Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Claims Hong Kong Press Freedom in Freefall

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released its latest report on Wednesday, entitled “The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China,” detailing the worsening treatment of journalists and tightening of control over information in China.

RSF Secretary-General Christophe Deloire wrote in the foreword, Chinese President Xi Jinping “put a brutal end” to an emerging trend of improvements in press freedom and “restored a media culture worthy of the Maoist era.”

“This ‘great leap backward’ of journalism in China is all the more terrifying given that the regime has immense financial and technological resources to achieve its goals,” Deloire added.

A dedicated section on Hong Kong, “Hong Kong: Press Freedom in Free Fall,” voiced concerns over the increasing sophistication with how the Chinese Communist Party carries out media censorship.

“The repression no longer spares Hong Kong, once a champion of press freedom, where a growing number of arrests are now conducted in the name of national security,” Deloire added in the foreword.

The report cited the arrest and jailing of journalists and media proprietors such as Apple Daily’s Jimmy Lai, the raiding of newsrooms, wholesale changes at public broadcaster RTHK, and lack of consequences for police violence against reporters.

Before the 2020 and 2021 crackdowns, Hong Kong media was considered free and separate from the control of the mainland.

However, RSF said that was no longer the case, and the sector was in “freefall.”

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