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Hong Kong: Say No to CCTVB

On 4th of June, there were more than 150,000 Hong Kong citizens gathered in and around the Victoria Park to commemorate the 20 anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. The number of attendees has broken the record since 1990, telling the world that Hong Kong people have not given up the demand for vindication of June 4th. However, more than half of the local newspapers and the most viewed TV station decided to downplay the news.

ESWN collected the front page of local newspapers on June 5. Among the 13 Chinese newspapers, only 4 had placed the candle night vigil on the frontpage. Headline News and Sing Pao put the passing away of a local actor Sek Kin on the front page; Hong Kong Commerical Press and Hong Kong Economic Journal put up the interview of the future-to-be CEO of Hong Kong stock exchange; Sing Tao, Hong Kong Daily News, Oriental Daily and the Sun highlight stories on youth's deviant behavior – drug abuse and sex work. Wen Wei Po stressed Chinese government's favorable polices to Hong Kong. Below are the images of the 4 cover stories (via ESWN):

june 4 2009

The Backbone of China, The Vanguard of History 200,000 Commemorate 6.4 in Sorrow

she kin

Sek Kin passes away from illness

stock exchange

Li Xiaojia: Need to be familiarized with Hong Kong market Affirms the contribution of Chinese capital agents

youth drug abuse

Sniffed ketamine early inside park Three students unconscious

Apart from printed papers, T.V company's self-censorship have more pervasive effect in Hong Kong as television broadcasting sector is highlight monopolized because of the government's license policy. There are currently only 2 over-the-air commercial television station in Hong Kong, TVB and ATV, and the Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB) alone, has taken up 80% of viewership. In recent year, there are more and more criticisms saying that the TVB's news department has been harmonized (adopting self-censorship).

On June 4, the TVB Jade (Chinese) channel placed the candle night vigil in the third news item and outraged many people. A citizen took action to protest against the TV news department by holding a slogan in front of the camera when the reporter was having live report. Here is the youtube record:

The paper banner said:

無線新聞 事事旦旦

TVB news, a sloppy production

Erynnyes from those were the days commented on TVB news June 4th report:

昨天最多人討論的新聞,恐怕不是六四燭光集會有多少人参加,不是梁洛施為李澤楷產子相爆光,就是CCTVB在六四燭光集會新聞直播中,被在場市民舉起抗議牌,批評「無綫新聞、事事旦旦」!A對童工說,據聞CCTVB領導人袁花志偉,對事件怒不可遏云云,但正如A說,天作孽,猶可恕,自作孽,不可活,袁花志偉當日如何處理趙紫陽回憶錄新聞、以至CCTVB在六四當日,如何把六四新聞,放在當日6:30新聞第三段,市民、觀眾,可是看在眼裡,CCTVB所作所為,有沒有人為他們辯護?

Yesterday the most discussed topic was probably not how many people had attended the June 4 candle night vigil, not Richard Lee's private life, but the protest banner of “TVB news, a sloppy production” shown during the CCTVB's live broadcast. My friend A told me that the CCTVB news department leader Yuen Chi Wai was very angry about the incident. But as my friend A said, we could not complain about the heavenly disaster but this is a man-made choice. It is so obvious even to ordinary people that Yuen Chi Wai had downplayed the release of Zhao Ziyang memoirs. On June 4, CCTVB even placed the news to the third news session. How can anyone defend for what it had done?

要平反六四,首要守住香港的新聞自由,若連新聞自由也守不住,還談甚麼爭取平反六四、爭取香港民主?若香港傳媒也在自我審查的時候,還期望誰為港人發聲?CCTVB、亞視淪為中央台,只是一個開始,香港人是時候,為香港傳媒盡點力,悍衛香港媒體,不會被阿爺和諧掉!

If we want to vindicate June 4, we need to defend press freedom. If we failed, there is no way to strike for June 4 vindication and democracy. If local press practice self-censorship, how can we expect Hong Kong people to voice out? Now that CCTVB and ATV has fallen into CCTV, this is only a start. Hong Kong people have to defend local media to protect them from central government's harmonizing pressure.

He pointed out that the arrangement was not a careless mistake but a well thought arrangement that completely against professional journalistic judgment:

六四當日CCTVB六點半新頭條是「天水圍三男生疑濫藥於公園暈倒」,這個,童工還可以認為說得過去,二條可是「立法會通過盡快興建西港島線」!那只是立法會內交通事務委員會之下的鐵路事宜小組委員會會議決定!首先,當日CCTVB報道這段新聞,稱這個委員會做「鐵路事宜委員會」,已有誤導之嫌,立法會內眾多事務委員會,何來一個「鐵路事宜委員會」?那只是交通事務委員會內,一個小組委員會吧了!重要性有多大?童工可以說,CCTVB平日,連正式事務委員會會議也不會報道,為何六四當日,會把一個事務委員會轄下小組委員會決議,放在六四15萬人燭光集會之前?

