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‘Gig economy’ bill bites back at freelancers

California Assembly Bill 5 was meant to protect workers in the “gig economy”. Instead, it is driving some freelance journalists out of work, and others out of the state. Morgan M. Davis reports.

Wall Street Journal reporters Philip Wen (left) and Josh Chin, expelled from China, at Beijing Capital Airport on February 24
How press freedom is backsliding across Asia

Freedom of the press is backsliding across Asia as authoritarian leaders demand total control over information.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announces the Olympics postponement on March 24
Coronavirus: Frustration at watching sports history being made

The modern Olympic Games have been cancelled three times, in World War One and World War Two. This time, the coronavirus has postponed them. Julian Ryall reports from Tokyo on how the sports media are coping.

People queued up for hours to purchase face masks from a makeshift stall
Coronavirus: How hard can it be to get the lowdown on face masks?

When face masks sold out in Hong Kong and people started queuing round the block on the back of rumours that new supplies were available, Jack Lau decided to investigate how to reuse the ones he had.

Coronavirus: ‘Abundance of caution’ leaves FCC sparkling

The FCC closed for two days last month for a “deep cleaning” after a member was confirmed with COVID-19. Kate Whitehead reports.

A passenger is surrounded by the media while showing off her quarantine tracking wrist band at Hong Kong’s international airport
Coronavirus: Privilege and pressure reporting a crisis with no end in sight

From taking care of their own health to making sure they get their facts straight in the middle of chaos, reporters on the frontline of the coronavirus story in Hong Kong see no let-up in their workload. Elizabeth Cheung reports.

March 26, 2020: Quiet afternoon along Salisbury Road
Coronavirus: First the streets were packed and now they are empty

The Correspondent asked freelance photographer and FCC member May James to look at how coronavirus is changing Hong Kong. After months working on the front line of the city’s protests, she found a very different picture

Master jade carver Andrew Shaw in his workshop in Suzhou
Ex-BBC journalist who conquered the closed world of jade carving in China

Former BBC reporter Andrew Shaw is proof that there is life after journalism, even if it took extreme changes for him to achieve it. Kate Whitehead tells his unusual story.

Right time, right place for Walter Kent’s clock

Long-term FCC member, the late Walter Kent, will be remembered for his punctual time-keeping now that part of his bequest to the club has been put in its rightful place, at the Ice House Street end of the Main Bar.

Obituary: ‘Tank Man’ photographer, Charlie Cole

The photojournalist who took the picture that will forever represent the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 died in September in Bali aged 64.

Jeannie Cho Lee with her book, The 100 Burgundy: Exceptional Wines to Build a Dream Cellar
Book Review – The 100 Burgundy: Exceptional Wines to Build a Dream Cellar

As a trading hub for wine, Hong Kong has seen the price and volume of Burgundy coming into Asia rocket. The region’s first Master of Wine – who’s an FCC member – has just launched a book on the subject.

Artist’s montaged rendition of a proposed 135-metre building on the site
Battle to cut former Central Hospital plan down to size

The FCC recently sent a message to members to support its representation to the Town Planning Board on the proposed 25-storey hospital and development across the road from the Club.

The Peace Hotel: Bund masterpiece still standing tall at 90

The Peace Hotel on Shanghai’s Bund has seen it all over 90 years, from glittering guests such as Charlie Chaplin and Noel Coward, to the Gang of Four and Communist officials settling in as the wheels of history turned. Jonathan Sharp went along for birthday celebrations.

HKG by Vincent Yu
On The Wall: HKG by Vincent Yu

Photographs by Vincent Yu from his 1998 book, HKG, and its 20th anniversary edition.

On The Wall: Rain, by William Furniss
On The Wall: Rain, by William Furniss

William’s ongoing project, Rain, consists of photographs shot through the water rushing down the windows of Hong Kong trams, during our frequent rainstorms.

On The Wall: Hong Kong Protests – Past and Present

Current photographs, Birdy Chu; others from FCC archive and courtesy of SCMP

‘Stone Age’ system leaves reporters in the dark when they cover Hong Kong courts

Not much has changed for years in the way Hong Kong’s courts handle the media, leaving reporters to rely on an unspoken code of sharing any information they can get their hands on.

