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Media freedom at stake

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By Donald Kirk

If "truth is the first casualty," newsrooms around the world are piled high with the wounded, the dying and the dead. The whole concept of a truthful, free and objective press has always been more myth than reality, a goal held up by politicians and journalists alike but never remotely realized. What's true to one bunch is fake news to another. The line between truth and falsehood wavers every day in Washington while President Donald Trump accuses his worst enemies in the media of purveying lies, and they fire off editorial barrages that sometimes make their opinion pages look like propaganda sheets concocted by the very dictatorships they so abhor.

That brings us to Hong Kong, once a fairly free-wheeling quasi-independent entity known for at least an appearance of free speech, including a free press. Not content with having staved off mobs of protesters last year, Chinese authorities have just arrested the media mogul whose carping and criticism was obviously right on target. Jimmy Lai, his two sons and staff members of Apple Daily were last seen in handcuffs led out of the paper's newsroom. All were wearing face masks so it was impossible to........

© The Korea Times

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