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Amid Hong Kong protests, journalists battle misperceptions of press freedom

Excerpt from a 30 September 2014 CPJ Blog post by Shirley Yam, vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association.

Press Freedom is like oxygen to many of us in a free society. That has been my belief when I started the campaign for that course, but I am beginning to believe I could not have been more wrong.

My first wake-up call came a day after Hong Kong's first press freedom rally in February. The Hong Kong Journalists Association had organized it to protest the increasingly tight media controls in the world's freest economy.

We had been seeing independent voices coming under pressure. Kevin Lau, the respected chief editor of Ming Pao - one of the few remaining independent newspapers - was sidelined to its online medium shortly before he was attacked by knife-wielding men in February. A key government critic, Lee Wai-ling, was fired by Commercial Radio without any explanation whatsoever. Many long-time columnists started coming under heavy pressure from editors to lower the criticism in their copy.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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