Members Area

FCC Minimum Spend

      
Dear Members,
 
With the lifting of many of the restrictions which have limited FCC activities for so long, we have been delighted to welcome back more members to the Club's expanded offering of speaker events, film nights, musical events and our extensive F&B promotions. As a result of the Club being more accessible, the minimum spend requirement will now revert to being charged to Member's accounts on a quarterly basis and hence will be charged to Member's September accounts which will be sent in early October. We will continue to offer the opportunity for Members to purchase vouchers to be used in subsequent months if you are unable to utilise the Club before the end of September.
 
21 September 2021

HKJA Statement Responding to Security Secretary

The FCC has been following with concern remarks by the Secretary for Security regarding the Hong Kong Journalists Association, the city’s largest union for working journalists. The secretary’s remarks questioned the details of HKJA’s membership rolls. The HKJA has responded to the secretary’s remarks with the following statement, which the FCC is republishing. The FCC expresses its support for all working journalists during an increasingly challenging time in Hong Kong’s media environment:

In response to media enquiries about our membership and the Secretary for Security’s comments on Wednesday, the HKJA would like to make the following comments:

As of 15 September 2021 at 2pm, HKJA has 486 current members. They include 331 full members, 22 associate members, 34 public relations members, 56 student members, and 43 retired or permanent members. The numbers of our membership fluctuate as the Association processes new applications and renewals daily.

In response to media enquiries on the number of our members employed by specific media outlets, we would like to note that our members come from a large number of media organisations. Each individual membership lasts one year and members are required to renew their membership by the end of the year. If the media outlet where a member works has closed down, or if the member has left the media industry, they will not be able to renew their membership. The details on membership eligibility are available on our website’s membership application section, and are stated in our charter.

Meanwhile, Secretary for Security Chris Tang today said HKJA may “assuage the public’s doubts” by publishing our membership list “without disclosing personal information.” We are baffled by the Secretary’s apparently illogical suggestion. HKJA hopes the Secretary could understand that our members’ employment is part of their personal information. We are therefore unable to decipher how we could possibly make public the media outlets where our members are employed, without also disclosing their personal data at the same time.

We would like to reiterate that under the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, HKJA may not disclose members’ personal data without their expressed consent. Any suggestion to make our membership and their employers public in order to “assuage doubts” would appear to incite a breach of the Ordinance.

Hong Kong Journalists Association
15 September 2021

就傳媒查詢有關本會會員事務,及保安局局長的言論,本會有回覆如下:

截至2021年9月15日下午2時,本會有效會員共有486人,其中包括正式會員331人、附屬會員22人、公關會員34人,學生會員56人,另有退休會員及永久會員共43人。而本會每日均會處理續會、入會申請的事務,會員人數會不時變更,敬希注意。

就有傳媒查詢,個別傳媒機構在本會內的會員人數,本會會員來自多間傳媒機構,會籍有效期為一年,會員需要每年續會。如會員所任職的傳媒機構已經停業、或會員已經離開傳媒行業,則不能續會。有關本會的會員資格,可參閱本會網頁的會員申請須知及會章。

另外,就保安局局長鄧炳強今日表示,本會可在「撇除個人資料」下公布會員名單,以「釋除疑慮」。本會認為鄧炳強的建議邏輯混亂,令人百思不得其解。本會希望局長明白,會員所任職的傳媒機構,亦為其「個人資料」一部分,本會實在無法推敲出,如何在「撇除個人資料」下,公布會員「來自乜嘢媒體」。

本會亦在此重申,根據《個人資料(私隱)條例》規定,未經當事人同意,本會不能披露會員個人資料。若要求本會應公開會員名單或其所屬機構「以釋公眾疑慮」,實在有鼓吹本會違反《私隱條例》之嫌。

香港記者協會
2021年9月15日

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Awards Clare Hollingworth Fellowships

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Awards Clare
Hollingworth Fellowships
FELLOWS
Amy Sood
Amy Sood is joining AFP after recently earning her master’s degree from the University of Hong Kong’s journalism program. She has previously interned with CNN and NBC News.
Hillary Leung
Hillary Leung is an Associate Editor at Coconuts Hong Kong, where she covers everything from politics to social issues. She was previously a reporter for TIME magazine and an intern at news verification agency Storyful.
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is pleased to announce that it has chosen Amy Sood and Hillary Leung as recipients of the third annual Clare Hollingworth Fellowship, named in honor of the preeminent and path-breaking journalist.
The panel of judges noted the winners offer clear potential as future leaders both within the FCC and the wider Hong Kong journalism community.
The Fellowship is focused on early-career journalists and current journalism school students in Hong Kong.
The open competition drew significant interest from a cross spectrum of applicants. The adjudicators noted the high standard of applicants and encouraged all to apply again next year.
For further information on the Clare Hollingworth Fellowship, please visit https://www.fcchk.org/clarehollingworth/.

