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FCC Statement on World Press Freedom Day

    
 
This World Press Freedom Day, the Foreign Correspondents’ Club Hong Kong reinforces its commitment to pushing to maintain freedom of the press in Hong Kong and around the globe.
 
As journalists and media organisations in Hong Kong face rising pressure and uncertainty due to the recent passing of the Safeguarding National Security Act, May 3 acts as a reminder for government officials to respect their stated commitment to press freedom. It is also a day for media professionals to reflect on issues of press freedom and professional ethics.
 
Today we celebrate the media’s role in providing a platform to tell stories which keep our society informed and engaged about issues which affect us all. We advocate for journalists’ right to continue to carry out their work unhindered, free of harassment and danger.
 
We show solidarity with Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who has been detained in Russia for over a year, and the hundreds of journalists imprisoned or killed as a consequence of doing their jobs covering conflicts in Myanmar, Ukraine, the Middle East and elsewhere.  
 
The Israel-Gaza war, in particular, calls attention to the need for governments to do more to safeguard journalists’ ability to inform the public. We mourn the 97 journalists and media workers killed in the course of covering that war, and express our deep concern for the 45 others reported injured, missing or arrested.1
 
The FCC will continue to monitor the press freedom situation in Hong Kong, make statements and question government policy with an aim to ensure that journalists can carry out their work without fear or favour.

“Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forgo” – Mahatma Gandhi



1Committee to Protect Journalists, 29 April 2024 https://cpj.org/2024/04/journalist-casualties-in-the-israel-gaza-conflict

Nominees for the Election of the Board of Governors 2024-2025

Dear Members,

Here are the nominations for the FCC Board of Governors 2024-2025. Below are links to each nominee’s bio and policy statement. Please read them before voting.

 

Notes:    
  a. Please indicate your vote by putting a “✓” in the appropriate bracket. Any mark other than a “✓” shall invalidate this Ballot paper.  
  b. If vote(s) casted exceed(s) the number allowed in respective capacity, this Ballot paper shall be invalid.  
  c. Bio & policy statements of the candidates are available at the FCC website <www.fcchk.org>.  
  d. The completed Ballot paper must be received by the Club, either by mail or in the Ballot box, not later than 3pm on Thursday, 23 May 2024.  
     

CANDIDATES


PRESIDENT
(The position of President can be voted by Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than one)
1. Lee WILLIAMSON – SCMP
     

FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
(The position of First Vice President can be voted by Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than one)

2. Morgan DAVIS – IFR Asia
     

SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
(The position of Second Vice President can be voted by Correspondent, Journalist or Associate members)
(Vote for not more than one)

3. Tim HUXLEY – Mandarin Shipping
     

CORRESPONDENT MEMBER GOVERNORS
(The position of Correspondent Governor can be voted by Correspondent members only)
(Vote for not more than eight)

4. Karly COX – Tatler Asia
5. Jennifer JETT – Asia Digital Editor, NBC News
6. Karen KOH – Freelance broadcast journalist
7. Kari Soo LINDBERG– Bloomberg News
8. Kristie LU STOUT – CNN International
9. Connor MYCROFT – SCMP
10. Dean NAPOLITANO – The New York Times International Edition
11. Peter PARKS – AFP
12. Stephanie Barrio THORN – The New York Times
13. Laura WESTBROOK – Feature Story News
14. William ZHENG – SCMP
     

JOURNALIST MEMBER GOVERNORS
(The position of Journalist Governor can be voted by Correspondent or Journalist members)
(Vote for not more than two)

15. Zela CHIN – TVB
16. HO Man Kit Raymond – Metro Broadcast Corp. Ltd.
17. Joe PAN – NFTMetta News
     

ASSOCIATE MEMBER GOVERNORS
(The position of Associate Governor can be voted by Correspondent, Journalist or Associate members)
(Vote for not more than four)

18. CHAN Nap Kee Joseph – Oriental Patron Financial Group
19. LIU Kin-ming – KM & Associates
20. Lynne MULHOLLAND – The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels
21. Christopher SLAUGHTER – AIA Group
22. Barbara YU LARSSON – PAKT Limited
23. Alexandra YUNG – Creasians Company Ltd

FCC Statement on border entry denial of Reporters Without Borders representative

    
 
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is concerned that a representative of global press freedom NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been denied entry to Hong Kong by the city’s immigration officials.
 
