Community & Education Hong Kong

Chief Sec. Carrie Lam hails press freedom as China Daily honours student Occupy reporters

HKFP Occupy banner one year on

Students should report news from different angles in order to achieve objectivity and fairness, Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said at an awards ceremony for student journalism on Friday. All three of the top awards in the English-language category went to reports related to last year’s pro-democracy Occupy protests.

Lam, who was speaking at the China Daily Asia Pacific’s 2015 Campus Newspaper Awards, said that she was pleased to meet journalism students from “two shores, four places”, meaning Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and mainland China. She also congratulated “the rising stars of journalism”.

carrie lam

Carrie Lam at the awards. Photo: GovHK.

“I also noticed that all three award-winning reports in the English category are on last year’s Occupy movement, and they seem to all be from the same school. From a journalism perspective, this is completely understandable…” she said.

“No matter what format you use for reporting, students should still do so from different angles, so as to be objective, fair and just, which are basic requirements of professional reporting.” Lam also said that freedom of press and speech are important cornerstones of Hong Kong’s success and the HKSAR government has worked hard to defend them.

The competition attracted over 600 entries from 26 universities this year, breaking last year’s record. The entries were then put before 52 judges, which included academics, veteran journalists and socialites. The awards were established in 2012 and is the sole campus journalism competition that features contestants from all four places in the Greater China region.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) emerged as the top university, winning 12 of the 25 awards – nine of which were in English categories. It also won all of the prizes in news reporting, news video reporting and features video reporting categories.

journalism award winners

The award winners. Photo: GovHK.

Zhou Li, publisher and editor-in-chief of China Daily Asia Pacific, said that he hoped the event was not just an awards ceremony, but a chance to facilitate communication amongst young people from the four places, China Asia Daily reported. He also said more awards will be added depending on the way the media develops in the future.

Chan Sik-chee, tutor at CUHK School of Journalism and Communication, told Ming Pao that many students were hit by pepper spray when they were filming “The eyes amongst the smoke”, a piece on Occupy which won the Best News Video Reporting. “It really paid off, bagging the first prize,” she said.

China Daily is a state-run enterprise which enjoys the widest print circulation of any English-language newspaper in the mainland.

Chief Sec. Carrie Lam hails press freedom as China Daily honours student Occupy reporters