A report on the declining state of press freedom in Hong Kong was published by the PEN American Centre yesterday. PEN are the latest international group to highlight the erosion of free speech and the rise of self-censorship in the city. Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists have also raised the alarm in the past year, along with the local Independent Commentators Association and Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), who described 2014 as the “darkest for press freedom for several decades“.
The PEN report detailed trends whereby the range of news and views available to Hong Kongers had narrowed. It also noted that media organisations were increasingly self-censoring stories that might conflict with their owners’ business interests in the mainland.
A five-page list of attacks on journalists during the Occupy protests and a table detailing instances of censorship were included. Both were compiled by the Hong Kong Journalists Association.