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Marathoners voice support for press freedom in Hong Kong

Published on Feb 16, 2014 3:36 PM

HONG KONG (AFP) - Runners in Hong Kong's annual street marathon donned blue ribbons on their sports vests on Sunday to show their support for press freedom, as fears grow that the city's independent media is under threat.

An estimated one in 10 of the 64,000 marathoners taking part in the race, including journalists, finance professionals and students, wore the ribbons to protest what is widely seen as creeping self-censorship in the Hong Kong media.

Insiders have warned that the city's status as a bastion of press freedom is being eroded by pressure from Beijing and media bosses loath to lose business in China, where newspapers and television channels are tightly controlled.

"We need to fight for our bottom line. Our core values are, bit by bit, being encroached. But justice for Hong Kong cannot be sacrificed," Ms Kate Cheung, a 27-year-old reporter for a Hong Kong-based news website, told AFP.

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