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FCC Statement on July 1 Media Restrictions

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is deeply concerned by reports that some media outlets have been restricted from covering official events around the inauguration of Chief Executive-designate John Lee and the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China.

At least 10 journalists working for local and international publications had their applications to cover the events rejected for “security reasons,” with no further information provided, according to media reports and comments from our members.

This follows reports that several local and international outlets were not given the chance to apply for accreditation for the events in the first place.

In the past, similar official events were open to media registration without invitation or vetting.

The 25th anniversary of the handover, the inauguration of a new chief executive and the possible visit of a state leader together comprise a seminal event in the history of Hong Kong, and a moment deserving of widespread coverage in the international and local media.

Hong Kong’s government has repeatedly told the public that Hong Kong’s right to press freedom and free speech – enshrined in the city’s Basic Law – still exists.

The FCCHK views these restrictions – enforced without detailed explanation – as a serious deviation from that stated commitment to press freedom.

The FCCHK urges the government to immediately reconsider the restrictions to allow all outlets to cover this significant story.

The Club’s opening hour is back to normal from next Monday Nov 7!

The Club’s opening hour is back to normal from next Monday Nov 7!
      
Dear Members,
I would like to update you that the Government has further relaxed some social distancing measures effective from next Monday, November 7. The latest club policies will be updated as follows;
The opening hours of all restaurants and bars will be back to normal (as per the chart below). Last orders for food will be at 10:50 p.m., while last orders for drinks will be 30 minutes before the Club’s closure.
 
Venue Monday – Saturday Sundays Public Holidays
Bert’s Mon–Thu/Sat: 12:00–24:00
Fri: 12:00–01:00
closed closed
Main Bar & Lounge Mon–Wed: 07:30–24:00
Thu–Sat: 07:30–02:00
10:00–24:00 Sun–Wed: 10:00–24:00
Thu–Sat: 10:00–02:00
Dining Room,
Verandah &
Chinese Restaurant
Luncheon: 12:00–14:30
Dinner: 18:30–24:00
12:00–21:00
(Dining Room)
Luncheon: 12:00–14:30
Dinner: 18:30–24:00
Maximum number per table at 12 people is allowed; however, subject to outlets’ booking policy, pre-order is highly recommended for big groups.
Negative RAT test/ PCR test result is still required before entering the Club for participating in a banquet/ event.
Private functions and meetings with no more than 240 persons are allowed, subject to outlets’ maximum capacity. Please contact our team at [email protected] for more details.
Music performances at Bert’s are now back. More live events will be coming soon.
The health club remains open, although the sauna and steam room remain closed. No more than 6 people are allowed in the health club at one time. Pre-registration is required with the gym attendant at 2844 2849.
All persons must wear a face mask at all times within Club premises, except when eating or drinking at the table.
Staff continue to complete a COVID-19 rapid test every 3 days.
Children aged 5 to 11 are required to comply with the specified vaccination requirements under the Vaccine Pass when entering any applicable premises of the Vaccine Pass. Children ages 5 to 11 must have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, or within three months after receiving the first dose of vaccine. As for persons aged 12 or above, the grace period for receiving the third dose after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine has been shortened from six months to five months under the Vaccine Pass. Since the Club is subject to active checking of the Vaccine Pass, those who do not follow these measures will not be admitted. Click here to see more details on dosage schedule of Vaccines Pass.
Thanks for your continued understanding and support. I look forward to seeing you all at the Club!
Keith Richburg
President

 
3 November 2022

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Awards Clare Hollingworth Fellowships

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Awards
Clare Hollingworth Fellowships
 
 
FELLOWS
 
Teele Rebane
Teele Rebane is an award-winning podcast producer and host who currently works as a news desk researcher and producer at CNN. She is a graduate of the University of Hong Kong’s journalism program.
 
Simran Vaswani
Simran Vaswani is a reporter at DealStreetAsia who previously interned at Bloomberg, Forbes and CNN. She recently graduated from Hong Kong Baptist University’s international journalism program.
 
Hayley Wong
Hayley Wong is a recent graduate from the journalism school at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She was previously an intern at Bloomberg News, where she covered politics across the region, and a reporter at Stand News.
 
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is pleased to announce that it has chosen Teele Rebane, Simran Vaswani and Hayley Wong as recipients of the fourth 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/fcc-clare-hollingworth-fellowship-applications-open/
 

A Message from the President

A Message from the President
 
Dear Members,
 
I wanted to give you an update about the topic I know is on everyone’s mind — the status of the lease of our Clubhouse.
 
