Five hundred police officers spanned the Apple Daily newsroom at Hong Kong a week to arrest executives and leading editors and seize journalistic materials under town’s national security law. The incident sounded an alarm across the media business .
“It’s sent shudders through the industry,” Elaine Yu, a Hong Kong-based reporter for the Wall Street Journal, told CNN’s Chief Media Correspondent Brian Stelter on”Reliable Sources” Sunday. “It raises important new questions about how media outlets can report on topics that are currently considered highly sensitive.” This was a provision of the sweeping laws introduced last year which banned sedition, secession and subversion against Beijing.
The book live-streamed the first morning raid on its own Facebook page, showing police requesting staff to show evidence of identity, and blocking them from returning to their desks.
The arrests and research would be the most recent step in an escalating crackdown against the provocative, anti-Beijing tabloid, which is now the poster child in Hong Kong for media freedom in what many analysts assert is an increasingly aggressive landscape for its industry.
Stelter talked to Mark Simon — Apple Daily’s chairman Jimmy Lai’s assistant — who is now desired by Hong Kong authorities. “Unfortunately, if I had been in Hong Kong, I would probably not be out in public and able to do a television series,” he told Stelter. Lai is now in prison , however, Simon said the book will nonetheless keep working for as long as possible.
In regards to conducting the newsroom, the issue is not”we do not have capital,” Simon said, however that the Secretary of Security and the authorities will not let the news socket pay terrorists, staff or vendors. “They’ve locked up our accounts,” he explained.
“Many press groups here are also saying it’ll get harder for terrorists to get folks to speak to them since law enforcement can now possibly catch terrorists documents and devices via a court warrant,” Yu told Stelter. She added that this happened for the very first time a few days back. “Government critics and other individuals could become fearful of talking to the press” she said. “This has wide, wide reaching consequences.”