Media and Communication in Hong Kong
The citizens of Hong Kong enjoy press freedom - Media and Communication in Hong Kong introduction. Mass media provides them accurate and updated news and information through radio, television and news. Press people and members of the media industry maintain credibility in feeding fresh information to people. Information is available to the public in television, radio, newspapers, magazines and internet forms.
As of September 30, 2006, there are:
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48 daily newspapers and 691 periodicals (including a number of electronic newspapers), two domestic free television program service licensees, three domestic pay television program service licensees, 14 non-domestic television program service licensees, one government-funded public service broadcaster, and two sound broadcasting licensees (“The Media”).
Media and communication is really at its best in Hong Kong. It is made possible by the latest telecommunication technology and attracted other foreign news agencies. Other international readership and broadcasting corporation even decided to put up their respective headquarters in Hong Kong. “The successful regional publications produced underline its important position as a financial, industrial, trading and communications center” (“The Media”).
Hong Kong viewers can access up to 200 local and overseas television channels via satellite reception or pay per view services. It varies from different languages and programs. Fourteen radio channels are provided by two commercial broadcaster and Radio Television Hong Kong, the public service broadcaster. Several improvements were also made in the television and broadcasting industry. In addition, 100 satellite television channels were put up in the regional market. “Terrestrial television broadcasters are migrating to digital broadcasting and the government is updating the regulatory regime in the light of technological and market convergence” (“The Media”). A set of broadcasting policy was devised to ensure the quality of programs as well as the choice and diversity of broadcasting services. This policy was also established to motivate the media people to be always innovative and become the best regional broadcasting hub.
Media Availability in Hong Kong
Mass media plays an important role in socialization, social development and acquisition of cultural and social norms of a person. It has become an important socialization agency in determining the attitudes of young people from different countries and races. Among the mass media, television is considered as the medium with the greatest potential for transmitting information and beliefs from one group to another (Wimmer and Dominick 28). It has undeniably taken all other mediums of communication in reaching and influencing people. It has offered the novel concept of “being there”, of immediacy which gives telecasts authority, and significance possessed by no other medium of communications.
People in Hong Kong relies more on television as a source of information and entertainment. There are certain radio and television shows made available for people of Hong Kong. Its main goal is to deliver fresh news and broadcast entertaining programs for the people. There are 3 main types of television shows in Hong Kong, namely news, entertainment, and sports. There are also specific stations that air these types of shows. One of the leading media service providers is the Radio Television Hong Kong. It is owned by the government of China and aims to cover general news. It can be viewed in English and Chinese languages.
RTHK Programs are designed to address and inform the citizens about the current local issues of Hong Kong. For instance, All in a Family, a popular RTHK program, “addresses cross-cultural relationships through presentation of a family drama.” The main character is “a Cantonese speaking American man [who] marries into a local Hong Kong family.” Other programs of RTHK such as current affair programs were exported to Vancouver, Canada “for the benefit of Hong Kong immigrants there” (Wilkins).
Another TV station is the ATV or the Asian Television which covers general entertainment. This is privately owned by Asian Television Ltd. ATV uses Chinese language in broadcasting programs. Similarly, the Phoenix Television station features general entertainment. It has five different television channels and presents each of them in English language. Lastly, the TVB is owned by Television Broadcasts Limited and airs shows in Chinese. There are also TV shows that feature the society and cartoon channels to entertain the younger viewers. Significant proportion of television programming is produced within the country, there are any programs that are imported from other countries. Those programs were dubbed into Chinese or added with a subtitle for further understanding. Aside from importing news, entertainment series and films from the West, most animated programs are imported from Japan, and several popular fictional series are imported from Taiwan. For example, one of the most popular dramas shown in Hong Kong is the Taiwanese series Pao the Judge, which depicts the exploits of a Song Dynasty magistrate in an elaborate costume drama. It is estimated that approximately one-third of Hong Kong residents on a given evening watch this program, which is broadcast on both terrestrial stations (Wilkins).
Radio companies in Hong Kong became one of the medium of information earlier than the television networks. It also delivers news to the people and provides programs and music channels for entertainment. One of the leading radio stations in Hong Kong is the Commercial Radio Hong Kong. Its operation began in 1959 and covers general entertainment. The Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited is a radio station consisted of 3 radio channels. Each channel airs three types of radio shows. These include the Metro finance (FM 104), Metro Showbiz (FM99.7) and the Metro Plus (AM1044). RTHK 3 and RTHK4 are both owned by the government of China. The only difference is that RTHK 3 airs general entertainment while RTHK 4 airs purely music that soothes the mood of music lover people of Hong Kong.
