Government Propaganda and Self-Censorship in Radio Television in Hong Kong

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Information technology has played a crucial role in the development of the radio industry. Technological advancement has brought about the diversification of the programme format of radio broadcast in late 1960s and the subsequent internet broadcast in 1994 (RTHK, 2008). With the improvements in the broadcasting and communication technology, new programme format, such as phone-in programme, emerged in the Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) in 1969. In later years, the advancement of information technology has facilitated the establishment of RTHK website and applications for online programme broadcast and review.
In the following paragraphs, the degree of self-censorship and government propaganda in RTHK will be discussed by analysing some phone-in programmes and online programme review before and after 1997 handover.
Phone-in programme
The first phone-in programme, called ‘Express Your Thoughts on Phone’ (電話說心聲), aired in 1969 (RTHK, 2008). In the early development of phone-in programmes, they mainly focused on providing governmental information to the public, and helping listeners to solve their problems in daily lives (Chin, 2009). As a government funded organization, RTHK was tasked to build up a friendly image of government officials through phone-in programmes, providing a platform for them to chat with radio listeners (Chin, 2009).
However, the situation had changed when the Chinese and British leaders started to discuss the future of Hong Kong in 1982. Hong Kong people no longer only cared about their daily lives, but also became more aware of the future of Hong Kong. The content of the phone-in programmes involved more political topics, with some listeners criticizing the colonial governmen...

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