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The Hong Kong government's attempt to shut down pirate radio broadcaster Citizen's Radio was scuttled in a recent decision of the Hong Kong High Court. In the decision, the Court stated that it did not see how the station's broadcasting could jeopardize public safety.
In a complicated ongoing legal battle, the Hong Kong government had sought to extend an injunction preventing the station from going to air. Citizen's Radio argued that denial of their application for a license violated their freedom of expression.
The unlicensed broadcasts were started in 2005 by a group of pro-democracy activists after their application for a license was denied by the Broadcasting Authority. The station airs phone-ins and discussions about current events and politics, including discussions about Hong Kong's transition to full democracy. In 2006, the station was raided by state agents, members were arrested and equipment confiscated.
After resuming broadcasts, the station got under official skin once again in May 2007 after legendary democracy activist, Szeto Wah, was interviewed about the Tiananmen Square Massacre. After the interview, Wah was charged with "knowingly becoming involved in the use of unlicensed communications equipment in order to transmit radio signals."
Citizen's Radio broadcasts on 102.8 FM from a tiny 150 square foot studio in a warehouse district in Mongok. They also distribute programming from their website.
Community access television in Canada is once again at risk of being destroyed as an access medium for the Canadian public. The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) wants to remove the community channel from the basic cable package, a move that would, in effect, gut community television as an access medium. Canadians are being urged to write to the CRTC and demand that community television remain in the basic cable package. The deadline for submissions is October 9, 2007.
If you want to respond immediately, here's what to do. Click here, to see the CRTC's call for comments in CRTC 2007-10. Paragraph 73 proposes that community television be removed from the basic cable package. Find paragraph 105 and follow the links to file an electronic response. You can also write your response in a separate file and attach it to your electronic submission.
If you would like to know more about this issue, and where to find supporting documents such as existing regulations for community television and learn about others working on the issue, keep reading...
The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.