The people of Hong Kong are wide readers. They see to it that proper information is given daily. This is the reason why the media form that is most accessible is the newspaper and magazines. To learn about the latest news, there are several newspapers that can be found in Hong Kong. Some of these include am730, Apple Daily, Headline Daily, Hong Kong Post, Hong Kong Voice of Democracy, Metropolis Daily, Ming Pao, Sing Pao Daily News, Sing Tao, Sout China Morning Post, Sun, Ta Kung Pao and Wen Wei Po (Hong Kong, 2008)
There are also magazines and newspapers that feature business, economy, and finance. These are: Career Times, Construction & Contract News, Hong Kong Commercial Daily, Hing Kong economic Time and Hong Kong Standard. (“The Media”).
Hong Kong magazines have invaded the country by providing them a variety of information, from tourist spots to fashion and show business. They are also filled with advertisements of various products. Time Out and HK City Guide magazines offer maps and tourist spots for travelers who want to know more about Hong Kong. Lifestyle magazines features many influential people of Hong Kong and talks about their way of living. Other magazine companies are East Touch and East Week. For sports buff, the sports magazine available in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Runner (“The Media”).
Hong Kong people also value their religion that is why other types of media are formulated like these three newspapers: Christian Times, Hong Kong Sunday Examiner, and the Kung Kao Po (“The Media”). These 3 newspapers feature religious beliefs and insights from people of Hong Kong. This is to give enough information about the religion in Hong Kong and how people practice the beliefs and traditions of a certain religion.
The longest running television program in HongKong is the Enjoy yourself Tonight, it is a musical variety show that makes the viewers more entertained (Wilkins).
Another source of news and entertainment is the Internet. The website called Hon has government home pages. All bureau and departments produce their home pages in Chinese and English. There are also thematic home pages for special events and topics. These home pages can be accessed through the government’s new one-stop portal, GovHK, at http://www.gov.hk (“The Media”).
Legalization and Censorship in Media
Media authorities maintain the quality of programs and articles distributed all over the country. It is divided into two: the statutory bodies and the non-governmental body. The three statutory bodies are: Broadcasting Authority (BA), Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA), and Radio Television Hong Kong. The Press Council is the only non-governmental organization in Hong Kong which regulates media programs and articles.
The BA is the statutory regulator of the broadcasting sector. It comprises nine
non-official members from various sectors of the community and three public officers. The BA’s main function is “to safeguard proper standards of television and sound broadcasting with regard to both program and advertising content and technical performance” (“The Media”). This is done through regular consultation with the public through a television and radio consultative scheme and focus group discussion to collect audience feedback. The BA publishes codes of practice on program, advertising and technical performance which licensees have to observe. The BA is also responsible for enforcing the competition provisions under the Broadcasting Ordinance. It makes recommendations to the Chief Executive in Council on applications for and renewal of sound broadcasting, domestic free television and domestic pay television licenses (“The Media”)
Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority is responsible in securing and monitoring the programs and information broadcasted both in television and radio. On the other hand, the Radio Television Hong Kong operates independently since it is one of the departments of the Hong Kong government.
The only non-governmental regulation board Press Council was established in July 2000. The objective of the Council is to promote the professional and ethical standards of the newspaper industry, defend press freedom, and deal with public complaints against local newspapers. It is an independent organization free from the government (“About Press Council”).
Hong Kong is one of the fats paced growing nation and indeed various changes and technology advancement were discovered. Through innovative changes in technology, it paved way for greater economic improvements since the putting up of international media offices in this country. People are well entertained by media and has become part of their everyday lives. Media network ensures that people are getting the right information through the help of different statutory bodies and regulation boards. Integrity is one important factor in broadcasting and the quality of TV shows is well determined by these organizations to maintain the trust and dependency of people on media. There is no permanent in this world except change, as time goes by people seeks more information and fresh discoveries in television and radio shows. people from TV and radio station makes it a point to develop programs and stories that will really suit the liking of people. The same thing with news articles and magazine features. Being aware of the latest trend and updated events globally are some of the criteria of good communication. Opinions from the people is really important so that further development in the field of media is ensured.
“The Media.” Hongkong Fact Sheets. December 2006. Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region Government. Government HK. 8 February 2008 <http://www.gov.hk/en/about/abouthk/factsheets/docs/media.pdf>
“Hong Kong China News Media.” Mondo Times. 2008. 8 February 2008
“About Press Council.” Hongkong Press Council Limited. 2008. 8 February 2008
Wilkins, Karen G. “Hong Kong.” 8 February 2008
Wimmer, Roger D. and Joseph R. Dominick. Mass Media Research: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, 1987