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The Correspondent Magazine Online

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Free Speech, Ten Principles for a Connected World
Book review: Free Speech, Ten Principles for a Connected World

Do we really need yet another well-meaning essay about how free speech is a nice thing and we should all have it?

FCC new members
Introducing… FCC new members, May/June 2017

As you would expect there’s a healthy mix of Correspondents and Journalists as well as Diplomats and Associates – and all have interesting tales to tell – so if you see a new face at the bar, please make them feel welcome.

Crispy Chicken Drum stuffed with Gorgonzola. Photo: carstenschael.com
Take a look at the FCC’s new bar snacks

The new snacks will be available from May 8 and offer a tasty selection of bites to share with friends or to simply take the edge off your appetite until moving upstairs for dinner.

John Sudworth reports from China for the BBC.
Why it’s tough being a journalist’s source in China

After last year’s damning report by the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China (FCCC) on working conditions, not much has changed. Correspondents, journalists and, more importantly, their local staff and sources continue to be harassed, threatened and jailed.

From left: Kerry McGlynn (Press Secretary to Chris Patten when Governor of Hong Kong), Chris Patten, Miss Lucy McGlynn (daughter of Jenny and Kerry) and Mrs Jenny McGlynn.
Kerry McGlynn: Working with Chris Patten was the best experience of my life

Kerry spoke to club correspondent member Stephen Marshall on his thoughts on post handover Hong Kong, working with Chris Patten and on today’s world of alternative facts and fake news.

The official handover ceremony was a lavish display of Chinese pomp and pageantry.
China’s meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs is here to stay – get used to it

In 1997 Hong Kong was facing an uncertain future. Optimists clung to the promise of ‘jam tomorrow’ while pessimists took the first flight out. Twenty years on, realist Keith Richburg, says China’s growing involvement in Hong Kong’s affairs is here to stay, so get used to it.

The "missing" bust of Dr. Martin Luther King clearly seen on display during the recent meeting of German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.
Professionalism in journalism will topple fake news, FCC Journalism Conference hears

The one-day programme was packed full of speakers, panel discussions and workshops. An in-depth review of the major topics will be published in the July/August edition of The Correspondent.

A total of 51 people were killed, 15 died in bomb attacks, 832 were injured and 4,979 arrested, with 1,936 convicted. Photo: Hugh Van Es
Fifty years on: The riots that shook Hong Kong in 1967

The riots and subsequent acts of terrorism that shook Hong Kong for eight months half a century ago remain one of the most unsettling events in the territory’s postwar history.

HKFP's Stanley Leung is surrounded by protesters at the Legco rally. Photo: HKFP
Journalists under attack across Asia

A round-up of the latest incidents involving media organisations around the region.

Phnom Penh falls with barely a fight. The victorious guerrilla forces enter the city from all sides
Cambodia: Years Of Turmoil

Forty years on, a new country is emerging. But this nation is born out of the tragic events of that day, which are engraved on every Cambodian’s mind.

White pigeons take off as Afghans come to feed the birds at the Blue mosque in Mazar-E-Sharif. 25 November 2009. Photo: Paula Bronstein
Afghanistan: Between Hope And Fear

A selection of images from the newly released book of the same title.

The 12-man team had some 50 guides, porters and cooks.
Slowly, slowly up Kilimanjaro

With the news that Pizza Hut just delivered a pie to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, setting a new record for high-altitude PR stunts, Andrew Davison recalls his experiences in scaling Africa’s highest peak. The 12-man team had some 50 guides, porters and cooks. In 2014 an old friend came up with the idea of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. We’ve still no idea what possessed him to come up with this idea, nor what …

Roy Rowan in Saigon in 1975.
Obituary: Roy Rowan, Time magazine’s last Saigon bureau chief

Roy Rowan died September 13 in Greenwich, Connecticut, aged 96. His passing was no ordinary event. He was the last of what was once a large band of legendary American journalists who covered the Chinese civil war.

Some of the founding members of PEN Hong Kong in September 2016. Photo: PEN
PEN writers’ group reforms in Hong Kong to promote freedom of expression

Few writers may be aware of the role of Marilyn Monroe in the fight for freedom of creative expression, or indeed her connection with the opening of a new flank in that fight in Hong Kong.

Chan: the legal basis for banning pro-independence candidates from standing for election was ‘dubious at best’. Photo: FCC
Anson Chan: Hongkongers face systematic undermining of values and freedoms

Chan, who has been a regular speaker at the Club since the 90s when she was Chief Secretary before and after the handover, spoke about what to do with the troubled Legco and the importance of the Legco elections.

Hong Kong’s efforts to reform copyright law have stalled
Hong Kong’s copyright law reform hits a wall

Hong Kong’s efforts to reform copyright law towards the US-based “fair-use” treatment of copyright versus the “fair-dealing” approach stall, writes Jonathan Hopfner.

