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Committee recommendations would prevent Radio Television Hong Kong from becoming a truly independent public broadcaster, says IFJ

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is a 9 May 2007 IFJ media release:

IFJ joins global campaign for an independent Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK)

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has given its full support to an international campaign aimed at ensuring popular broadcaster Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) remains free from government interference and is transformed into a truly independent public broadcaster.

RTHK has a reputation for maintaining its editorial independence, despite being funded by the government, and the IFJ, and its affiliate the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), have long campaigned for its recognition as, and transformation into, a public broadcaster.

However, recent recommendations to the government from the Committee on Review of Public Service Broadcasting prevent RTHK from being transformed into the future public broadcaster, recommending the implementation of a Hong Kong Public Broadcasting Corporation instead, with board members appointed by Hong Kong's Chief Executive.

"Public service broadcasters play a vital role in cultural diversity, pluralism and a democratic society, and RTHK has long been fulfilling this role in Hong Kong," said Christopher Warren, president of the IFJ, the organisation representing more than 500,000 journalists in over 115 countries.

"We are deeply concerned that these recommendations are simply a pretext for curtailing press freedom in Hong Kong, and only strengthen earlier fears that the committee was established to rein in the independence of RTHK," Warren said.

"We encourage all our affiliates to support this vital campaign to save RTHK and ensure another independent voice is not lost in Hong Kong," he said.

To sign the petition, visit:

To find out more, visit the Save RTHK website:

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries.

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