Hong Kong Media Law

A Guide for Journalists and Media Professionals, Expanded Second Edition

(香港媒體法:記者和媒體專業人員指南, 第二版)

Doreen Weisenhaus, with contributions by Rick Glofcheski and Yan Mei Ning

ISBN : 978-988-8208-25-8


May 2014

480 pages, 6″ x 9″

  • HK$260.00

Also available in Paperback HK$260.00

This expanded second edition of Hong Kong Media Law aims to help anyone who uses any publishing device or platform to safely navigate the shifting terrain of media law. With its in-depth research and analyses of key developments in local and international contexts—in such areas as defamation, privacy, contempt of court, access to information, national security, copyright, obscenity and media regulation—it also is an authoritative resource for lawyers, judges, regulators and scholars.

It builds on the first edition, published in 2007, with more than 200 new cases, laws and regulations. They include significant global developments, particularly involving the Internet and social media, many of which have the potential for impact in Hong Kong. The trends show that Hong Kong’s failure to modernize media laws it inherited from a colonial past hinders journalists and harms the public interest.

It also examines the increasingly volatile reporting climate in mainland China, the PRC’s tightening restrictions on Hong Kong and foreign reporters and its attempts to influence the legal and journalistic environments in Hong Kong.

Like the first, this edition provides chapter FAQs and checklists, a chronology of press freedom milestones, a glossary of legal terms, a court research guide and key legislation texts. For regular updates, visit the website for Hong Kong Media Law at

Doreen Weisenhaus is director of the Media Law Project at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at The University of Hong Kong, where she has taught media law and ethics since 2000. She is a former prosecutor and a former city editor of The New York Times. She was the first legal editor of The New York Times Magazine and also was editor-in-chief of The National Law Journal, a leading publication for lawyers in the US. Her research interests include international press freedom and worldwide trends in media law and policy.

“The greatly expanded new edition of Hong Kong Media Law by Doreen Weisenhaus is of great importance, and not only to Hong Kong and mainland China. It alerts us to the threats to free speech from political censorship and the chilling effects of archaic laws. It is a wake-up call for judges, lawyers and politicians in showing what needs to be done in the digital age to protect our freedom of expression and democratic rights and privacy against abuses of power.” —Lord Lester of Herne Hill QC

“In this second edition of her ground-breaking book, Hong Kong Media Law, Doreen Weisenhaus raises the bar again. In lucid and succinct language rooted in first-class scholarship, she updates the considerable change that has taken place and may take place in one of the world’s most unique legal and journalistic environments. She also takes Hong Kong Media Law global, by comparing how laws in Hong Kong compare to those in other common law jurisdictions, including where it all began in the UK.” —Mark Stephens, CBE, President, Commonwealth Lawyers Association, London

“Now more than ever, Hong Kong stands astride vastly different geopolitical worlds. Journalists and other media professionals, as well as their lawyers, need sharp, concise and expert insight to navigate that territory. The second edition of Hong Kong Media Lawprovides just that insight. It is an indispensable tool that belongs on the desk of every media lawyer, reporter and public relations specialist whose work relates to Hong Kong.” —Charles Glasser, Esq., Global Media Counsel (Ret.), Bloomberg News, and author, The International Libel and Privacy Handbook

“Maybe Edward Snowden read the first edition of Hong Kong Media Law and that’s why he knew of our ‘strong tradition of free speech’ and had ‘faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law’. This second edition tells us that these values are being tested. Post-Snowden, the world will learn more about Hong Kong’s true state of media freedom from reading this excellent book.” —Simon N. M. Young, Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Hong Kong, and co-editor, Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal: The Development of the Law in China’s Hong Kong

“This edition covers much new ground, doing so with admirable academic rigour. I have no doubt that it will become a staple work in our libraries and offices, remaining equally rich in detail and clear in structure, no doubt a burden for its author but much more so a boon for its readers.” —The Hon. Mr. Justice Michael Hartmann, GBS, Non-Permanent Judge, Court of Final Appeal, Hong Kong