Violence against journalists, pressure from Beijing and cyber attacks see Hong Kong’s press freedom fall again

Assaults on journalists, self censorship and cyber attacks on news outlets have contributed to a drop in Hong Kong’s press freedom rankings.

According to the latest table by social concern group Freedom House, Hong Kong has dropped from 71st position in 2013, to 74th in 2013, and 84th last year in a list of 199 countries and territories ranked on the freedom of their media.

We are among Central Africa, Turkey and Egypt (all, of course, known from their liberalism and transparency) to have dropped significantly since last year.

The table is split into “free”, “partly free” and “not free”, with Hong Kong maintaining the dubious accolade of “partially free”, while Taiwan sits in 48th place and is ranked as “free”, and China sits at 186 in the hang-you-head-in-shame “not free” section.

The watchdog blamed the fall on several physical attacks on Hong Kong journalists seen last year, including the chopping (great HK verb) of Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau and various assaults on reporters (including our own) over the Occupy Central protests.

The economic influence of Beijing also led to many incidences of media self-censorship and the withdrawal of advertising from anti-Beijing publications, while Apple Daily’s website (and others) suffered cyber attacks at politically sensitive moments, according to the report.

Norway and Sweden were ranked joint first, while we can rest assured that our media is still better Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and North Korea, who held up the bottom of the table.

Yay. go us!

Got a tip? Send it to us at

Our primary mission at Coconuts is to inform and entertain our audience. To do that, we need the support of our readers. If you read Coconuts often, perhaps you might consider joining our COCO+ Membership program? You’ll be supporting local news and joining a community of like-minded individuals across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and beyond. And in addition to unlimited Coconuts content, you’ll get an ad-free experience, exclusive giveaways and discounts, free access to events, and a stylish tote bag. Become a COCO+ Member for less than US$1 per week. Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply