Hong Kong’s taxpayer-funded broadcaster RTHK should “cooperate seamlessly” with other government departments including the police, said its chief Eddie Cheung in an interview with the city’s security chief.

Cheung was asked by Secretary for Security Chris Tang on Tuesday about how he viewed RTHK’s cooperation with the police now, as Tang said that relations were “relatively tense” in 2020.

Eddie Cheung and Chris Tang
RTHK chief Eddie Cheung (left) and Secretary for Security Chris Tang (right)/ Photo: Tang Ping Keung, via Facebook.

“I think [we] have to look ahead. RTHK and other government departments, including the police, should cooperate seamlessly to serve citizens,” Cheung said in response. The charter of the government-funded broadcaster pledges impartial news coverage.

Cheung, who had no previous media experience, took over as director of broadcasting in October.

The RTHK chief said during the interview posted on Tang’s Facebook page that the government-backed broadcaster should air “impartial and objective programmes” which also “respect the viewpoints of different people.”

The broadcaster underwent a major revamp following the 2019 extradition bill protests and unrest. The government ordered a review of its administration following pressure from the pro-Beijing camp which alleged it was biased against the authorities.

RTHK Broadcasting House. Photo: Candice Chau/HKFP.

Several programmes, including the city’s oldest satirical show Headliner and English-language current affairs programme The Pulse, were taken off air.

RTHK deleted older content from its website, and refused to accept awards won by a documentary about the 2019 Yuen Long mob attacks.

A producer of the documentary, Bao Choy, was convicted of making false statements to obtain vehicle licence records for the programme, and fined HK$6,000. The High Court rejected her appeal on Monday, saying that while she accessed the data “out of good intentions,” it was not a “reason for defence.”

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.