(Free) TV cultural rights and local identity : the struggle of HKTV as a social movement

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses why and how, in October 2013, the struggle for a free-to-air TV license by HKTV could turn into a social movement. It traces the historical makeup of neo-liberaliza- tion and monopolization in TV production: TV licensing as a (colonial) governmental measure on the media under the guise of a “laissez-faire” media policy, which has been reinvented as a grip on cultural rights to TV in post-handover Hong Kong. HKTV’s “David vs Goliath” struggle against the decision demonstrated how political fear (of Beijing control over the Hong Kong government) among the people has fed into an anxiety over media monopoly. What might have caught the powers-to-be by surprise was the vociferous protest from the general public. My analysis situates the incident in the context of an array of travesties against media freedoms in recent years, which have enabled the audience (as citizens) to rise up and demand their cultural rights to creative and quality TV. I conclude by exam- ining the agency of creativity, which, in this case, has been articulated to an agency of (decolonized) identity in the struggle for democracy in the present political cultural conjuncture of Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-435
Number of pages14
JournalInter-Asia Cultural Studies
Issue number3
Early online date30 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • HKTV
  • TVB
  • creativity
  • media monopoly
  • neo-liberalism
  • social movement
  • television licensing


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