Asia Pacific Media Educator


An anti-corruption agency raids seven newsrooms. The government considers national security legislation with far-reaching repercussions for journalists. Privacy laws targeting paparazzi and others in the media are proposed. A broadcaster is admonished for comments made on air to public officials. An editor is jailed for contempt of court. These events and others in Hong Kong over the past several years demonstrate the volatility of media law developments in the Special Administrative Region, now part of the People’s Republic of China. Since the 1997 return of the former British colony to Chinese sovereignty, Hong Kong has been struggling to define and shape the legal terrain on which journalists operate. The imposition of the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-Constitution; a dramatic rise in libel suits; new laws and proposed legislation attempting to rein in an active media, and the fact that Hong Kong no longer has to automatically apply British common law to issues that arise have resulted in a Byzantine environment for the evolution of media law.