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Law Yee Ping: Surviving Herself in the Mainland Newspaper Industry

出自香港新聞網 - 樹仁新傳系學生實習習作

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Law Yee Ping: Surviving Herself in the Mainland Newspaper Industry

HK Shue Yan University was glad to have invited Law Yee Ping, the Chief Editor of the Finet, to host the weekly seminar regarding news reporting in the Mainland China.

Applization lowers HK people’s intelligence, says Law

During the seminar, she recalled her years at the Apple Daily. Under the ruling of Jimmy Lai Chi Ying, the impacts “applization” had brought to the newspaper industry were nothing but threatening. Law remarked that Lai was just demonstrating what has long been regarded as unethical by the media industry, but which had proven workable. “Apply Daily is just lowering the intelligence of HK people,” Law criticized. The newspaper’s demand for reporters to take stances when writing stories was another main reason for Law to leave the company.

Execution of news drafts

News stories which failed to obtain approval for publication are what Law referred to as being “executed”. However, Law felt that such stories were mostly executed for commercial purposes instead of political reasons. She recalled that someone once asked whether she felt that executions of news drafts were more likely to be related to political investigation after 1997. “Actually, I don’t feel that there had been any changes concerning this, but rather, there were more cases of execution (of news drafts) due to commercial reasons. For one, newspapers have been marketized and the importance of meeting the public’s interests has been magnified. For two, no one wants to offend advertisers. Newspapers used to earn profits through selling papers, but now, they earn from advertising.” Law explained.

Political Censorship in the Mainland

Law had worked as a news reporter for about 20 years but is still very passionate about her work in news reporting. She claimed that the newspaper industry has been distorted, “Experienced media workers lack room and space to further develop, and therefore, they need to find another place for advancement.” Law at last found herself a potential place for further development, which was Shanghai. Having worked for 21st Century Business Herald and other prominent Mainland newspapers, Law had generated four main types of censorship in the Mainland:

1) Dialogues of political leaders cannot be quoted and published unless they have been officially released by the Xinhua News Agency;

2) Any changes or new appointments of major officials of the Chinese Central Government cannot be published in newspapers unless the Xinhua News Agency has announced the news;

3) There will be notices from the PR department of the Chinese Central Government stating which person or issue is not allowed to be reported on;

4) Mainland news reporters do not often have the right to report, especially those working for news websites because news can become public quickly and it is easy to report incorrect information.

Though the political censorship in the Mainland is far more severe than that in HK, Law was not worried that development there would be limited, “There are much more valued news stories being executed in HK basing on commercial reasons when compared to the Mainland.” Law added. She further pointed out that the Mainland’s news reporters are more persistent and willing to put in more efforts to unearth valued news, which worth HK reporters to model themselves on.

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