Our current lease, which is administered by Hong Kong’s Government Property Agency, expires on 1 January 2023, which means we are less than 70 days from the end of the lease. We first engaged the Hong Kong government in December 2021, to express our interest in a renewal, giving one year’s notice of our desire to stay. Our request was formally acknowledged then.
 
Much has happened over the last year, including the awful Covid fifth wave, and the change of administration on July 1. But at every opportunity, in my position as President, and on behalf of the Board, I have reiterated our request for a lease renewal to various relevant departments of the Government. In all of my communications, I have mentioned the urgency of the matter, so as to end the uncertainty, provide some security to our members and our staff, and to allow us to conduct needed maintenance work on our Clubhouse, a Grade 1 historic building, of which we are the proud custodians.
 
I have received recent assurances from the Government that they are aware of our concerns, and that the Government is actively working on our request for a renewal. I remain in constant contact, but at this point, we just have to wait for the official response.
 
I know the lack of a firm response so far has left many of you anxious and with many questions, but I remain very optimistic. While it may be frustrating to not have clarity immediately, given the tight timeframe, this process actually does not seem unusual; the current lease was signed on 29 December 2015, after the process started in August. Previous leases were also signed in December.
 
Please rest assured that I and all members of the Board have made this our top priority. We will keep you updated the moment anything changes.
 
In the meantime, as you can see from our events listing, we are going full steam ahead with planning, including a return to live music after a long wait. And I want to thank you for your continued support of the Club.
 
Keith Richburg
President
 
24 October 2022
 

Further Relaxation of Social Distancing Measures

Further Relaxation of Social Distancing Measures
 
Dear Members,
 
I would like to update you that the Government has further relaxed some social distancing measures effective from October 6. The latest club policies will be updated as follows;
 
All restaurants will be open until 11:59 p.m. every day. Last orders for food will be at 10:50 p.m., while last orders for drinks will be at 11:30 p.m.
Maximum number per table is extended to 12 people from 8, and each member can bring 3 guests. .
Negative RAT test/ PCR test result is required before entering the Club for participating in a banquet/ event.
Private functions and meetings can now accommodate up to 240 persons. Please contact our team at [email protected] to discuss.
Music performances at Bert’s are unfortunately still not allowed at this time.
The health club remains open, although the sauna and steam room remain closed. No more than 6 people are allowed in the health club at one time. Pre-registration is required with the gym attendant at 2844 2849.
All persons must wear a face mask at all times within Club premises, except when eating or drinking at the table.
Staff continue to complete a COVID-19 rapid test every 3 days.
 
Children aged 5 to 11 are required to comply with the specified vaccination requirements under the Vaccine Pass when entering any applicable premises of the Vaccine Pass. Children ages 5 to 11 must have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine, or within three months after receiving the first dose of vaccine. As for persons aged 12 or above, the grace period for receiving the third dose after the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine has been shortened from six months to five months under the Vaccine Pass. Since the Club is subject to active checking of the Vaccine Pass, those who do not follow these measures will not be admitted. Click here to see more details on dosage schedule of Vaccines Pass.
 
Thanks for your continued understanding and support. I look forward to seeing you all at the Club!
 
Keith Richburg
President
6 October 2022
 
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FCC Influenza Vaccination 2022

FCC Influenza Vaccination 2022
      
Dear Members,

All FCC staff will participate in an influenza immunization programme in October 2022. The vaccination will be administered by a registered doctor from a reputable clinic in Central.

There will be 50 doses available for FCC members on specific dates at a discount price HK$220.

Anyone who is interested please complete the reply slip and reserve with the FCC concierge at (tel) 2521 1511, (fax) 2868 4092 or (email) [email protected] on or before Friday, October 7, 2022.