Aleksandra Bielakowska travelled to Hong Kong twice in 2023 without incident, both times in her professional capacity as an Advocacy Officer at RSF, but was denied entry on this trip. Her colleague Cédric Alviani, who was travelling with Ms Bielakowska on April 10, was granted entry to Hong Kong.
 
The FCC has reached out to the Immigration Department to ask why Ms Bielakowska was denied entry.
 
While we appreciate that the Immigration Department does not normally comment on individual cases, we respectfully request an explanation in order to improve the transparency of the system, and so that the public may better understand the reasons behind the decision.
 
 

FCC Nomination for the Board of Governors 2024–2025

FCC Nomination for the Board of Governors
2024 – 2025
      
Dear Members,
The FCC Annual Nomination Meeting will be held on Wednesday, 10 April 2024 for the purpose of accepting oral nominations for the Board of Governors for the 2024 – 2025 Term.
Under the provisions of the Articles of Association, nominations may also be made in writing.
For those who wish to make a written nomination or nominations, please use the form(s) we are sending to you by mail or you can ask from the office. The written nominations should be delivered to the Club office, either in person or by registered letter, no later than 6pm on Wednesday, 10 April 2024.
Nominations are invited for the following positions:

A President who shall be a Correspondent Member. The nomination must be made and seconded by Correspondent Members.

A First Vice-President who shall be a Correspondent Member. The nomination must be made and seconded by Correspondent Members.

A Second Vice-President who may be a Journalist Member or an Associate Member. The nominations may be made and seconded by Correspondent Members, Journalist Members or Associate Members.

Eight (8) Correspondent Member Governors who shall be Correspondent Members. The nominations must be made and seconded by Correspondent Members.

Two (2) Journalist Member Governors who shall be Journalist Members. The nominations may be made and seconded by Correspondent Members or Journalist Members.

Four (4) Associate Member Governors who shall be Associate Members. The nominations may be made and seconded by any Voting Member.

A Member being nominated does not mean that he or she is elected a Club Officer. An election by mail ballot will be held subsequently and the mail ballot papers together with a list of candidates accepted will be sent to all Members of the Club one week after the Nomination Meeting.
A candidate for election to the Board of Governors can accept nomination for only one position on the Board of Governors.
By order of the Board of Governors,
Lee Williamson
President

FCC Submission on the Consultation Document of Article 23 of the Basic Law

On February 28, The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong sent the following submission to the Security Bureau on the Consultation Document of Article 23 of the Basic Law.

A Message from the President

 

      “As mid-term report cards go, I’m satisfied with the progress we’ve made thus far and confident that we can build on what we have achieved in
the Year of the Dragon.”
      
     
Dear FCC members,
When I wrote my first president’s letter in June 2023, I laid out six priorities that I aimed to achieve as president. Six months later, halfway through the Board year, I’m writing to share updates on the progress we have made towards achieving these goals.
1) Resume issuing press freedom statements
We have issued six press freedom statements in the past six months, making our voice heard after a period of prolonged silence. In my policy statement, I made a pledge to lead with pragmatism—to engage in the issues and make our substantial voice count while safeguarding the future of the FCC. With several key verdicts expected in the coming months, we will not deviate from this path. More than 50 civil society organisations have disbanded in the last three years. It’s vital that the FCC remains standing as an independent voice, steadfast in its mission to defend press freedom and support journalists.
2) Appoint a new permanent GM
As previously communicated, David Brightling has been appointed as the next general manager of the FCC, having joined the team at the end of January. An experienced GM, David has managed multiple prestigious clubs in Asia across his decades-long career and was most recently GM at the Tanglin Club. I’m confident he will elevate our already high standards and improve the member experience. 
 
3) Build on last year’s training stream for early-career journalists
After a successful fundraising event, over the last few months we have hosted subsidised workshops on digital security, covering China and presenting skills aimed at early-career journalists.
4) Bring back the FCC’s Journalism Conference
The conference will return on April 13 after a five-year absence. With a mission to inform and uplift, we are building the programme to help journalists equip themselves with the knowledge and tools they need. Expect talks and panels on China, climate journalism, mental health, artificial intelligence and more.
5) Develop community outreach initiatives
The Board voted to reinstate the club’s long-dormant Charity Committee this autumn, with Correspondent governor Morgan Davis taking the lead as convenor. More than a dozen members have joined the rejuvenated committee to help the club make a positive impact in the community.
6) Make diversity a priority at FCC speaking events
The Professional Committee has started to track gender representation at FCC speaking events. In the last three months of 2023, 43 percent of our speakers were women. We will continue to monitor and strive for parity.
As mid-term report cards go, I’m satisfied with the progress we’ve made thus far and confident that we can build on what we have achieved in the Year of the Dragon. I’m tremendously grateful to the Board of Governors and all committee members for their support of these priorities and for the countless hours that have been put in behind the scenes over the last six months. It really does take a village.
 
