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Petitioning Newsnight BBC and 3 others

BBC should immediately retract its inaccurate report and video on the Hong Kong protests and the Oslo Freedom Forum // 聯署要求英國廣播公司(BBC)收回有關奥斯陸自由論壇與雨傘運動的報道

聯署要求英國廣播公司(BBC)收回 10 月 21 日 題為「香港示威:香港社運人士於奧斯陸自由論壇公開秘密」的失實報道
(Scroll down for English)

*更新:BBC 在10月30 日更改了文字報導的標題 (「香港示威」 已被移除)。然而,BBC 網上仍有與雨傘運動事實不符的視像報導 (http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29723763 )。我們要求BBC 立即撤下視像報導。因爲報道對雨傘運動帶來的嚴重的政治後果,我們要求 1)BBC 立刻把整篇文字和影像報導從網上刪除 2)BBC 發出道歉聲明。  

。*

我們是一群支持雨傘運動的香港市民,對 BBC 於 10 月 21 日題爲 “Hong Kong protests: Activists share secrets at Oslo Freedom Forum” (「香港示威:香港社運人士於奧斯陸自由論壇公開秘密」)的報道内容不實,有嫌誤導,表示非常遺憾。報導的記者從沒有訪問過香港的示威者,卻引導讀者相信「雨傘運動」與「奧斯陸自由論壇」和六四天安門的示威者楊建利有關係,有違傳媒工作者事事求證、客觀報道的專業操守。中文媒體以及中國外交部駐香港辦事處數日後即引用這篇報道作爲運動有「外國勢力」幫助的證據,繼而定性運動爲顔色革命(請查看下面相關連結)。報道亦包含了不少引導性言辭,扭曲了運動由下而上、學生自發的事實,令示威者安全受到威脅。雖然在楊建利主動與記者聯絡澄清自己並沒有對運動提過建議,BBC 網上文字報道已經稍作更改,但視像報道中記者指出有幫助佔中運動的社運人士,如楊建利參與論壇的一段並無刪除,並傳達該人士每天、甚至每小時都與香港的學生談話的訊息。

報導有兩點特別含混不清,而 BBC 及記者 Laura Kuessenberg 均未有就此作出澄清,特此列明如下:

1. 報導誤導讀者相信香港示威者與「奧斯陸自由論壇」有聯繫

報導題為「香港示威:香港社運人士於奧斯陸自由論壇公開秘密」,讓讀者相信香港示威者於論壇上發言,分享有關示威的資訊。事實上,和平佔中和學生示威者均已澄清,根本沒有香港示威者參與該論壇。由於報導沒有提供進一步論證證實香港示威者由於論壇上向來自世界各地的示威者分享/接收資訊,我們認為報導題目有誤導/失實成分。

報導結尾寫道:「這件事(奧斯陸自由論壇)顯示 21 世紀的民主人權運動並不是獨立發展的。運動者,無論身處香港街頭還是世界其他地方,均以前所未見的速度分享資訊和意見。」如上述,香港示威者根本沒有參與論壇,因此記者的結論,連同之前的論述都是粗疏而帶有誤導成分的,嚴重影響報導的可信性。

2. 報導錯誤指出天安門示威者楊建利與香港學生每天聯絡

報道指:「25 年前有份參與天安門示威的中國學者楊建利(英文名字誤串) 與香港學生每天通訊。」在記者 Laura Kuenssberg 就同一題目發表的視像報道中 (詳見: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29723763) , Kuenssberg  同時指出:「在這裏(奧斯陸自由論壇)的社運人士積極幫助香港學生籌備正在進行的示威」,「楊建利每天,甚至每小時跟香港學生聯繫。」和平佔中已經澄清報道欠事實根據,學生組織學民思潮也澄清從沒有跟楊建利有定期聯繫。Kuenssberg 並沒有提供證據支持報道中的說法,楊建利本人也親自聯絡她澄清從未發表報道中的講話,然而,記者卻堅持保留原來的報道( 詳見: http://www.aboluowang.com/2014/1026/463062.html ) 。我們要求記者為報道提供確切可信的事實根據,以證明保留報道的決定出於專業考慮。

