News hound in pursuit

News hound in pursuit

Wong Tin-yau has a passion to tell the truth through videos, even if it means brushes with the authorities

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Photo: Nora Tam
'Illegally trespassing borders'. These were the words that 16-year-old Wong Tin-yau saw before he was freed from a Shenzhen police station last December. He had been detained for trespassing in Lo Wu while filming people demanding the release of a jailed mainland human rights activist, Liu Xiaobo. Tin-yau says he was strangled by a public security officer and his camera taken away. Also, the compromising footage was deleted.

The teenager is an avid follower of news and politics, and frequently turns up at major events with his video camera. He keeps a close eye on Facebook and news websites so he knows what should be covered.

'When I read about the news of a building collapse at Ma Tau Wai Road [in To Kwa Wan], I wanted to go to shoot it so badly, I wished I had a stomachache so I could be excused from class early,' he says.

'I waited impatiently until school ended and rushed to the scene. I went up to the rooftops of several buildings to try to find the best angle to capture the collapse. It was three in the morning when I headed home.'

Most of the events Tin-yau chooses to capture involve an element of danger. As well as being arrested in Shenzhen and balancing precariously on rooftops, he has been roughed up by police officers.

That happened in November, when he was among a crowd of passionate advocates gathered at Government House in Central campaigning for the resignation of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.

Tin-yau says police blockaded the road and were violent towards protesters. Although many media workers were present, the violence was not shown on television, he says.

'I understand the media is able to broadcast only, say, 20 seconds of footage from a 30-minute event, but how can they leave out the heart of the event like that? I believe the media did not capture the true essence of the event because of pressure from the government.'

This is why Tin-yau is determined to show up at such activities. He hopes that through his actions, many will see another side to what the media offers.

As expected, his videos have made quite an impact among internet users. One of his latest clips, which shows a member of the Federation of Trade Unions handing out money to demonstrators during a protest, has attracted more than 20,000 hits.

Exposing such candid moments is what propels Tin-yau to pursue his passion, despite the risks involved.

To view Tin-yau's YouTube channel, click here

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