Military Conflict in the South China Sea Remains an Unlikely Outcome – Justice Antonio T. Carpio

Tensions and territorial disputes in the South China Sea are unlikely to result in warfare because of the Philippines’ mutual defence treaty with the United States, said former Philippine Supreme Court Justice Antonio T. Carpio. 

“The Chinese know that they cannot afford to go to war with the Philippines,” Justice Carpio told FCC President Keith Richburg during a Zoom discussion on Monday night. “The last thing China would want is to give the US a legal excuse to intervene in the South China Sea dispute.”

Justice Carpio, who helped the Philippines win its landmark ruling at the Hague in July 2016, said that China’s strategy rests on intimidating other nations. He described the country’s mindset as “China will win the South China Sea without firing a single shot.”

He sharply criticised President Rodrigo Duterte’s comments regarding the South China Sea dispute during his final State of the Nation Address hours earlier. Duterte had reiterated his passive approach to the territorial conflict, asking “Do you want war against China?”

“We laugh at that because nobody’s talking of war in the South China Sea dispute,” Justice Carpio said. “That’s the reason we went to the Hague, because war is not an option.”

He said Duterte’s comments were misleading, and that the president has “become the spokesperson of China” by arguing that enforcing the ruling will lead to a military conflict. 

Duterte is currently finishing out his final term, and presidential elections are due in 2022, but Justice Carpio said he did not believe that the South China Sea issue or relations with China would be major issues for most Filipino voters.

Watch the full discussion here:

Moving to “Type D” — Bringing Back Live Events

Moving to “Type D” — Bringing Back Live Events
      
Dear Fellow Members,
I’m pleased to be able to report to you that the Club is running smoothly since we moved to the government’s “Type C” category on July 1. The success is because of all of you and the broad cooperation we have received. And I’m also happy to report that all of our staff have completed the vaccine program. You will have noticed that the Club has been full and buzzing of late.
As the next step, we are planning next week to move forward to “Type D” category, which means bringing back live events like our regular Club luncheon speakers, live music in Bert’s, our popular film nights, and of course banqueting at full capacity — all to bring back more of the atmosphere and buzz that has made the Club such a magnet for us all.
Starting from Monday August 2, we will go to “Type D” category upstairs on the first floor and downstairs in Bert’s. With this move, we will be able to operate those venues at 100% capacity and with 12 people seated together at a table.
Please note: those venues will continue to operate under “Type C” when there are no private functions or Club events, but will temporarily shift to “Type D” during events. To operate those facilities under “Type D”, some further steps are needed from all of us planning to attend events.
What is “Type D” operation?
Mandatory use of “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile app
At least two-thirds of the total number of participants must have received the first vaccine jab and can show proof (through a QR code or on paper).
Capacity up to 100%
Maximum 12 persons per table
Please be aware that use of the “LeaveHomeSafe” app is a government requirement, and anyone not using it faces a $5000 fine. There is no exception for not having a smartphone. The only exception is for visitors under the age of 16, and those 65 or older, who will be allowed fill out a form. Individuals – that is, members and their guests – bear responsibility for using the app. In case of an inspection and a fine being issued, the Club is not responsible.
I would like to thank all of you for your continued support and willingness to adapt to these varying restrictions and regulations. And I will of course be in touch if anything changes as we monitor the situation and follow the government’s announcements.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing you around the Main Bar.
Keith Richburg
President
27 July 2021

“In order to have a democracy, you must share a common set of facts” – Marty Baron

The proliferation of online disinformation sites purporting to be legitimate news has created an incredibly difficult and hostile environment for journalism, said Marty Baron, former executive editor of The Washington Post, in a discussion moderated by FCC President Keith Richburg. 

“Consumption of media is now more polarised than it probably ever has been, and that’s not a great result for us,” Baron said. “Because in order to have a democracy, you have to share a common set of facts.” 

He said that increased education around media literacy and journalists being more transparent about their reporting were both necessary steps to combat the unchecked spread of disinformation. 

Asked if President Trump had been successful in sowing distrust against the media, Baron said yes but acknowledged that Trump’s cries of ‘fake news’ had not been the sole cause. 

“Approval and trust in the media was declining well before that, but he accelerated and reinforced it,” Baron said. “Sadly, he accomplished what he wanted to accomplish, disturbingly so, and we’re going to be dealing with that for decades to come.” 

During the discussion, Baron was asked about Post reporter Felicia Sonmez’s suspension and ban from covering sexual assault stories, with viewer Wayne Ma submitting the question, “Do you regret those decisions, what was the original thinking behind them and what has the Post done to ensure such incidents don’t happen again?” 

