RTHK, Hong Kong's public service broadcaster, recently announced that it will suspend its 24 hour relay service of BBC World Service radio.
It has been relaying BBC World Service radio broadcasts in Hong Kong since 1978, providing listeners in the city with unbiased world news and analysis, as well as important information on global issues.
RTHK says it will replace the BBC World Service with programming in Mandarin from the China National News Hong Kong Edition on 4th September 2017.
Hong Kong touts itself as an international city. Yet the removal of the BBC World Service from the airwaves makes the city feel more parochial and inward‐looking.
To be clear, we are not against the service provided by China National News. We just don't want RTHK to broadcast China National News at the expense the BBC programming which many Hong Kong people rely on for news from far flung places.
Programming on the BBC World Service is of high quality. Its critical news reporting is excellent. RTHK is ignoring the fact that thousands of people in Hong Kong regularly enjoy the BBC World Service, and will be deeply saddened by its axeing.
We therefore call on RTHK to provide the China National News Hong Kong Edition with an additional AM radio wavelength to broadcast on in Hong Kong, thereby allowing the BBC World Service to keep being heard on AM 675.
This solution can provide the citizens of Hong Kong more choice – not less – in what radio stations they listen to.