Embattled public broadcaster RTHK has deleted a story about the annual Tiananmen Massacre anniversary long-distance run from a news show.

The government-owned broadcaster, which is meant to be editorially independent, removed a closing segment of LegCo Review, which was shown last Friday.

legco review
LegCo Review’s YouTube channel.

“Since the content is not relevant to the topic of said episode or any issues currently discussed in LegCo, and the production team did not seek approval from the editorial committee beforehand, RTHK has decided to delete the concerned clip from the programme archive and online version,” a press release on Monday read.

The press release stated that an investigation will be launched, as it suspected a violation of the editorial management mechanism.

In the interim, production of the show will be “outsourced.”

rthk television house broadcast headquarters logo (1)
RTHK. File photo: Tom Grundy/HKFP.

RTHK added that it was otherwise “permissible” to broadcast content relating to the June 4 anniversary of the bloody 1989 crackdown in Beijing, but approval must be sought.

In the run-up to the anniversary, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China organises a long-distance run to remember the hundreds, perhaps thousands, who died in the military-led crackdown.

RTHK under fire

Ten RTHK shows have been cancelled entirely since Director of Broadcasting Patrick Li – who has no media experience – took office on March 1. RTHK has been under fire from the pro-Beijing camp over the past year for alleged biased reporting.

RTHK‘s previous chief resigned before his term expired. Five senior officials have also quit the public broadcaster.

Last month, a new daily show was aired featuring Chief Executive Carrie Lam as host. Forty episodes of The Election Commission Subsector View were broadcast.

This month, deleted several years of its archives from online platforms, leaving viewers scrambling to create backups.

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Tom is the editor-in-chief and founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications and New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Al-Jazeera and others.