Introducing… new FCC members, October 2019

The latest group of members to join the FCC is, as always, an interesting bunch. The membership committee meets regularly to go through applications and is always impressed by the diversity of people who want to join the club.

Cadres Study Period during 1983 national congress in Beijing to mark centenary of Karl Marx’s death. Photo: Liu Heung Shing
Finding the human face in a Sea of Red

Hong Kong-born photojournalist Liu Heung Shing has been described as “The Cartier-Bresson of China” and his beautiful new book, A Life In a Sea of Red, chronicles turbulent points of history in China and Russia.

Words on a page or on a screen – which one are you?

You browse on Amazon, or in a bookshop. You have shelves of books all over your home, or you have a slim device that carries your entire library. Which one are you? By Sian Powell.

Young businesswoman in the office with her coworker at night working late.
‘Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours per week’

Hong Kong has one of the longest working weeks in the world, but what motivates people to work hard if their career path and pay don’t match expectations? Stephanie Lin reports.

Mary Hui, left, and Jessica Pang.
‘I want to safeguard press freedom’: Meet the recipients of the inaugural Clare Hollingworth Fellowship

The first two winners of the new Clare Hollingworth Fellowship have been announced as the club pays homage to the memory of one of its most famous members. Morgan M. Davis reports.

Obituary: Gary Ling, the calm and friendly cameraman with a love of dim sum

Cameraman and journalist Gary Ling Wah-kee passed away on March 25 after a short illness. He was 67.

Marilyn Hood.
Obituary: Marilyn Hood, a private woman with a network of friends

Marilyn Hood, the FCC’s Marketing Manager, organiser of the Quiz Night and long-time club member, died on April 17 at Queen Mary Hospital after a struggle with cancer.

Nick at BFBS Hong Kong in 1981.
From Hong Kong Radio to Classic FM: Nick Bailey on a career that took him across the waves

From his time on pirate Radio Caroline to being the voice that launched Britain’s Classic FM radio station, Nick Bailey’s 50-year career in broadcasting included a decade in Hong Kong. Here he recounts those days with fondness.

Tantalise your tastebuds with new cocktails at Bert’s

The new cocktail menu has arrived at Bert’s. Morgan M. Davis selflessly went along for a tasting.

June 4, near Tiananmen Square, probably West ChangAn Avenue CREDIT: JACQUES LANGEVIN
Images of Tiananmen and Beyond: Photojournalists Tell the Story

See images from Tiananmen Square as featured in our On The Wall photo exhibition.

Fake news
What happens when government ministers decide what is true and what is false?

The Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act was passed in Singapore in May. Once signed into law, it will give government ministers sweeping powers to decide which statements are true and which false.

Introducing… FCC new members, July 2019

The membership committee meets regularly to go through applications and is always impressed by the diversity of people who want to join the club.

FCC President Jodi Schneider.
Jodi Schneider: It’s a privilege to be FCC President

Sue Brattle caught up with new FCC president Jodi Schneider in the Main Bar.

Obituary: Paul Baran, journalist and champion pool player

Paul Baran, retired journalist, former FCC member, and champion pool player, has died in Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, Canada, at the age of 69 of brain cancer.

The FCC has launched sustainability initiatives.
The Greening of the FCC

General manager Didier Saugy has made it his mission to reduce the club’s carbon footprint and has launched a series of initiatives towards that goal. Morgan M. Davis talked to him about the FCC going green.

Jeannie Cho Lee
Jeannie Cho Lee: What wine has taught me about life

Whether it’s the way a bottle of wine slows down how we eat or feeling wonder at the beauty human beings can create, Master of Wine Jeannie Cho Lee knows we can all learn lessons from wine.

Paul Gunnell in his beloved Cirrus SR22, en route from Guernsey to Normandy for lunch.
Paul Gunnell, the pilot whose legacy is a lifetime of adventure

A UK coroner’s inquest has failed to find the cause of the light aircraft accident on July 13, 2017, which claimed the lives of two experienced pilots, including FCC member and Cathay Pacific Deputy Chief Pilot, Paul Gunnell.