除了上述兩點,報道同時用上不必要的字眼,暗示學生運動有「陰謀」的成分(例如稱之為「公開的秘密」。事實上,佔領中環從一開始就不是秘密,而是推進民主討論的運動,因此在籌劃和執行上都是公開的,透明度都很高。)

我們對 BBC 的報道表示非常遺憾 - 報道有損 BBC 一直以來在香港的公信力。我們要求 BBC 儘快撤回失實報道,並公開道歉。

如有任何疑問,歡迎電郵 bbc.hkcitizenpetition@gmail.com.

相關連結:

BBC 文字報道: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29708917
BBC 視像報道: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29723763

中國外交部駐香港辦事處引用BBC報導指責民主運動(英文):http://www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/eng/xwdt/xjlc/t1204259.htm

中文媒體引述 BBC 報道指責民主運動:「香港顏色革命是經過精心策劃的(‘Hong Kong’s “colour revolution” carefully orchestrated’) http://www.chinadailyasia.com/opinion/2014-10/29/content_15183641.html
東網引述BBC報導稱千名佔中份子接受特訓http://hk.on.cc/hk/bkn/cnt/news/20141023/bkn-20141023203624184-1023_00822_001.html
學民思潮澄清聲明: https://www.facebook.com/Scholarism/posts/852151111483963
和平佔中澄清:BBC報道部分言論失實: http://bit.ly/1p4RY8T
楊建利澄清無指導佔中 曾鈺成指BBC失實:  http://bit.ly/1vjbCdU
楊建利:BBC曲解我的佔中採訪 新華網也採用 沒接受東網採訪: http://www.aboluowang.com/2014/1026/463062.html

BBC should immediately retract its inaccurate report and video on the Hong Kong protests and the Oslo Freedom Forum

*Update (2 Nov ): We are glad to see that the BBC has modified the title of the article as of 1st Nov so that 'Hong Kong protests' is no longer part of the title  ,and clarifications have been added to disclaim the connection between the Umbrella Movement and foreign intervention alluded in the reports. However, the video report (http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29723763 ) which contains all of the original errors and inaccuracies is still online. We demand that the video report (especially the segment from 1:23 to 2:33) be taken down immediately. Secondly, because of the widespread political damage that has already been done to the HK democratic movement due to the BBC's misleading and inaccurate reporting, we demand that the BBC issue a public apology immediately.*

We are a group of Hong Kong citizens who are supporting the ongoing protests for democracy. We deeply regret that the BBC’s report on Oct 21, titled ‘Hong Kong protests: Activists share secrets at Oslo Freedom Forum’ is full of inaccuracies and slanted reporting. Although minor adjustments to the report have been made since its more blatant errors came under criticism, we believe that the report as a whole lacks objectivity and accuracy we would expect from responsible journalism. Without having interviewed a single Hong Kong person, the report alleges that the current Hong Kong protests are closely related to 1) the Oslo Freedom Forum and 2) Tiananmen Square protester Jianli Yang. This irresponsible reporting has created significant repercussions for the democratic movement in Hong Kong. The Chinese media and the Office of China's Foreign Ministry has seized the BBC report as evidence for ‘foreign intervention’, condemning the movement as a ‘color revolution’ (see links below). The report has also provided the establishment with a lot of ammunition against the democratic movement, thereby gravely endangering everyone involved. This distortion of the local and bottom-up nature of the Hong Kong student protests is a direct result of BBC’s misguided report.

In addition to the written report, a video report on the same topic is still online, which contains obvious mistakes and inaccuracies. Two aspects of the written and video reports are particularly problematic, and have not yet been addressed by the BBC or the journalist who wrote it (Laura Kuenssberg):

  1. The report gives a false impression that the Hong Kong protests are closely tied to the Oslo Freedom Forum.

The title of the report reads ‘Hong Kong protests: Activists share secrets at Oslo Freedom Forum’, which gives the impression that Hong Kong activists were ‘sharing secrets’ at the Forum. In fact, not a single Hong Kong activist was present at the Forum, as already clarified by the organizers of Occupy Central, as well as the student protestors. The report gives no evidence for the implied claim that Hong Kong protesters have shared or received information from activists from other parts of the world. The title misguides the readers into believing a fact which is not clarified in the content of the article.