 
As always, I welcome all feedback on how we can improve.
 

Lee Williamson
President
[email protected]

A Message from the General Manager

      
Dear members,
It is a pleasure for me to write my first note as your General Manager.
I have enjoyed a warm welcome from members and staff alike since my arrival on Monday 29th January. I have already noticed familiar faces at familiar spaces around the main bar and I now know where the lawyers and photographers sit! You will see me around the club well into the evening – especially on Friday nights – and I ask for your patience and understanding as it will take me a while to connect all the names and faces.
Member feedback is very important, and I appreciate the many comments and suggestions I have received to date. FCC members are certainly passionate about their club! Comment Cards are shared with me and discussed with the management team, and a summary is presented to the House/F&B Committee and to the Board each month. The team is also planning a comprehensive Membership Survey for March. This will enable us to gather statistically valid data on member satisfaction with our various outlets, programmes, events and facilities. Ample space will be provided for comments which, while not statistically valid, help to provide context to the numerical scores and will assist us in identifying opportunities for improvement. The scores will be cross tabulated with demographic information so that we can understand the needs and wants of our diverse, multinational membership.
I encourage you to participate in this important initiative. Survey data is very valuable for the Board, its various committees, management and staff. Results will be shared with each of these groups and with the membership through The Correspondent magazine and will form the basis of planning for the future. Survey results are also invaluable for me, as your new General Manager, as they will help me to clearly understand what members want and to plan and prioritize accordingly for the months ahead. We are also planning three lucky draw prizes for survey participants, which we will announce in late February.
Finally, a word about our staff. The FCC is blessed with a dedicated, hard-working, warm and welcoming team, some of whom have worked at the club for decades. I am enjoying working with them and look forward to giving them the tools they need to help to improve the club’s already high standards. They are an integral part of your experience at the club, and I know how much they are valued and appreciated.
I look forward to seeing you around the club in the weeks and months ahead.
 
Kung Hei Fat Choy!
Yours faithfully,

David

David Brightling
General Manager
[email protected]

New Monthly Subscription Fees from 2024

New Monthly Subscription Fees from 2024
      
Dear Members,
I’m writing to inform you that the Board of Governors has voted to increase monthly subscriptions for all categories of membership by HK$100 per month, to HK$1,300, effective from January 1 2024. Joining fees will be unchanged.
I’m proud that the FCC remains one of the best value clubs in the city—even with this latest amendment to our fees—but we must balance value for members with the long-term financial health of the club.
In 2022, the club increased monthly subscriptions for the first time in seven years. With only one increment over the better part of a decade, our fees remain behind inflation. To remedy this moving forward, the Board has also made a commitment to review monthly subs on an annual basis.
One way that we can all help to increase club revenue is to recruit more members. If you’re successful, of course, the HK$1,000 club credit you’ll receive for recruiting a new member will pay for almost all of this year’s increase in subs fees—the definition of a win-win!
On behalf of the Board, I wish you a happy and peaceful festive season.
Yours faithfully,
Lee Williamson
President
[email protected]

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Awards Clare Hollingworth Fellowships 2023

The Foreign Correspondents’ Club Awards
Clare Hollingworth Fellowships
 
 
FELLOWS
 
Mithil Aggarwal
Mithil Aggarwal is a producer / reporter for NBC News, covering global breaking news and human interest stories. An engineering graduate from The University of Hong Kong, he stumbled into journalism by accident, producing an award-winning podcast.
 
Eudora Wang
Eudora Wang is the Deputy Editor, Greater China, at DealStreetAsia, where she covers alternative investments. Wang holds a master’s degree in international journalism studies from Hong Kong Baptist University and a bachelor’s degree in radio and television studies from Xi’an International Studies University.
 
Aruzhan Zeinulla
Aruzhan Zeinulla is a senior-year international journalism student at Hong Kong Baptist University from Kazakhstan. After completing her summer internship, primarily covering the Russia-Ukraine war, she joined CNN as a freelance news desk researcher.
 
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Hong Kong is pleased to announce that it has chosen Mithil Aggarwal, Eudora Wang and Aruzhan Zeinulla as recipients of the fifth 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 in 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-2/
 

Announcement: The FCC’s Next General Manager

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