立場新聞 Stand News

網絡媒體聯合聲明:我們有權採訪

2016/12/7 — 16:18

背景圖片來源:朝雲 攝

背景圖片來源:朝雲 攝

【Please scroll down for English version】

一如所有新聞機構,網絡媒體也是為公眾利益服務 — 為何商務及經濟發展局送58億納稅人金錢予迪士尼?為何政務司司長要求官員不回應議員的提問?行政長官是否嘗試改變立法會選舉結果?— 這些問題,我們也希望在新聞發佈會上向主要官員提問。

作為香港記者的一員,我們亦期望可以現場採訪本星期日的選舉委員會選舉,報導來年的行政長官選舉、其他選舉及回歸20周年活動。

廣告

網絡媒體已成為市民接受新聞資訊的重要平台,事實上政府方面亦緊貼網媒消息,然而卻以無法區分網媒性質為由,拒絕網絡媒體出席政府活動、記者會,以及採訪通知,此做法儼如篩選消息的發放渠道,違反新聞自由原則。

廣告

本星期二,獨立調查機構申訴專員公署,裁決政府就限制網絡媒體採訪的安排含糊及不公。公署認同香港記者協會的說法,媒體工業生態正在轉變及網絡已取代傳統印刷的傳播方式。公署亦認同公眾及媒體機構無法獲得指引如何才可獲准採訪政府場合。

妨礙新聞自由

參與聯署的網絡媒體機構,曾刊出逾千篇與政府相關的新聞報導,我們部份記者亦持有香港記者協會發出的記者證。對於立法會、警方及其他公營機構,這已足夠證明我們的角色。我們均是註冊機構,設有辦事處及聘有獲認可、全職的員工。這班員工只有一個目標,就是確保我城有充份的知情權。

政府不能再假裝互聯網並不存在,其他國家已明白網絡是選民日常接觸新聞的渠道,並承認網絡媒體記者身份。隨社交媒體普及和傳統媒體趨向單一,政府的政策不足是落後,而是損害了讀者的知情權,政府迴避問責。政府的不公政策,亦令以商業原則運作的網絡媒體,受到不公對待。

重新審視限制網絡媒體採訪政策

在四月,行政長官梁振英稱新聞自由是維護香港競爭力及自由社會的基石。一個月後,立法會亦進一步放寬網絡媒體記者的採訪安排。我們促政府當局推行下列措施,維持香港在全球上新聞自由的地位:

- 回應申訴專員公署建議,容許網絡媒體採訪周日的選舉委員會選舉,並檢視網絡媒體的政策

- 推出清晰認證制度使網絡媒體能參與記者會並作現場報道

- 檢視及放寬獲取政府採訪通知的指引,容許網絡媒體採訪

Hong Kong Free Press
香港獨立媒體網
立場新聞
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社會紀錄協會
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Joint statement: Digital media outlets have the right to report

How can the Commerce Secretary justify gifting Disneyland HK$5.8 billion of taxpayers' money? Why is the Chief Secretary telling officials not to answer lawmakers' questions? Is the Chief Executive attempting to reverse the results of the legislative election? 

These are some of the questions we would like to put to Hong Kong's top officials on behalf of the public. Our journalists would also like to witness Sunday's Chief Executive Election Committee election and give proper coverage to the upcoming Chief Executive elections, district by-elections and handover anniversary events.

However, as we do not print on paper, the Hong Kong government continues to bar digital media outlets from attending government events, press conferences and accessing press releases, stating that it is "not in a position to distinguish" between online outlets. Such a practice has resulted in an unreasonable restriction on information distribution channels and is in opposition to the principle of a free press.

On Tuesday, the Ombudsman - an independent investigatory body which holds the authorities to account - ruled that the government's long-standing policies were "vague" and "unfair." It agreed with the Hong Kong Journalists Association that the industry is changing, and digital outlets are outpacing traditional media sources. It also said that the industry and the public are given "no clue" about the government's criteria for approving access.

Obstruction to press freedom

Between us, we have published thousands of news items concerning the government and some of our reporters hold Hong Kong Journalists Association press passes. For the legislature, the police and other public bodies, this is proof enough of our status. We are all registered entities, with physical offices and qualified, paid, full-time staff dedicated to one simple task: ensuring the city has an informed electorate.

The government can no longer pretend the internet does not exist. Other countries have understood that voters nowadays access their news online and have thus recognised digital media reporters. With the rise of social media and a lack of diversity among traditional media, it is not only archaic, but damaging to civic discourse when readers cannot be properly informed and the authorities hinder the media from holding them to account. It is also impedes us commercially when legacy media titles are granted access whilst newer, online outlets are banned.

Review the ban

In April, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said that "freedom of the press is essential to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness and free society." A month later, the legislature further relaxed access for digital outlets. As Hong Kong continues to plunge in global press freedom indices, we urge the government to:

- Heed the Ombudsman's recommendations ahead of Sunday's election and review its digital media ban.

- Roll out a transparent accreditation process so that online media outlets may access press events for on-the-spot reporting.

- Review, relax and publish its eligibility criteria for obtaining government press releases to allow digital outlets equal access.

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