Moreover, the report writes in its conclusion: ‘What this event [the Oslo Freedom Forum] shows is that struggles for democracy or human rights in the 21st Century rarely happen in isolation. Activists, whether those on the streets of Hong Kong right now, or from other parts of the world, are sharing information and insights faster than ever before.’ Again, this conclusion is built on the unjustified assumption that Hong Kong protestors have actively shared messages with their counterparts from around the world at the Oslo Forum. With both its premise and conclusion flawed in accuracy, the article is highly, if not deliberately misleading.

In a video report on the same topic by Laura Kuenssberg (see: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29723763), Kuenssberg makes similar statements, ‘Activists here [at the Oslo Freedom Forum] have been involved in helping to organize the current protest in Hong Kong’. Again, this is a false claim that is not backed by any evidence.

  1. The report falsely asserts that Tiananmen Square protester Jianli Yang has been talking to students on a daily basis.

The report writes, ‘Jianili Yang [name misspelled], a Chinese academic,  was part of the protests in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago. He has been talking to the Hong Kong students on a daily basis.’ In a video report on the same topic by Laura Kuenssberg (see: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29723763), Kuenssberg even states, ‘Jianli Yang...he’s talking to the Hong Kong students now on a daily, almost hourly, basis’. Occupy Central has clarified that these statements are clearly false, unsupported by any evidence. Scholarism, one of the major student organizations involved in the protests, have also clarified that they have not been in regular contact with Yang.  Neither does Kuenssberg provide any proof for these claims at all. In addition, Yang has also personally contacted the reporter and denied that he had made such statement, yet the reporter insisted to keep it in the report. ( see:http://www.aboluowang.com/2014/1026/463062.html ) We demand solid evidence to support Kuenssberg’s claim, and decision to keep that evidence.

Aside from these problems, the report contains unnecessary phrases that suggest a conspiratorial nature to the student protests (eg. ‘an open secret’ - the planning of Occupy Central has never aimed to be in ‘secret’. In fact, the OC was conceived as an initiative in deliberative democracy, and therefore has always been public in planning and principle).

For enquiries or follow-ups, please contact us at bbc.hkcitizenpetition@gmail.com.

Relevant links:

The BBC written report: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-29708917
The BBC video report: http://www.bbc.com/news/education-29723763

The Commissioner's Office of China's Foreign Ministry making use of the BBC report to condemn the democratic movement: http://www.fmcoprc.gov.hk/eng/xwdt/xjlc/t1204259.htm

Chinese media using the BBC report to attack the democratic movement: ‘Hong Kong’s “colour revolution” carefully orchestrated’ http://www.chinadailyasia.com/opinion/2014-10/29/content_15183641.html

Pro-government HK media using the BBC report as evidence of the democratic movement’s links with the Oslo Freedom Forum and Yang Jianli (in Chinese):http://hk.on.cc/hk/bkn/cnt/news/20141023/bkn-20141023203624184-1023_00822_001.html
Scholarism’s statement of clarification  https://www.facebook.com/Scholarism/posts/852151111483963
Occupy Central’s clarification (in Chinese): 和平佔中澄清:BBC報道部分言論失實: http://bit.ly/1p4RY8T
Jianli Yang’s clarification, Jasper Tsang (President of the Hong Kong Legislative Council)’s criticism of BBC report (in Chinese): 楊建利澄清無指導佔中曾鈺成指BBC失實:  http://bit.ly/1vjbCdU
Jianli Yang’s clarification (in Chinese): 楊建利:BBC曲解我的佔中採訪新華網也採用沒接受東網採訪: http://www.aboluowang.com/2014/1026/463062.html

 

This petition was delivered to:
  • Newsnight BBC
  • Ian Katz, Editor, Newsnight BBC
  • Chief Political Correspondent, BBC
    Laura Kuenssberg

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