ho left the broadcaster Monday, as reported Wednesday by Ming Pao Daily and the Hong Kong Economic Journal.

As many as seven staff reporters and editors have reportedly tendered or will be tendering their resignations soon, including editorial supervisor Chow Kit-yee and Ho Wing-hong, who was formerly assistant assignment editor and is now in charge of data research.

The two veteran journalists were on duty when the TV station aired footage in October of several police officers allegedly beating up Civic Party member Ken Tsang Kin-chiu in a dark corner of the Occupy protest site in Admiralty.

Shortly afterward, TVB News staff issued a joint statement protesting against the management’s decision to temporarily remove and then tone down the voiceover description that accompanied the footage.

Other reporters and presenters reported to have quit or be quitting include Maggie Tam Mei-ki, Stella Lam Chiu-yee, and Julia Chiu Pui-yu.

Some of the journalists mentioned were seen working as usual Wednesday, including Tam, who covered the news stories relating to the budget speech.

Legislators Claudia Mo Man-ching and Gary Fan Kwok-wai, who are members of a concern group on the mass media, said the reported departures at TVB News are unusual and expressed deep regret over the leaving of many front-line journalists, suspecting it could be an act of revenge by the station's management.

Mo and Fan said the large number of departures inevitably prompts speculation that these employees have been asked to resign. Such actions could hamper the freedom of the press in Hong Kong, they said.

Hong Kong Journalists Association chairwoman Sham Yee-lan said one-fifth of the staff of a news department quitting their jobs is unusual and will deal a blow to staff morale.

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