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Speech by Chief Secretary for Administration


Following is the English portion of the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Donald Tsang, at the Prize Presentation Ceremony of the Hong Kong Best Press Award organised by the Newspaper Society of Hong Kong today (May 4):

For our English speaking guests, I would like to say a few words in English. Don't worry - I will keep it very brief. The last thing I want to read in tomorrow's headline is "the new CS sending the media to sleep"!

First of all, let me say how delighted I am to be here to present the Hong Kong News Awards 2000. This is the first time I attend a formal gathering of the media in my official capacity as the Chief Secretary for Administration. And it is of course an honour to join you in cheering some of the best performers in the industry.

I am also proud to say that despite what many doomsayers predicted before 1997, our media remain free and robust over the past four years since Reunification, reporting and commenting freely and critically on things happening in Hong Kong, the Mainland, Taiwan and foreign countries. In fact, I would suggest that the press is now even tougher on the Government than it was before the Handover. Your critical observations and sharp comments are not often music to our ears, but I welcome them as an important driving force, giving us in the public service the impetus to improve and strive for higher standards. In my view, the press is very much the icon of Hong Kong's commitment to remaining in the league of open and civilised world class cities.

Like all trades and professions, I know you have to constantly guard against letting standards slip, particularly in the face of intense competition which creates pressure for reporters and editors alike to scramble for juicier stories, sharper angles and more sensational headlines. Against such a background, I pay tribute to all those of you who are dedicated to veracious and objective reporting, and to fair play rather than sensationalism. I commend the Newspaper Society of Hong Kong for recognising outstanding performance and setting the benchmark of quality journalism. To all the winners of the Awards, I extend to you my warmest congratulations.

Thank you very much.

(Please also refer to the Chinese part of the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration.)

End/Friday, May 4, 2001


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