The book The King Never Smiles, by Paul Handley, was banned in Thailand.
Don’t tell the King: The increasing danger of reporting in Thailand

Foreign correspondents have always trod warily around lese majeste, though some of their publications got into strife when they inadvertently did not place a photo of the King at the top of a page, or had someone else’s photo on top of his.

It all began with blue whales

The film ‘A Plastic Ocean’, which will premiere in Hong Kong in October and globally from November, began with the hunt for the elusive blue whale, writes the film’s director and journalist Craig Leeson. In March, 2011, 30 miles off the southern tip of Sri Lanka, a tiny breeze tickles the surface of the Indian Ocean; the heat radiates relentlessly. Three weeks on a 90 metre research vessel has taken its toll: most of the …

Award-winning journalist Ying Chan moves on but not out

Chan set up the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.

Eyewitness video transforms and challenges the news business

Alison Parker (left) the moment shots ring out during an interview on tourism with Vicki Gardner, the local chamber of commerce director, before she was shot and killed. (AFP screen capture) Following the Nice truck terror attack the French media watchdog, the CSA, issued an appeal for ‘caution’ and ‘restraint’ and the French police called on people to stop uploading images of victims as a sign of respect for them and their families. (CNN screen …

Wong and Law urge self-determination

Student activist and founder of the new party Demosistō Joshua Wong says he believes the use of violence will not help Hong Kong achieve a higher level of democracy. Wong, who is Secretary General of Demosistō, was speaking at an FCC lunch on June 27, along with fellow student activist Nathan Law, formerly the secretary general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students and now chairman of Demosistō. Wong said he believes the society should …

How a news story freed Ambon slaves

By Joyce Lau The Human Rights Press Awards celebrated its 20th birthday at the Maritime Museum on May 6, with a standing-room-only crowd of 170 participants, supporters and guests. For the first time, grand-prize winners were given the chance to speak to the audience directly about their experiences. Several flew in from overseas to do so. Esther Htusan, who recently became the first Burmese to win a Pulitzer Prize, caught a 1:30 a.m. flight from …

Future of young democratic politicians

Martin Lee, QC, founding chairman of The Democratic Party and former Legco member, has been a regular FCC guest speaker since the early 1990s. Always an articulate straight-shooter and clear thinker, Lee focused on the rise of young democrats at a lunch on June 16. He also wondered why the FCC would you ask one of Hong Kong’s oldest politicians about the future of young democratic politicians Many have doubts about Hong Kong’s young democratic …

The committees, the conveners and you

With every new FCC Board the conveners of committees often change and renews members’ opportunities for getting involved. If you have some ideas for speakers or other professional events, or are interested in the FCC’s charity events, or F&B, or finance, or the Wall, or press freedom issues; or The Correspondent… then maybe its time for you to join one of the committees or get in touch with the conveners and present your ideas.   …

Social media can have powerful influence on elections

Facebook has been under attack in recent months by US conservatives – worried that Facebook could influence the outcome of the presidential election – for “suppressing conservative news”. While these claims are somewhat overblown, there is no getting away from the fact that Facebook undoubtedly has tremendous power, with some 200 million Americans spending around 30% of their Internet time on Facebook and its properties (WhatsApp, Instagram). A 2014 study determined that some 340,000 people …

The question in China: what Panama Papers?

While the release of the Panama Papers rocked governments around the world, it hardly caused a ripple in China, one of the biggest sources of funds for these offshore accounts. China’s clampdown on any news of the leaks has been particularly effective. While the release of the Panama Papers rocked governments around the world, it hardly caused a ripple in China, one of the biggest sources of funds for these offshore accounts. China’s clampdown on …

Town Hall meeting debates increased revenue options

There was a big and active turnout for the FCC’s Town Hall meeting in early April which focused on budget forecasts and the operating revenue shortfall through the Club’s renovation period and what should be done about it. President Neil Western explained that the Board of Governors was elected to run the Club and its finances, “but given that subscription fees had been frozen for 19 years it was considered prudent to talk to the …

HKFP continues fight for media access through judicial review

Photos by: HKFP HKFP Editor-in-Chief Tom Grundy has joined with a group of human rights lawyers to file a judicial review against the government in light of its policy of barring online media outlets from government press conferences and press releases. In April, Grundy received an offer of assistance from Hong Kong’s Legal Aid Department, according to an editorial on the HKFP website. He is now seeking to link with interested parties and individuals to …

Banker turned corporate watchdog

Hong Kong is a global finance centre, and as such employs a good number of financial journalists. David Webb is not one of them. He is an activist, not a reporter. But he seems to break a lot of stories. Cathy Holcombe reports. When Webb first burst into the watchdog scene, in the late 1990s, I was working on the business desk at the South China Morning Post, and on some days he was quoted …

Hong Kong’s Future

Sir David Tang gave an amusing, erudite and at times inspirational speech before a full house at the FCC on what has happened to Hong Kong, where it might go and what needs to be done. David Tang fired both barrels at the performance of the Chief Executive CY Leung in his latest policy address as well as his overall leadership qualities. After regaling us with a visiting Martian’s view of the address, Tang called …