Gov't responds to RTHK complaints

May 19, 2020

The Commerce & Economic Development Bureau today said it has asked Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) to take follow-up action on the Communications Authority’s decision regarding complaints against its TV programme.


The authority held that the complaints against an episode of the RTHK TV programme Headliner broadcast on February 14 was in breach of various provisions in the Generic Code of Practice on Television Programme.


The authority decided that RTHK should be warned to observe more closely the relevant provisions.


In response to media enquiries, the bureau said it took the view that the situation is very serious given that RTHK, as a public service broadcaster, has been repeatedly ruled to have breached various provisions in the code, including failure to ensure the accuracy of the programme's factual content; remarks and content regarded as hate speech, denigrating and insulting Police; and failure to include a sufficiently broad range of views in the personal view programme.


The bureau has asked RTHK to state clearly that it fully accepts the authority's decision and to offer an apology, examine whether there is any negligence and error committed by staff and personnel in the course of programme production and editorial processes, and, if so, to take disciplinary action.


It also asked RTHK to conduct a full review of the programme production and editorial system to ensure that all its programmes fulfil in full the public purposes and mission specified in the Charter of RTHK.


"The Secretary for Commerce & Economic Development has been stressing that RTHK must fully abide by the Charter of RTHK, duly meet its responsibility as a public service broadcaster and strictly comply with the relevant codes of practice issued by the authority.


“RTHK should address the concerns raised by different stakeholders on its programmes, management and governance. It should take positive and proactive follow-up action and give an account to the public," the bureau added.

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