Leung Ka-wing, a veteran journalist, has been named by the government as the head of public broadcaster RTHK.

Leung is to take over from Roy Tang Yun-kwong, who was the director of broadcasting for the past four years, it was announced on Thursday.

Leung has been working as a journalist in Hong Kong for more than 40 years, in television, internet broadcasting and publishing. Since leaving his position as news chief at ATV in July 2011, he has been teaching journalism at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

RTHK Broadcasting House
RTHK broadcasting house. Photo: Wikimedia commons via Chong Fat.

Leung resigned from ATV after their news show aired an erroneous report that former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin had died. Despite the scandal, both the RTHK Programme Staff Union and the Hong Kong Journalists Association welcomed Leung’s appointment. The Union said that Leung was a more ideal candidate than Tang, who was previously a bureaucrat in the government with little experience in media.

On their Facebook page, the Union said they will observe Leung “closely”, in the hope that he will lead RTHK democratically to build mutual trust and defend its editorial independence and press freedom.

The Journalists Association, meanwhile, urged Leung revisit the issue of RTHK’s proposed new headquarters. The new Broadcasting House, estimated to cost HK$6 billion, was thrown out in January 2014 by the LegCo’s Public Works Subcommittee.

The proposed RTHK new broadcasting house
The proposed RTHK new broadcasting house. Photo: LegCo.

Lawmaker Claudia Mo Man-ching said on her Facebook page that she welcomed the appointment, stating that Leung demonstrated an “excellent understanding of broadcast media” whilst they were working together at TVB.

The outgoing Roy Tang told media at a press conference on Thursday: “Our only mechanism is to listen to criticism from the public… from inside RTHK, I think every programme has room to improve.”

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.