On June 4, the headline of CCTVB in 6:30pm is “three boy fainted in a Tinshiuwai park due to drug abuse”. Well, this can still be considered a piece of news. However, the second item is “Legco has passed the motion to construct Hong Kong island western subway line”. That motion was only passed by a discussion group on railway affair of the transportation committee of the Legislative Council. It isn't any railway affair committee in the Legco, the report is misleading in the first place. The so-called committee is just a discussion group within the transportation affair committee. What is the significance of such news? Usually CCTVB won't even report on standard committee's meeting, why then decided to put the discussion group's decision before the June 4 candle night vigil where 150,000 people had attended?

Netizens started making fun of TVB by calling it CCTVB, a sister company of its China counterpart CCTV. In the facebook, a group was formed to protest against CCTVB and netizens have designed new logos for it:

cctvb1

cctvb2

cctvb3

  • mao

    Hongkong is useless. It has no real hightech knowedge base to help the motherland stronger. Well, at least Taiwan has strength in semiconductor knowledge which China can use and gain

    All it has is garbage middleman financial stuffs and this type of BS, white man’s game of democratic movement.

    • http://oiwan.wordpress.com/ Oiwan Lam

      yeah, let’s celebrate corruption instead.

  • oiwan

    the youtube has been taken down upon the complaint made by TVB.

  • H

    本地免費電視節目服務牌照中期檢討公聽會
    http://www.hkba.hk/cn/ph/

    廣播事務管理局(廣管局)將就亞洲電視有限公司及電視廣播有限公司的牌照,進行中期檢討。廣管局會舉行兩場公聽會,收集巿民對該兩家電視台服務的意見,詳情如下:

    九龍及新界區公聽會

    日期: 2009年6月19 日(星期五)
    時間: 晚上 7 至9時
    地點: 九龍尖沙咀梳士巴利道10號香港太空館演講廳

    港島區公聽會

    日期: 2009年7月14 日(星期二)
    時間: 晚上 7 至9時
    地點: 香港跑馬地黃泥涌道133號禮頓山社區會堂

  • pug_ster

    While it is fine to be critical of the newspapers and tvb, I think they are trying to avoid sensationalism and try to be neutral in their views. I saw TVB here in the US via directtv and I saw the candlelight vigil and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

  • Dr T.

    HongKong Sucks. HongKong is just a one trick pony.

    Even Singapore is better, it has better all around hightech industries.

  • Bchung

    Give me a break and stop bitching….. Seriously is the news blocked or totally ignored by TVB? Hell no, I can totally feel the vigil through the TVB news that night, and not to mention I believe its the longest running piece of news that night as well.

    As a matter of fact, you bunch of hopeless idiots should seriously thank TVB for putting vigil in the 3rd time slot, as I and many others working class in Hong Kong dont always make it home at 6:30 sharp.

    This post is perhaps the worst load of BS bitching I have ever read in years. You know what, you should actually complain that the TVB news didn’t dedicate the whole time slot 6:30 – 7:00 (including the weather report) just to June 4th Vigil, if it reports anything else during that time period, obviously they are self censoring, right?

    • http://oiwan.wordpress.com/ Oiwan Lam

      great, enjoy your CCTVB then. no one stop you from watching :)

  • http://danwei.ning.com/profile/Spelunker Spelunker

    It’s worth noting that CCTVB’s broadcast priority on June 4 was the same as the front pages of Sing Tao 星岛日报 and Oriental Daily 东方日报 newspapers on June 5.

    In Guangzhou, residents complain that CCTVB is censored by local officials. Both Jade (Cantonese) and Pearl (English) Hong Kong broadcasts of news frequently cut to Hong Kong government public service announcements as soon as CCTVB starts reporting on something that China doesn’t want Guangzhou viewers to see.

    Likewise when Phoenix TV network (凤凰台) has content that is deemed politically incorrect on its show 天天读报 (Summary of Press), Guangzhou viewers are instead treated to a still photo of Huangshan’s 迎客松 (Welcoming Guests Pine).

  • http://humanityinmyeyes.blogspot.com/ Ernest

    No doubt self censorship is an increasing concern in Hong Kong. According to the Hong Kong Journalists Association, 58% of the journalists surveyed observed that press freedom had declined since the handover.

    This is very worrying. Real progress demands genuine feedback. It is in everyone’s best interests to have a free press.

  • John

    Reporter: “there was a massive military crackdown in Beijing, we have pictures, video, satellite, eyewitness reports”

    Chinese: “Yeah but the reporter cheated on his wife, he is evil! You are stupid!”

    Continue living in a poverty stricken corrupt and backwards country, I’m staying in HK with rule of law thanks.

  • Tsong

    Hong Kong Forever!!!
    CPC need go to hell!!!

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