Photo: Tim Franco
On The Wall: Metamorpolis by Tim Franco

See Tim Franco’s six-year photographic documentation of Chongqing’s growing population and massive investment.

Photo: Steve Raymer
On The Wall: Siding With Humanity, by Steve Raymer

Steve Raymer’s long-standing role at the National Geographic magazine has taken him all over the world, as shown by the selection on these pages.

On The Wall: Basil Pao on the set of The Last Emperor

Basil Pao’s exhibition documents his time on the set of Bernardo Bertolucci’s cinematic masterpiece.

A printout of a hashtag to save The Cambodia Daily, at the paper’s newsroom in Phnom Penh
The death of the Cambodia Daily – and an attack on press freedom

Go back two years and the media landscape in Cambodia was very different from the pared-down press corps that covers the country’s news today.

FCC charity extravaganza: partying in a good cause

The FCC community turned out in full force – and full fancy dress – on March 16, 2019, for the Charity Fundraiser On Assignment: Yesteryear’s Foreign Correspondent.

Farewell message from the Club President, Florence de Changy

As Florence de Changy hands over the baton to a new Club President, she recaps on another eventful term for the FCC.

The Main Dining Room
The FCC Masterplan: Our vision for a club of the future

Around a thousand members took part in a survey canvassing ideas for changes they would like to see at the FCC and the masterplan inspired by their answers is now finished. Simon Pritchard, a member of the Club’s House Building Committee, outlines its key points.

Introducing… FCC new members, April 2019

A very warm welcome to our newest members who, as always, are a varied and interesting bunch. If you see them at the bar, say hello.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä gives a joint press conference with the French President (not in picture) in Helsinki, Finland, on August 30, 2018. Photo: AFP / Ludovic MARIN
Finland may have slipped in press freedom rankings, but all is not lost

Two incidents in recent years have seen Finland slip from first to fourth place in the world rankings for freedom of the press. Here FCC member Hannamiina Tanninen takes a look at this “public disgrace”.

New media award aims to bring sensitivity to reporting suicides

Mind HK is helping journalists to approach the topic of mental health in a new way. Olivia Parker reports.

‘This may cause some discomfort’: Overcoming prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is among the most common forms of cancer affecting men. Yet confusion and controversy still reign over how best to diagnose and treat the often fatal disease.

Susumu with the writer of this obituary, Tracy Dahlby, in the 1970s
Obituary: Susumu Awanohara, the foreign correspondent with a big heart

A respected former denizen of the FCC Hong Kong and the FCC Japan, Susumu spent two decades covering Asia and its role in global affairs for the Hong Kong-based Far Eastern Economic Review.

Photo: Derek Maitland
On The Wall: Derek Maitland’s Vietnam

War correspondent Derek Maitland on covering Vietnam.

Photo: Leong Ka Tai
On The Wall: The Central Police Station Compound

Photos from Leong Ka Tai.

Writer Geoff Dyer - no, not that one - talked about his work at the FCC. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC
Hong Kong Literary Festival: Feeding a hunger for words

There were some authors wandering around the FCC in early November, taking a break from appearing at this year’s Hong Kong International Literary Festival.

SK Witcher and Florence de Changy.
Two FCC members honoured for their decades of service

SK Witcher and Florence de Changy receive prestigious honours. Morgan M. Davis tells their stories.

Press clubs and the art of treading a fine line

Police shut down an event at the FCC Thailand for the sixth time recently. Michael Mackey was there and reports on the Club’s trials and triumphs.

Signs of the times: A look at the famous figures who have signed the FCC visitors book

After 36 years, the Club’s guest book is full, so George W. Russell flicked through the pages to chronicle the passage of visitors.

Johan Nylander
Want to write a book? Here’s all you need to know from a do-it-yourself superstar author

Best-selling author of Shenzhen Superstars – How China’s smartest city is challenging Silicon Valley gives his tips on successful self-publishing.

The wine dinners are highly social and educational evenings during which guests can get to know the winemakers and ask questions about their products.
Partners in Wine: Why the FCC’s wine dinners are a learning experience

No matter your level of expertise, everyone can learn something at the FCC wine dinners this autumn.