Remarks:
  1. Before entering the clinic, you must produce negative RAT photo with name, date and time, conducted within the proceeding 24 hours per the request from the clinic.
  2. The influenza vaccine is only available for the child above 6 months.
  3. Any person who is hypersensitive to egg protein, suffer from acute severe febrile illness or previous severe allergic reaction to flu vaccine etc. is not suitable to take the influenza vaccine.
  4. Most people achieve protection from influenza vaccine approximately 2-3 weeks after receiving the immunization, so travelers should allow adequate time for vaccination before departure.
  5. It is recommended to consult your personal doctor or pharmacist for advice before taking the vaccine.
  6. Confirmation will be sent to you once your booking is accepted. If you do not receive a confirmation within two working days, please contact our Concierge.
  7. The amount shown below will charge to your FCC membership account in October 2022.
  8. Booking period: October 10–15, 2022 (Weekdays, 10am-12nn; 2:30pm-5pm / Saturday, 10am-12nn / Sunday & Public holiday will be closed)
Click here to download the form

 

Updated Vaccine Pass arrangement for children aged 5 to 11

Updated Vaccine Pass arrangement for children aged 5 to 11
      
Dear Members,
 
I would like to update you that the Government has announced new regulations to (i) lower the applicable age of the Vaccine Pass arrangements to cover children aged 5 to 11; (ii) adjust the vaccination requirements applicable to persons aged 12 and above. The updated arrangement is as follows:
 
Children aged 5 to 11
Starting from September 30, children aged 5 to 11 are required to have received at least the first vaccine dose within three months. If they received their first dose three months ago or earlier, they are required to receive the second dose.
Starting from November 30, the vaccination requirement for all children aged 5 to 11 under the Vaccine Pass will be to have received the second dose.
 
Implementation of Vaccine Pass
Considering that children may not possess a smart mobile phone for displaying their Vaccine Pass QR code, children or their family members may bring along and present a paper record printed with the QR code or present a photo of the QR code saved in a mobile phone.
Parents may also add their children as “My Family Member” in the eHealth mobile application so that they can retrieve and present their own Vaccine Pass as well as that of their children at the same time. Feel free to visit the relevant webpage to learn more.
A new function will be added to the “LeaveHomeSafe” mobile application soon to allow parents to save their own Vaccine Pass and that of their children
 
Persons aged 12 or above
Starting from November 30, persons aged 12 or above are required to have received the third vaccine dose.
               
Since the Club is subject to active checking of the Vaccine Pass, those who do not follow these measures will not be admitted. Click here to see more details on dosage schedule of Vaccines Pass.
 
Thank you for your continued support of the Club. Please take care, stay safe and healthy.
 
Keith Richburg
President
23 September 2022

 
 

MOFA Responds to FCC Statement on the arrest of Ronson Chan, chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued the following response to the FCC’s statement on the arrest of Ronson Chan, chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association:

The spokesperson of the Commissioner’s Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR strongly disapproved and firmly rejected the move of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club (FCC) and a few Western anti-China politicians to slander the action taken by the Hong Kong police towards certain members of the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) in accordance with law and to interfere with the rule of law in the HKSAR.

The spokesperson said that Hong Kong is a society governed by rule of law where laws must be enforced and lawbreakers held to account. Both the Basic Law of the HKSAR and the National Security Law for the HKSAR stipulate that lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents are protected, including freedom of speech and the press. However, there is no absolute press freedom anywhere in the world that could be above law, and the identity of a journalist doesn’t mean they have amnesty or enjoy immunity for whatever they do. All journalists in Hong Kong must strictly abide by the laws of the HKSAR, and no one should engage in activities that damage Hong Kong’s stability under the name of journalism.

The spokesperson pointed out that the FCC and some Western politicians ignored the facts and took every opportunity to attack the SAR Government and supported anti-China forces in Hong Kong, which fully exposed their intention of meddling with the rule of law in the SAR and disrupting Hong Kong in the name of press freedom. Their tricks will bite the dust.

The spokesperson stressed that Hong Kong is in a new stage of moving from chaos to stability and then to greater prosperity, and no external forces could stop the sustained implementation of “one country, two systems”. We urge the FCC and certain Western politicians to recognize the fact, put themselves in the right position, respect the rule of law in the SAR, cease and desist from interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs for any reason, and stop going further down the wrong path.

Statement on the arrest of Ronson Chan, chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association

The FCC notes with concern today’s arrest of the chairperson of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, Ronson Chan. The club is monitoring the situation very closely.

The police have stated that Mr. Chan was arrested after he repeatedly refused requests to show his ID. He was detained on suspicion of obstructing a police officer and disorder in a public place.

Given Mr. Chan’s position as a prominent leader in Hong Kong’s journalism community, the FCC strongly urges the authorities to exercise transparency and care in handling Mr. Chan’s case. This is especially important given the international attention on press freedom in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s government has repeatedly told the public that Hong Kong’s right to press freedom and free speech – enshrined in the city’s Basic Law – is not at risk.The FCC supports journalists’ right to cover stories without fear of harassment or arrest.

