China: Hong Kong journalists complain about editor's self-censorship
22 Jun 2012

A prominent Hong Kong newspaper has been criticised for self censorship by members of its staff. Journalists at the South China Morning Post have complained over coverage of the suspicious death of  dissident Li Wangyang on 6 June. A number of emails between senior subeditor Alex Price to the newspaper’s editor Wang Xiangwei described staff concerns, as Price said that the minimal coverage of the death looked “a lot like self censorship”. Wang responded: “I don’t have to explain to you anything. I made the decision and I stand by it. If you don’t like it, you know what to do.”

11 responses to “China: Hong Kong journalists complain about editor’s self-censorship”

  1. A Hong Kong journalist commented: In Mainland China, there is political censorship. In Hong Kong, it is called economical castration. If you express any view China does not like, they cut off your economic dependency and let you starve.

  2. Any newspaper in Hong Kong or Asia dare to write about and expose the business relationships and wealth of the family members of a leader of the China like the New York Times> I am proud of New York Times.

  3. China fears that giving H K people more freedom will lead to their seeking autonomy almost approaching self-government. To that extent, it will interfere by all the means it can, such as putting pressure on media owners, restricting reporters access into Mainland China, setting up rivaling institutions, giving favor to individuals or organizations which support the Beijing position in the name of patriotism.

  4. I just returned from a trip to Hong Kong. Albert Chang who ran the radio, Digital Broadcasting Corporation complained that China put pressure on the investors of his radio with the purpose of terminating his radio station. Another symptom of China’s direct interference into H K affairs.

  5. My friend ching cheong is right: Hong Kong under CY Leung is undergoing rapid mainlandization. Soon H K will be more and more like China. One country Two Systems is dead.

  6. Frankie Fook-lun Leung says:

    Once I gave a talk to about twenty journalists in Beijing at a private setting. Amongst the attendees was a People’s Daily reporter. The other young journalists teased him, saying that he was not really a journalist but only a propaganda machinist. It is refreshing to me, that Chinese journalists can tell the difference and look down about the People’s Daily person.

  7. Frankie Fook-lun Leung says:

    A group of ex-SCMP journalists including my good friend Willy Lam have jointly written a letter to the executive director of the company to protest about the incident of self-censorship by the editor-in-chief, let’s see how the owners and management react. So far they have kept their silence. As Robert Murdock will tell you that when a news organization (like his) become news, it is bad news for the company. Can you imagine that Rupert Murdoch who is such a giant in the industry was labeled not fit to lead a news organization.

  8. Frankie Fook-lun Leung says:

    Journalists in H K have a precarious career path. Their pay is low. Their employers are not that many. Nearly all of them have business interest in or with China. Hence any criticism of China is not welcome. Those who write on China or H K have no job prospects outside China. They are most vulnerable if they express any view contrary to their employers’ News media in H K do not practice separation of journalistic power from business interest. In any event, the owners run newspapers not so much to make money but to provide a platform for China.

  9. Frankie Fook-lun Leung says:

    The problem is that owners of newspapers in H K don’t think making money is that important but to serve as a mouthpiece for China is more important for their own financial interests tied with or in China

  10. Frankie Fook-lun Leung says:

    SCMP means Serving China’s Mouthpiece Post.

  11. Frankie Fook-lun Leung says:

    I would not call it prominent newspaper. SCMP stands for South China Mourning Post. It will not be too different from the China Daily or People’s Daily.