A student reporter has apologised after he wore a NowTV press vest when reporting on Hong Kong’s protests, despite not working for the broadcaster. Andy Ip – a journalism student at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan – said he has been working as a freelancer whilst reporting on the anti-extradition law protests since June.
He said that, as a student, he lacked the proper gear: “Knowing that, but still want[ing] to report the truth about the democracy movement, I tried to contact everyone I know to see if anyone can spare me some protection… Therefore, I got the Now TV vest.”
[Fake Press] This man was spotted wearing NOW TV orange vest, filming recent large-scale public events. He’s not an employee of NOW News nor NOW TV, according to a statement by the broadcaster.
Source: https://t.co/uOnbCtFVPV#HongKongProtests #HongKong pic.twitter.com/bekXPX5sDf
— GC (@gromitcool) August 15, 2019
NowTV released a statement on Thursday stating that a man wearing one of their vests was not an employee of theirs. It prompted commenters to accuse him of being an undercover police officer or a “fake” journalist.
The Taiwanese-Vietnamese student, who has permanent residency, said in a public Facebook statement that he hoped the word “media” on the vest would offer him some protection.
“I wore it wrongly, disregarded the brand… My action causes a tremendous [affliction] and misunderstanding to Now TV and the public. Especially, in this very sensitive time. I would like to sincerely apologise for my wrong action and promise to learn from this terrible mistake, and never ever wear or do such irresponsible thing[s] again.”
On Monday, a reporter for the state-run Global Times tabloid was attacked by protesters at the airport after he failed to produce his press credentials.
Suspicions have also been raised among protesters in recent days after it was revealed that police have used undercover officers disguised as demonstrators.