Baron said he did not want to comment on the case specifically but added “I don’t have any regrets.” As he was talking to the FCC, Sonmez filed a lawsuit in Washington D.C. against the Washington Post and several individuals including Baron.

Watch the full discussion below:

Income Disparity, Environmental Concerns Biggest Challenges Facing Chinese Communist Party – Eric X. Li

China’s income disparity and environmental degradation are the biggest challenges currently facing the ruling Chinese Communist Party at the 100th anniversary of its founding, said Shanghai-based venture capitalist and political scientist Eric X. Li, who vigorously defended the party’s style of government while expressing doubts about liberal democracies around the world.

“Liberal societies should learn from the party state in China,” Li said. “The party state in China has been very good at self-criticism – that’s why they reinvent themselves. Liberal societies have been failing at that for decades.”

In a spirited Zoom webinar moderated by FCC President Keith Richburg, Li said the CCP had embarked on its third “reinvention” since winning power 72 years ago and transitioning to a government party and then embarking on an openness and reform policy in 1979. This latest reinvention, he said, is driven by a desire to tackle income inequality and achieve a more “balanced growth.” He added that a focus on repairing the environment was a second major priority.

He said that Western countries such as the United States need to be less arrogant, then went on to dismiss the suggestion that the CCP needs to legitimize its rule through elections or referendums because such processes have caused dysfunction and paralysis in liberal democracies.

“I think democracy needs a new set of measurements,” Li said. “I think democracy needs to be measured by outcome, not procedure.”

Asked why the CCP has little tolerance for dissent or criticism, Li countered that there is plenty of debate and difference of opinion in China, including among the party leadership. But he argued that the dissent found in liberal societies has no place in China.

“Just look at the countries that have it: they’re not being governed very effectively, they are polarized, their people hate each other, their media hate each other,” Li said. “We don’t want that.”

He also defended the more assertive, sometimes bombastic, stands by Chinese officials on social media — sometimes referred to as “Wolf Warrior diplomats” — saying Westerners were simply not used to Chinese standing up and loudly speaking back against criticism. 

“They’re seeing their country being demonized by Western politicians and media, and they’re reacting to it for the first time in many decades,” Lis said. “You’d better get used to it.”

Aside from issues of income inequality and the environment, Li argued the CCP needs to steer younger generations away from populism and nationalism toward “productive socialism” and “healthy patriotism.”

“If it can do this, it will deliver on the material and spiritual aspirations of China’s new generations and, as a result, stay in power for a very long time to come,” Li said. “Success is not assured, but I wouldn’t bet against it.”

Watch the full conversation:

Solidarity Amongst Journalists Needed as Apple Daily Closes – Brian Stelter

On the day that Apple Daily published its last edition following 26 years of operation, CNN’s Brian Stelter said in a webinar hosted by the FCC that journalistic solidarity is needed in challenging moments such as these. 

“Nothing unites journalists more than a threat against a newspaper or a publication or against journalism itself,” Stelter said. “Nothing unites this industry more than a moment like this.”

Speaking to FCC press freedom committee co-chair Eric Wishart, Stelter said that the shuttering of a newspaper like Apple Daily is something that resonates around the world and should be taken note of by an international audience.

“I would say solidarity is a critical component of this,” said Stelter, the anchor of Reliable Sources and author of the newly updated paperback version of Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth.

Asked if Apple Daily’s closure would resonate with people in the United States, he said that there would be some awareness but not enough, and that issues of press freedom in general deserve a bigger audience.

“We also have to tell the global story, that this is something that we’re seeing erosion [of] in many countries. All of us, including me, have to work on that,” said Stelter.

Watch the full conversation below:

FCC Expresses Deep Regret Over Closure of Apple Daily

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong wishes to express its deep regret at the announcement of the closure of Apple Daily.

Apple Daily has been a vibrant member of the Hong Kong media landscape for more than quarter of a century and a widely read source of information for many in the city.

The closure is a blow to the journalism community in Hong Kong and raises legitimate concerns over the future of press freedom in the city. It comes after government authorities froze its assets and arrested several top editors. 

The closure also has a major social impact and will leave hundreds of journalists, editorial production staff and other employees involved in the publication and distribution of the newspaper unemployed. 

The FCC calls on the Hong Kong media community to provide assistance for those now left jobless with the closure in finding new employment.

FCC Minimum Spend

Please be advised that FCC Minimum Spend, which was rolled over from March, will now appear on members' June statements which will be sent in early July. We are hopeful that current restrictions will be eased in the coming weeks allowing for greater enjoyment of the Club, with a return of popular events such as guest speaker lunches, quiz night, increased banqueting options and longer opening hours. Please remember the minimum spend can be used for the club's extensive take-away menu, including drinks. Additionally, vouchers equivalent to any outstanding minimum spend can be purchased and will be valid for use through to September 2021.
23 June 2021

We measure site performance with cookies to improve performance.