RTHK refuses journalism award for Yuen Long mob attack documentary

Published (HKT): 2021.04.08 14:29

In the latest move to overhaul the revered public broadcaster, RTHK said they would turn down the Human Rights Press award won by a documentary about the Yuen Long thug attack in 2019 and would withdraw their entries from all local and international competitions.

It was understood that several RTHK programs will be declared winners in the annual competition co-organized by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, the Hong Kong Journalists Association and Amnesty International Hong Kong. They include “In the Name of Justice” series of the current affairs talk show This Week and documentary “Hong Kong Connection: 7.21 Who Owns the Truth” produced by prizewinning journalist Bao Choy.

But RTHK’s spokesperson said they would not accept the major journalism awards.

A review of the broadcaster’s operations is currently well underway, after an earlier report had identified room for improvement in a wide range of areas including corporate governance, he said. He noted that the review covers the framework for the entry submissions for all awards, local and international alike, and hence the decision to suspend nomination and withdraw entries during the transitional period.

The spokesperson added that the intellectual property rights of RTHK programs belong to the government-funded institution.

RTHK Programme Staff Union urges the management not to deprive staff of their rights to receive awards, which represent recognition from the public.

Earlier last month, the Human Rights Press Awards confirmed that Patrick Li, the new director of broadcasting and the editor-in-chief who took office on March 1, had requested the withdrawal of all its submissions. But the organizers declined as the adjudication process has already begun.

Meanwhile, Choy was arrested and prosecuted for her investigation into the thug attack on July 21, 2019, which many believed to be a blatant collusion between the police and triads. She was accused of making false statements while seeking to obtain vehicle license plate information on a government database. The court will hand down her verdict on April 22.

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