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Saturday, Jul 24, 2021

Broadcast boss steps in and exec quits

Broadcast boss steps in and exec quits

The new director of broadcasting, Patrick Li Pak-chuen, was greeted with an executive's resignation on his first day in office.
The head of RTHK's public and current affairs section, Doris Wong Lok-har, resigned yesterday, the same day that Li took office, succeeding Leung Ka-wing.

Sources said Wong, whose section is responsible for programs that include Hong Kong Connection and Legco Review, resigned as she is not willing to do what "goes beyond her bottom line."

Her decision came after two RTHK producers, Fong Hiu-shan and Liu Wai-ling, responsible for the documentary Hong Kong Stories and the satirical program Headline Daily, tendered their resignations last month as they were reluctant to sign declarations pledging allegiance to the SAR government.

Speaking on his first day, Li said RTHK is not a one-man band. He said he valued highly RTHK's internal talent pipeline, which is expected to fill vacant senior roles at the public broadcaster.

"I will commit to staff training and development so that the pipeline can fill in the vacancies in RTHK's management via an established mechanism," he said.

The new director said he would safeguard RTHK's editorial independence authorized by the charter and execute the responsibilities of the broadcaster's editor-in-chief.

He added that he would lead the team in following up on recommendations made in a government review report published last month, which found "weak accountability" at RTHK owing to the lack of clear editorial processes and division of labor among staff.

The chairwomen of the RTHK Programme Staff Union, Gladys Chiu Sin-yan, expressed hope that the new director of broadcasting would live up to what he pledged.

Chiu also called on Li to prioritize moving RTHK's station to new headquarters as its current facilities were in a shabby state.

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