Sunday October 02, 2022

Faith in Hong Kong press freedom sinks to record low

September 24, 2022

HONG KONG: Hong Kong journalists’ faith in the city being a free press hub has sunk to a record low, with 97 percent saying the reporting environment has become much worse, according to an annual survey released on Friday.

Jointly conducted by the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) and the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute (HKPORI), the survey interviewed over 1,000 Hong Kong residents and 169 professional journalists.

The press freedom rating for 2021 among journalists plunged six points to 26.2, a record low. When the survey was first launched in 2013 the rating was 42. Ninety-seven percent of the surveyed journalists said press freedom had gotten "much worse" in the past year, and 93 percent cited "the government" as the source of suppression.

The press freedom rating among the public was 42, largely stable after the last major drop from 45 in 2018 to 41.9 in 2019. In the survey’s ranking system, a larger number denotes higher faith in press freedoms. The results were released a day after HKJA chairman Ronson Chan pleaded not guilty to a charge of "obstructing a police officer" while on his way to a reporting assignment.