More ominous signs for Hong Kong press freedom?

Teacup in a Storm, a 10-year-old HK political radio talk show will soon be yanked as tensions between HK’s media and their new government in Beijing appear to increase. This article recaps what’s going on and how things over at Hong Kong’s Commercial Radio may reflect deeper strains in the One Country/Two Systems paradigm.

The Discussion: 2 Comments

No kidding about deeper strains, Richard.

Call me a cynic, but some of this has to do purely with politics. Is Albert Cheng driving his own media spin machine?

I think so.

August 11, 2004 @ 1:08 am | Comment

Remember Taipan threatened to go the ICAC and file a complaint against Commercial Radio and Commercial Radio threatened to file a lawsuit for defamation against Taipan. Taipan followed through and Commercial Radio was bluffing. Commercial Radio also sacked a few other top levels to place a “loyal soldier” in charge, apparently leaving the rank-and-file demoralised.

There is also a lot of politically-backed ad money in play here. Taipan was the money man for Commercial Radio, so they have to find something to replace all of that lost ad revenue.

Watching the editorial split in the local papers I’ve become even more suspicious. The one paper that has surprised me is Oriental Daily, that has broken against Taipan. The only major paper to support Taipan is Apple Daily.

Apple Daily lost a lot of ad revenue after political pressure was placed on advertisers to boycott Jimmy Lai’s publications due to anti-central government pro-democracy stances. The beneficiary of all this political ad money was Oriental Daily.

And I’m noticing that the DAB is awash in campaign financing money. I doubt that came from contributions from the rank and file of the Federation of Trade Unions, when the Democratic Party can’t afford the same financing from contributions from the Confederation of Trade Unions.

Follow the money. Especially money leading back to Macau casinos or businesses that do a substantial amount of business on the mainland.

August 11, 2004 @ 2:24 am | Comment

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