FCC Clare Hollingworth Fellowship – Applications Open

FCC Clare Hollingworth Fellowship – Applications Open
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is accepting applications for the Clare Hollingworth Fellowship, named after the preeminent and path-breaking journalist.

Clare Hollingworth

Ms. Hollingworth had a remarkable career as a foreign correspondent with the scoop of the century as a 27-year-old when she reported on Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. Ms. Hollingworth was also a treasured member of the FCC for more than 40 years who made significant contributions to the intellectual and professional life of the FCC.

 

The Hollingworth Fellowship honours early career journalists and current journalism school students in Hong Kong. Journalists and journalism students from all fields of professional study are eligible. Applications close on 14 October. The fellowship will run for one calendar year, 1 November 2022 – 31 October 2023.
Overview of key features of the fellowship:

 

  • Complimentary access to all FCC professional talks, official gatherings and conferences (subject to pandemic restrictions);
  • Unlimited access to the FCC facilities including the gym and workroom;
  • FCC monthly dues and the membership fee are waived for the fellowship period; and
  • Networking opportunities with senior newsroom leaders
For details on past fellows, please see below:

 

  1. Jennifer Creery and Tiffany Liang
  2. Mary Hui and Jessie Pang
  3. Hillary Leung and Amy Sood
Fellows Requirements and Expectations

 

  • Produce and contribute a piece in their field for the FCC (e.g. long-form article for the FCC magazine, The Correspondent (see examples here and here); photographic exhibition for the Bar, video piece for the website)
  • Assist in the organization of virtual and in-person events for journalists
  • Actively contribute to the intellectual and professional life of the FCC
Eligibility Criteria

 

Candidates must meet all of the following criteria to apply:

  • At least two years’ journalism experience with a proven track record of developing stories in any sector or medium. Applications are welcome from candidates from foreign news organisations as well as local news organisations in Hong Kong
  • Be 30 years of age or under at the time the fellowship begins
  • Be a resident of Hong Kong at the time of application and a resident of Hong Kong for the duration of the Fellowship
Application Process and Material

 

Applications must be submitted in English by 14 October, 2022; late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Only chosen candidates will be notified by writing. All files must be submitted in either PDF or MS Word format to [email protected] with the subject line Attn: first name/last name of applicant, Clare Hollingworth Fellowship application. Applications should include:

  • Two pieces of published work, or in the case of a journalism student, two essays of no more than 2000 words each
  • A 500-word statement of intent for the piece that the Fellow will contribute to the FCC
  • Please send via post two sealed written references from suitable referees, e.g. senior editor or journalism school dean again with the same subject line: Attn: first name / last name of applicant, Clare Hollingworth Fellowship application. The reference letters should be sent to The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong, North Block, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong. When submitting your application, please note in the covering email that the references have been sent via post. Reference letters should specify how long the referee has known the applicant and in what capacity, comments on the applicant’s potential to make an impact in the field of journalism, and any relevant prior experience.
  • Recent resume of no more than 2 pages
  • Provide a valid HKID card number.
 

Update on entry to Private Functions: Negative RAT test/ PCR test required

Update on entry to Private Functions: Negative RAT test/ PCR test required
      
With the number of COVID-19 Omicron cases in Hong Kong continuing to rise, the Government has announced a new measure starting from Sunday, 28 August 2022.
      
All Members holding a private function or joining a Club event, and any Members’ guests joining these activities, must before entering show our staff photographic proof of a negative RAT test. The RAT test must be taken within 24 hours of joining the function and must show the person’s name, date, and time the test was taken, as per photo sample. Alternately an SMS notification can be shown containing the result of a negative PCR test received within the 48 hours preceding his/her entry to the Club.
      
(Sample of RAT test result)
      
For reasons of hygiene and the safety of all Members and staff, RAT tests must be conducted prior to your arrival at the Club. Tests cannot be taken here at the Club.
      
If Members are in any doubt as to whether their event or booking is affected by these new conditions, please contact the office at 2521 1511 or email [email protected]. Those who do not follow these measures will not be admitted to the event.
      
Thank you for your continued support of the Club. Please take care, stay safe and healthy.
      
Keith Richburg
President
30 August 2022
      

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