Johnny Ma joined the FCC this summer, following the retirement of executive chef George Cheng. Photo:
FCC’s new executive chef Johnny Ma arrives bursting with fresh ideas

Johnny Ma joined the FCC this summer, following the retirement of executive chef George Cheng.

Didier Saugy
Didier Saugy on why managing the FCC has him going back to his roots

The FCC’s new General Manager reveals some of his plans for the club.

Best of friends.
FCC adopts charity that helps asylum-seekers get their children into kindergarten

The FCC has adopted K3 as its charity for the next two years, helping refugees and asylum-seekers to get their children into kindergarten – and stay there. Joyce Lau reports.

Rebel fighters attempt to identify the dead near the frontline between Ajdabiya and Marsa Brega, Libya, on April 1, 2011.
Journalists on trying to stay safe in dangerous places

However much support journalists are given in conflict zones, they are still the ones who come face-to-face with danger on a daily basis. A freelancer and a bureau chief tell The Correspondent how they live with risk.

Introducing… FCC new members, October 2018

Take a look at the latest members to join the FCC.

Hong Kong Free Press’ Kris Cheng, left, and CNN’s Kirstie Lu Stout talk about confronting stereotypes at the 3rd FCC Journalism Conference. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC
In case you missed it: The FCC’s 3rd Journalism Conference – at a glance

Recap on the FCC’s 3rd Journalism Conference, covering topics from PTSD to investigative reporting.

Finding the right thing to say is never easy…

A reflection on how we struggle to know what to say to someone as they near the end of their life.

Winning lineup: Reporters and photographers who won awards, and the judges who reviewed their work
Human Rights Press Awards: Bringing light to the darkest of stories

The Correspondent spoke to six winners about their work and what winning a Human Rights Press Award means to them.

History comes home: Late FCC member Walter Kent bequeaths memorabilia

Illustrations and a clock among items donated by the estate of long-time member Walter Kent, who died in 2016.

Hong Kong director Johnnie To Kei-fung
Johnnie To, the quiet giant of Hong Kong cinema

Hong Kong director Johnnie To Kei-fung looks back on his 45 years in the film industry.

Book review: How to buy a house, or a love hotel, in Japan

Anyone interested in taking a plunge, a punt, or at least dipping a toe, in the Japanese property market had best read this book.

George with his hard-working team in the club’s newly refurbished kitchen.
George has left the kitchen: Executive chef retires after 11 years at FCC

George came to the FCC in 2007 after working as second chef at the Hong Kong Football Club for six years.

Fake news laws: How Asia’s governments are turning to statute books to silence journalists

New laws that critics decry as impeding free speech are making their way to the statute books in record time, writes Jane Moir.

Introducing… FCC new members July 2018

The latest group of members to join the FCC is, as always, an interesting bunch.

A Rohingya man carries a load of bamboo which he will use to build his family’s hut. Photo by Greg Constantine.
On The Wall: Exiled To Nowhere – Burma’s Rohingya

Photojournalist Greg Constantine has been documenting the persecution of the stateless Rohingya for more than 12 years.

Photo: Lukas Birk
On The Wall: Yangon Studio Photography 1960-1980

This exhibition showed studio images taken between 1962 and 1985 in Yangon.

Garry Marchant died at home on December 23.
Obituary: Garry Marchant, the peace correspondent

Globetrotting Gaz, a wise man with a taste for what’s good in life.

Morgan Chua as a young man
Obituary: Cartoonist Morgan Chua

Morgan’s iconic covers included his still famous image of Li Ka-shing as Superman.

Lee Yui Chit Eugene, Hong Kong Baptist University: Avery Ng Man-yuen, chairman of the League of Social Democrats, is grabbed by police at a protest on March 26, 2017 outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during the chief executive election.
On The Wall: Young Lenses

Students present photos of Hong Kong as they see it.

Artist’s impression of proposed 25-storey hospital at the SKH site.
Battle is on to stop 25-storey hospital casting a shadow over the FCC

Plan for huge building was presented with no prior discussion with the public, writes John Batten.

Come and enjoy a pint at the FCC.
Your FCC needs you… to drink more beer

Beer quality has improved markedly and we have updated our selection to reflect changing tastes. That means less lager, more draught beer.

