Today’s newspapers are leading with news of how Hong Kong’s wealthy elite are meeting with President Xi Jinping to discuss the city’s political development. Amongst the tycoons being wined and dined in Beijing are the city’s top media owners. However, The Standard, South China Morning Post and Economic Journal would be awarded ‘F’ grades in their Journalistic Ethics 101 classes having failed to declare their conflicts of interest.
The Standard included an editorial and two fluffy news pieces about Xi’s charm offensive. Sing Tao Corporation chair Charles Ho Tsu Kwok was treated to a boxed text to voice his pro-establishment views, yet at no point did any of the four features clarify that The Standard is owned by Sing Tao.
Likewise, the South China Morning Post’s cover story divulges that Xi’s guest, billionaire Robert Kuok, owns Kerry Group. However, they fail to mention that Kerry Group is SCMP Group’s largest shareholder.
Furthermore, Kuok’s daughter, Kuok Hui Kwong, is executive director of SCMP Group.
Oddly, in a separate analysis from Gary Cheung, the conflict is declared correctly…