Freedom of Expression and the Right of Journalists to Cover Protests and Demonstrations: Hong Kong and Beyond

Hong Kong Law Journal, Vol. 33, No. 3, p. 613, 2003

Posted: 29 Aug 2006  

Mei-Ning Yan

Department of Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist University

Abstract

Two journalists were arrested and handcuffed by the police on 25 April 2002 while covering a protest in Chater Garden in Central. Hong Kong journalists and their counterparts overseas have encountered increasing restraints by the police in their coverage of protests and demonstrations. Under existing practices, police discretion to tolerate both the protests and the coverage of such events by journalists has been decisive. This article explores and argues for a right of journalists to cover protests and demonstrations. Such a right stems from the guarantee of the right to freedom of expression, which covers both press freedom and the right to express dissenting political views. To minimise any future interference, the authorities should devise guidelines so that journalists may only be excluded from protests and demonstrations in extreme situations where the presence of the press would cause demonstrable and immediate harm to others. Otherwise, they should be permitted to freely report on such incidents.

Suggested Citation

Yan, Mei-Ning, Freedom of Expression and the Right of Journalists to Cover Protests and Demonstrations: Hong Kong and Beyond. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=926716

Mei-Ning Yan (Contact Author)

Department of Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist University ( email )

Kowloon
Hong Kong

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