In May 2022, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong announced that they would be cancelling this year's Human Right Press Awards, citing legal risks. The decision marked another worrying step in the downfall of Hong Kong as a safe and open place for journalists.
In just 25 years since the Hong Kong Handover, the state of media freedom in Hong Kong has been almost completely dismantled. In 2002 Hong Kong was ranked 18th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index, however the most recent index has seen the country ranking plunge to 148th - a testament to the dismantling of the media landscape.
From financial coercion to outright censorship, from police violence against reporters to police raids of newsrooms, from draconian legislation leading to the prosecution and imprisonment of journalists and the closure of publications to the weaponisation of visas for foreign correspondents, Hong Kong's media freedoms have been rapidly and dramatically dismantled.
A quarter of a century after the Handover, a panel of accomplished journalists and experts from Hong Kong Watch and Reporters Without Borders will attempt to answer a simple question: what has caused the decline in press freedom in Hong Kong?
On display at the event will also be an exhibition from exemplary photojournalist, James Wendlinger, who will showcase a private collection of images designed to reflect the changing media landscape in Hong Kong.