Lord Ashdown speaking at the FCC in November 2017. Photo: Sarah Graham/FCC
Lord Ashdown: Mutual respect between the US and China is key to peace

Our in-depth report on British peer Lord Paddy Ashdown’s guest appearance in November, where he shared his refreshingly frank views on the US-China relationship and a wide range of other issues.

Photo: Miguelitor
Pictures: Hong Kong seen through the lens of Miguel Marina Rodriguez

Better known in photographic circles as Miguelitor, his candid and quirky style of street photography is “locally-grown” and has been inspired by Hong Kong’s street scenes and the people he found in them.

Photo: Vincent Yu/Associated Press
Pictures: North Korea – one party state machine

See Hong Kong-born photographer Vincent Yu’s award-winning pictures from North Korea.

Elizabeth Taylor at The Peninsula Lobby
Profile: Lynn Grebstad – the Peninsula PR woman who made Hollywood stars feel welcome in Hong Kong

In this member profile, Lynn recalls meeting, among many others, Elizabeth Taylor, Gene Hackman, and David Soul who was making a TV series called Harry’s Hong Kong.

Facebook still struggling against tide of fake news

Fake news continues to haunt social media sites. Facebook, for one, still struggles despite its well publicised steps to deal with it. 

What's going to be the big trend for social media in 2018? Photo: Pixabay
Social media trends 2018: forget Facebook, it’s all about messaging apps

With a growing number of news organisations pouring additional resources into delivering their content via the big social platforms, the likes of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appear to hold all the cards.

Sir David Tang's last visit to the FCC was in February 2016. Photo: FCC
Obituary: Sir David Tang

David Tang had a long connection with the FCC: as a speaker on four occasions from the early 90s; and as a friend to a number of members.

Canada’s Globe and Mail Asia correspondent Nathan VanderKlippe used Twitter to spread word of his detention.
Twitter to the rescue for American journalists detained in China

The two journalists were detained in separate incidents by Chinese police in August and managed to alert their employers — and followers — via Twitter about their predicament.

FCC new members, Nov/Dec 2017
Introducing… FCC new members, Nov/Dec 2017

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

Stephen King in his book “Grave New World” argues that globalisation has pretty much run its course.
Book review – Grave New World: The End of Globalization, the Return of History

The book’s dystopian premise offers the author the opportunity to demonstrate his erudition and ability to draw in multiple sources to reinforce the case that globalisation has, in all likelihood, pretty much run its course, writes Gavin Greenwood.

That’s the way it Crumbles, by Matthew Engel
Book review: Is (British) English a goner?

Right from the start, the author of this delightful book about the eternal feud between Britons and Americans over how their common language famously divides them seems to leave little doubt about where his sympathies lie.

Reciprocal clubs: The FCC visits Northern Club, Auckland, New Zealand

Despite its history of almost 150 years, the club’s facilities are providing modern conveniences (including a lift and fast Internet access) combined with the charm of a bygone era, writes Carsten Schael.

Moriarty hosting the 17th Human Rights Press Awards which he co-founded.
Francis Moriarty: radioman of the people

He’s the man who explained Hong Kong politics to the average RTHK listener, and of course the co-founder of the Human Rights Press Awards. Annemarie Evans pays tribute to Francis Moriarty as he relocates to his native U.S.

Sapa road towards Dien Bien Phu against the Mount Fansipan ranges
Get your motor runnin’… The highs and lows of photojournalist Richard Dobson’s Vietnam road trip

Four years ago photojournalist Richard Dobson realised a long-held ambition to drive his bike from Saigon to Hanoi the hard way, avoiding the busy coastal road and seeing as much of the interior as possible.

Protesters hold placards and chant during a demonstration against Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as she attends an event at the Guildhall in the City of London on May 8. Photo: AFP/Chris J Ratcliffe
Press freedom plumbs fresh depths in Southeast Asia

China’s harsh brand of media control has served as a role model for its neighbours south of the border where bright spots are hard to find, writes Luke Hunt.

