HKU POP SITE releases people's appraisal of local news mediaBack


Press Release on August 23, 2005
 

The Public Opinion Programme (POP) at the University of Hong Kong today releases on schedule via the "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the latest figures of people's appraisal of the local news media. According to our general practice, all figures have been weighted according to the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population obtained from the 2001 Population Census, and are summarized as follows:

 
 Date of survey 8-11/11/04 14-16/2/05 9-12/5/05 5-9/8/05 Latest change
 Sample base 1,000 1,024 1,004 1,001 --
 Overall response rate 64.5% 65.2% 62.6% 61.0% --
 Sampling error of percentages (at 95% confidence level)* +/- 3% +/- 3% +/- 3% +/- 3% --
 Sampling error of rating (at 95% confidence level)* +/- 0.10 +/- 0.12 +/- 0.10 +/- 0.10 --
 Credibility rating of the local news media in general 5.90 6.05 5.92 5.81 -0.11
 Freedom of the press in HK: Satisfaction rate** 50% 58% 56% 53% -3%
 Freedom of the press in HK: Dissatisfaction rate** 13% 12% 11% 13% +2%
 Perceived the local news media to be responsible in their reporting** 22% 25% 25% 20% -5%
 Perceived the local news media to be irresponsible in their reporting** 33% 31% 32% 34% +2%
 Perceived that the local news media had given full play to the freedom of speech 68% 69% 64% 64% --
 Perceived that the local news media had not given full play to the freedom of speech 22% 20% 22% 26% +4%
 Perceived that the local news media had misused/abused the freedom of press 65% 59% 63% 66% +3%
 Perceived that the local news media had not misused/abused the freedom of press 24% 27% 23% 20% -3%
 Perceived that the local news media had practised self-censorship 45% 43% 39% 40% +1%
 Perceived that the local news media had not practised self-censorship 36% 39% 39% 40% +1%
 Perceived that the local news media had scruples when criticizing the HKSAR Government 31% 23% 27% 32% +5%
 Perceived that the local news media had no scruples when criticizing the HKSAR Government 62% 68% 65% 60% -5%
 Perceived that the local news media had scruples when criticizing the Central Government 63% 56% 54% 60% +6%
 Perceived that the local news media had no scruples when criticizing the Central Government 26% 32% 33% 28% -5%

* "95% confidence level" means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified.
** Collapsed from a 5-point scale.

 

Results of survey conducted in early August showed that, on a scale of 0-10, the latest credibility rating of the Hong Kong news media in general was 5.81 marks. Moreover, 53% of the respondents were satisfied with the freedom of the press in Hong Kong, 20% perceived the local news media to be responsible in their reporting, 64% believed the local news media had given full play to the freedom of speech, but 66% said they had misused or abused the freedom of press. Besides, those who thought the local news media had and had not practiced self-censorship shared the same percentage of 40%, 32% of the respondents thought they had scruples when criticizing the HKSAR Government, whereas 60% thought they had scruples when criticizing the Central Government.

 

Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, observed, "People's appraisal of the local news media in terms of their responsibility in news reporting and overall credibility has dropped slightly over the last three months, but their satisfaction of Hong Kong's press freedom and the way the press have handled it has not changed much. About 65% said the media have given full play to the freedom of speech, but roughly the same number said they have misused it. It should be noted that although 40% both ways considered the media have and have not practiced self-censorship, 60% said the media became apprehensive when criticizing the Central Government, which is in sharp contrast to the 60% who said the media have no such hesitation in criticizing the SAR Government."

 

POP's normal practice is to release the results of our regular surveys every Tuesday at 2 pm via our POP Site, except during public holidays, each time with a forecast of the items to be released in the forthcoming week. We will review and adjust this operation regularly. The date and time of our next release of regular survey findings will be August 30, 2005, Tuesday, at 2 pm, the latest popularity figures of CE Donald Tsang and HKSAR Government will be released.

 

Shall anyone have any question regarding the research design of the surveys published in the POP Site, members of the POP Team will be happy to answer them, but we will not further comment on the findings. Shall any person or journalist have any other questions, please email them to us at <[email protected]>. The Director of Public Opinion Programme would answer them as soon as possible. We will keep such an arrangement under constant review, suggestions most welcome. Please note that everything carried in the POP Site does not represent the stand of the University of Hong Kong. Dr Robert Ting-Yiu Chung, Director of Public Opinion Programme, is responsible for everything posted herewith, except for column articles which represent the stand of their authors.