At the time of writing this panel proposal, the research project Media for Democracy Monitor (MDM) 2020 is collecting data in the field for 24 countries. In May 2020, all country teams will meet in a workshop and discuss country-by-country findings, as well as umbrella topics from a comparative analysis. Country authors present at the IAMCR Conference will report these findings in the proposed panel for the first time. So far, only preliminary results on Hong Kong are available. However, the paper will focus on the most salient and characteristic similarities and differences of Hong Kong compared to the other countries in the sample. In addition, the paper will focus on one specific topic which will be determined in a workshop in May 2020, which is significant for all 24 countries in the MDM 2020.
The presentation on Hong Kong will focus on the delicate balance between professional and impartial reporting and the red lines drawn by the Government. Many practitioners expressed their concerns on the constraints in deciding the news angle of political issues, especially those touching the red line of Central government. They are struggling to maintain journalistic professionalism, and produce a fair, balanced and impartial reporting. At the same time, they are worried that the principles of balance and fair became an excuse for the editorial committees to censor their articles. Many media organizations have allocated resources in conducting investigative reporting, for example, they set up a team for conducting investigative reports. In general, the tension between journalistic professionalism and political pressure continues. It helped Hong Kong press as a whole to maintain a relative degree of autonomy against the Central government.