Joshua Wong, centre, with fellow Umbrella Movement leaders Nathan Law, left, and Alex Chow, addresses the assembled media before their sentencing on August 17. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP
Outpouring of support for Hong Kong’s jailed pro-democracy activists

Politicians from both sides of the Atlantic joined with Hong Kong-based rights groups, lawmakers, student leaders and pro-democracy groups in criticising the Hong Kong government, saying the appeals were political decisions.

When Chinese bloggers started using the name and image of Winnie the Pooh as a substitute for Xi Jinping to avoid censorship of their posts, Chinese authorities reacted swiftly and banned the cute cartoon character. Photo: Weibo
Closing the net: What lies ahead for China under new cyber security laws?

New cyber security laws in China are making life ever-harder for information-based businesses, particularly foreign journalists operating there. Jane Moir takes a closer look at the impact of the new rules.

Welcome to the FCC's newest members. Photo: FCC
Introducing… FCC new members, Sep/Oct 2017

We profile the latest members – all have interesting tales to tell – so if you see a new face at the bar, please make them feel welcome.

Why joining the FCC was written in the stars for jazz singer Elaine Liu

Photographer, singer and musician Elaine Liu has been an FCC member for almost 20 years, but she might never have dropped in had we not been the Fringe Club’s neighbour.

Reporting War - How Foreign Correspondents Risked Capture, Torture and Death to Cover World War II, by Ray Moseley
Book review: Reporting War – How Foreign Correspondents Risked Capture, Torture and Death to Cover World War II

A new book about journalists who covered World War II chronicles the conflict that shot some newly minted war correspondents to stardom, blitzed the reputation of others, scared the hell out of most, and killed scores.

Mark was head of press and media services for the Hong Kong based equestrian events for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Member profile: Mark Pinkstone – a long way from Cootamundra

Club life member, Mark Pinkstone is about to celebrate 50 years working and living in Hong Kong. As Stephen Marshall writes, a lot can happen in a lifetime when you move from Cootamundra to Hong Kong in the wake of the 1967 riots.

Allan Zeman spoke about his life and business at a recent lunch.
Allan Zeman: C.Y. Leung’s ‘divisive’ personality alienated Hong Kong’s politically active young

Prominent business leader, long-time Hong Kong resident and Chinese citizen Allan Zeman was guest speaker at a Club luncheon where he discussed his views on the political, economic and commercial future of Hong Kong.

Spanish Tapas Platter: This platter of classic tapas includes marinated anchovies, manchego cheese a selection of cold cuts and delicious prawns. Photo:
The flavours of Spain and Germany – check out our tasty summer food promotions

September and October see Spanish tapas and German fare as the FCC brings you its popular monthly food and drinks promotions.

FCC backs Asian-American journalists’ association get-together

The FCC co-organised a lively panel discussion and hosted a gala dinner to help mark the return to Hong Kong of New.Now.Next Media Conference – the flagship event of the Asian-American Journalists’ Association’s Asia Chapter.

Technology Reporting – Juro Osawa, Reporter, The Information; Ben Richardson, Managing Editor, Asia Times; Josh Horwitz, Asia Correspondent, Quartz; and Moderator: Natasha Khan, Journalist, Bloomberg News. Photo: Asiapix
Beyond fake news: An in-depth look at the FCC Journalism Conference

George W. Russell offers a roundup of the presentations from guests, major issues covered in the discussion panels, instructive takeaways from workshops and useful feedback from attendees.

Life after the Hong Kong Handover: Hopes, fears and disappointment underline FCC debate

Twenty years after the transfer of sovereignty, the expectations and reality of the handover are again in the spotlight. Jane Moir reports on the FCC’s handover debate.

Clockwise from top left: Bhavan Jaipragas, Malcolm Johnston, Ernest Chi, Silver Kung, Michael Connelly, Alex Williams, Marian Liu, Jean-Charles Viens.
Introducing… FCC new members, July/August 2017

A mix of journalists, correspondents, associates and diplomats – see who the FCC’s newest members are, and buy them a drink at the bar.

Weiboscope: Tracking censorship of China’s most popular social media platform

The instant-messenger app Sina Weibo has been redefined by media as a bellwether of popular opinion. Martin Choi looks at its influence with a study of a University of Hong Kong project that tracks the censorship of microblogging posts.

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:
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.

