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Appointments to RTHK Board of Advisors and promulgation of Charter

The Government today (August 13) announced the appointment of a broad-based Board of Advisors for Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) and the promulgation of the RTHK Charter regarding the operation of RTHK as a public service broadcaster.

The Board of Advisors comprises a non-official chairman, nine non-official members and an ex-officio member (the Director of Broadcasting) appointed by the Chief Executive for a term of two years from September 1, 2010.

Mr Lester G Huang has been appointed the Chairman of the Board. Mr Huang, a solicitor by profession, is the former President of the Law Society of Hong Kong and possesses extensive experience in public services. The non-official members include persons with industry/professional expertise in various sectors such as the media, technology, journalism, arts and culture, accounting/finance and education; and persons with experience in serving the minorities and protecting consumer interests.

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mrs Rita Lau, welcomed the appointment of the Board of Advisors for RTHK.

"With the Chairman's wide public experience and members' broad spectrum of expertise and representation, I am confident that the Board will provide valuable advice to the Director of Broadcasting and contribute positively towards achieving the public purposes and mission of RTHK in serving the people of Hong Kong," Mrs Lau said.

The Board of Advisors advises the Director of Broadcasting on a range of issues relating to the services of RTHK, including editorial principles, programme standards, performance evaluation, service improvements and community participation in broadcasting. It will also receive reports on complaints and public opinion surveys on RTHK's programming.

The membership of the Board of Advisors is at Annex A.

The Government today promulgated the Charter of RTHK which has been signed by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Henry Tang; the Director of Broadcasting, Mr Franklin Wong; and the Chairman of the Broadcasting Authority (BA), Mr Ambrose Ho.

"The Government attaches great importance to safeguarding RTHK's editorial independence, which is enshrined in the Charter," Mrs Lau said. "The signing of the Charter lays a solid foundation for RTHK to enhance its services and fulfil its mission as a public service broadcaster, and proceed with the implementation of various new services including digital audio broadcasting, digital terrestrial television and community involvement in broadcasting," Mrs Lau added.

The Charter sets out the public purposes and mission of RTHK as the public service broadcaster in Hong Kong. The Charter also prescribes RTHK's status and relationship with the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau and the Board of Advisors; its key programme areas and modes of service delivery; and the role of BA in content regulation for RTHK programming.

In finalising the Charter, the Government has taken into account views and comments from the public, RTHK staff, legislators and the BA. Amendments have been made to spell out clearly in the Charter RTHK's editorial principles; state explicitly that the Director of Broadcasting, as the editor-in-chief, is responsible for making the final editorial decision in RTHK and that the Board of Advisors will uphold the editorial principles in exercising its functions.

A copy of the Charter is at Annex B and is available from RTHK's website (rthk.hk/about/index_e.htm) and that of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (www.cedb.gov.hk/ccib/eng/psb/ref.htm).

Friday, August 13, 2010

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