The Chinese news of “Australia TV” was ridiculed as the official mouthpiece.
However, this spirit may not be maintained in the future. Macau’s publication “Aide de Jour” quoted local Portuguese media as reporting that the head of the Portuguese news department of “Macau TV” informed the staff in an internal meeting on Wednesday that “Macau TV” is an organization that transmits messages from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Macau SAR government, and issued a new editorial directive The new editorial directive requires employees not to disseminate information or views that contradict the policies of the Chinese Communist government, and to promote patriotism, or they may be fired.
The Portuguese correspondent was also told that AFP supports the principle of “patriots ruling Hong Kong” and should further promote exchanges between China and Portuguese-speaking countries, as well as cultural exchanges between China and the West. In order to achieve these goals, the Executive Committee will make the necessary changes to the staff, structure and establishment. The term of the newest committee for the Director and Deputy Director of the Portuguese News Department will be shortened from the previous one-year renewal to six months.
In recent years, the Chinese language news of the AVC has been criticized as having only one pro-government voice. The former director and executive committee member Lo Chong Man, who was described as the “executioner” of the Chinese news department, was elected as the chairman of the executive committee earlier. Media personality Chui Tze Chiu believes that the next target will be Portuguese news.
Macau journalists. The tightening of reporting standards in Macau’s Portuguese-speaking media will seriously undermine press freedom, according to commentators.
Cui Zizhao: “All along, Portuguese and English news have been the fountain of freshness in the (Macau) press. But now after Lo Chong Man became the top leader of Macau TV, it is to destroy the last clear spring, and it is not even a news media anymore, it is just a department that helps the official propaganda, it has simply become a mouthpiece.”
He said that although Macau’s Portuguese-language news audience is relatively small, its influence cannot be ignored, and once it is reduced to an official mouthpiece, it will seriously undermine local press freedom.
Cui Tizhao: “Those executives are expatriates, and their editorial direction is not pro-communist or pro-China. Human rights, legal and political issues are only covered by Portuguese or English-language media, while other media will translate foreign-language news into Chinese. This is a very serious damage to the freedom of the press in Macau, and the next target may be some Portuguese newspapers. Many of the foreign-language media workers are not Macau residents, they may be holding work permits for expatriates, and officials may pressure them to meekly report according to the government’s framework.”
In addition to the Portuguese language broadcasting service provided by Macau TV, there are currently several Portuguese language newspapers in Macau, including Macau Today, Periodicals, Macau Platform and The Bugle.
Cui Tizhao: “This is because some of the policy adjustments of the Chinese Communist Party are, to a certain extent, treating the English and Portuguese media as foreign forces, because this voice may reach foreign countries. To turn this voice into the voice that the Chinese Communist Party wants, it will be difficult for foreign countries to understand the real situation in Macau.”
Macau’s pro-democracy legislator Au Kam San said it is an indisputable fact that the Chinese news of Macau TV is “self-regulating”.
Au Kam San: “For example, when some people were taken away from Macau during June 4 last year, the Chinese channel barely reported on it, while the Portuguese-language media reported and followed up in detail. It would not be too surprising to say that the Portuguese-speaking media are under pressure.”
He believes that the latest developments are related to the political situation in Hong Kong.
Au Kam San: “Most Macau people don’t know much Portuguese, even the officials don’t know much Portuguese, so they [the Portuguese-speaking media] have a more lenient scale of coverage, and maybe not too many people paid attention to it in the past. With the political situation (developing) in Hong Kong and Macau, officials may feel that this channel is more open and free, which may not be appropriate. If pressure is put on them to align with the Chinese media as a result, although it doesn’t seem to have a big impact, it’s an important sign that Macau’s press and freedom of expression are being compromised.”