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Information Services Department: Bridging the Government and the Media

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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Hong Kong Shue Yan University invited the Director of Information Services Department, Mrs. Betty Fung, to host a talk on the relationship between the Department and the media on 27 November.

Mrs. Fung has worked in many government bodies before she joined the Information Services Department four months ago. Despite her short joining as the Director of the Department, she has clearly introduced to students the organization of the Department, as well as its main duties as a governmental press centre on various aspects, such as the promotion of Brand HK both locally and worldwide, and the assistance given to local and foreign journalists for their coverage on governmental issues. Mrs. Fung explained, "The Department is acting as a bridge between the Government and the media, and further, the general public." Besides, along with the rapid technological advancement, she was glad to see that a closer relationship has been built up between the Government and the media. Moreover, the promotional films we see on TV nowadays are of better quality and allow more creativity, Mrs. Fung commented.

According to Mrs. Fung, another major criteria of their work includes answering enquiries raised by media. A student, however, criticized the Department for ignoring their enquiries or requests or clarifications on different governmental issues, and questioned the setting of priorities for answering questions raised by full-time journalists and student journalists. Mrs. Fung reckoned such a problem exists, and she has had the matter discussed with her colleagues. She agreed that it is entirely possible to give students the information the Department presents to the media. Furthermore, regarding the problem of giving full-time journalists a higher priority when answering questions, Mrs. Fung said, "There are numerous questions to be answered a day. Therefore, we would have to lower the priority for student journalists." Neverthesless, she promised to reflect this matter to the Department and see how things can improve.

Apart from assisting the work of the media, there are also Information Officers assigned to each department or bureau head to assist them with public relation matters. Besides, the Department has also been responsible for arranging families for the Premier of China to visit. A student raised doubts about whether or not the family been chosen was by draw or was chosen on purpose. Mrs. Fung explained, "It is impossible to arrange draws for such a large population. Therefore, we would first determine which district and what type of family the Premier wants to visit. Then, we would let the government official in that district to decide."

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