As the crackdown on dissent continues in Hong Kong with pro-democracy protesters and politicians detained and jailed, there are now fears for the independence of its flagship public service broadcaster and media freedom as a whole.
The critically acclaimed Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), founded in 1928 when Hong Kong was still under British rule, has its editorial independence guaranteed in a charter and is often called Hong Kong’s version of the BBC.
But things have changed in a very short span of time.
News programmes are being pulled at the last minute, senior staff are quitting in quick succession and a journalist who became a household name for grilling Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam was fired.
Ms Lam herself was given air time four times a day to promote Chinese imposed electoral changes that will reduce the number of directly elected lawmakers.
The head of the station – a journalism veteran – was “released” six months ahead of his contract and replaced with Patrick Li, a career bureaucrat with no media experience.
Supporters of RTHK and its independent public service agenda are outraged.