The FCC’s piano men, Allen Youngblood and Larry Allen, share a tune in Bert’s in the late 90s. Photo: Hugh van Es
Bert’s bar: It’s quality over quantity when it comes to musicians, says Allen Youngblood

Allen Youngblood needs no introduction to the members of the FCC. He has been the man behind the music in Bert’s since it first opened in 1999.

Fisherman. Sri Lanka, by Basil Pao.
Wall Exhibition: Light Flight Series by Basil Pao

The images in this exhibition are excerpts from part two of the series: The Digital Age.

From left to right: Nan-Hie In, Matjaž Tančič, Kate Whitehead.
3D photographer Matjaz Tančič documents life in North Korea

Photographer Matjaz Tančič spoke about his  “3DPRK” project which involves taking 3D portraits of ordinary people as they go about their daily life in North Korea at a club dinner on February 13. He also presented a 20-minute video documentary about the making of this project which took months of negotiation with the Pyongyang authorities. There was also a presentation of his photographs – with 3D lenses provided for the audience. The project exhibition was …

The controversial LibertyWritersNews site illustrates how websites can use Facebook to tap into a surging ideology
Why fake news is good news for some journalists

There is one sure way for an individual journalist to make money online: lie through your teeth to an audience that is not interested in facts and welcomes these “alternative” facts as the new gospel: fake news is good news, if it suits you.

New York Times feels the pinch as China’s Great Firewall holds firm

It seems that hardly a day passes that individuals using social media and websites in China are restricted, closed down or prosecuted, usually with some variation of “inciting subversion of state power” as the reason. China’s almost blanket control of the country’s Internet – and consequently all forms of public dissent – has become the model for other countries  to emulate for many of the same reasons. The latest of these is the case of …

Why the FCC president in 2025 could be a hackbot

Journalism as it is conventionally understood – the printed word mediated by a pantheon of reporters and editors, the electronic media often regulated and constrained by law over content and ownership – has been besieged during the past few decades by technology, ideology and costs.

Hong Kong University journalism students join FCC as contributors in maiden project

The Journalist and Media Studies Centre and The Correspondent are putting together a programme where students from the JMSC will report on an issue related to journalism and media.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which replaces the US-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, was updated to reflect the latest political developments in Hong Kong.
Rubio and Cotton’s U.S. act reaffirms policy towards Hong Kong

US senators Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton’s bill, which replaces the US-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, was updated to reflect the latest political developments in Hong Kong.

Want to join the FCC Board? Here’s how to nominate yourself or someone else

If you have some ideas that you want the Board to run with or maybe you would like to give your time and effort to the future of the Club, then you are encouraged to stand for the Board.

Photo: FCC staff
FCC staff party in pictures

The staff, Board, members and guests put on their glad rags and competed in a bunch of drinking and eating games. It wasn’t too competitive as everyone got a prize.

Ken Tsang assaulted and arrested by Hong Kong Police during the Occupy Central protests. Photo: AFP
As jailed Hong Kong police have learned, the world is watching

As Hong Kong police officers are jailed for beating an Occupy Central protester, by now, every force on the planet ought to realise that the world is watching, writes Francis Moriarty.

Mike Simms with his beloved dog, Scrap. Photo: Facebook
Obituary: Mike Simms, revered editor and crusader against tautology

Always the gruff gentleman, Mike could often be found holding up the Main Bar at the end of a late shift sharing his stories and strong opinions with the likes of Greg Torode and the late Walter Kent.

The very reasonably-priced semi buffet lunch is available in the Main Dining Room. Photo:
The FCC’s new semi-buffet lunch will get your taste buds tingling

The Semi-Buffet Lunch offers a choice of four main courses accompanied by a wide selection of appetizers, side dishes and desserts.

The China Coast Community care home in Hong Kong.
The FCC is raising funds for the China Coast Community care home – and here’s how you can help

What sets the China Coast Community apart from other care homes is that it’s the only one dedicated to assisting the English-speaking elderly in Hong Kong.

Donald Trump at the National Press Club during his election campaign.
Reciprocal Clubs: A look at our partner press clubs around the world

Times change, as do the locations of press clubs around the world. Here, we look at our reciprocal arrangements with overseas press clubs.

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 …

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