Media Ethics In Hong Kong


Ladies and Gentlemen of the Hong Kong media authority, it gives me terrific pleasure to share my sentiments with you. It is my hope that by the end of this speech you will share my ideas and that you will be propagated into action.
Media ethics in Hong Kong

Some of us could be content material with Hong Kong media reports assuming that it depicts freedom of speech. We have turn out to be so accustomed to their rudimentary techniques that we have assumed that this is element of development. But how lengthy will have to people today in Hong Kong continue to be subjected to such unwritten guidelines. In case you do not have an understanding of what am speaking about, then let me invite you to journey a journey that will reveal what the genuine rules in Hong Kong media are.

Sometime this year, there had been a group of activists that were fighting for the right to preserve a certain historical web site in Hong Kong. The group went to the website and stayed there for some days with incredibly tiny interest from the neighborhood media. Having said that, a specific politician realized that there was an chance to garner public focus through the activists. Consequently, he known as some members of the press informing them that there would be a fight involving some activists and the police at a specified time. (Mei Ning & Cottrell, 2008)

Ten minutes just before the set time, local pressmen were presented with their cameras the police had already arrived. At the set time, the politicians arrived with the small group of activists. The police confronted them instantly and the demonstrators also put up some resistance. All this time, the ensuing activities had been being recorded. Following ten minutes of this, the policemen, politician, members of the press packed up their belongings and left a classic case of doctored stories. The activists have been at least content material that their case would be aired on the nine o’clock news.

Ladies and gentlemen, this extreme case demonstrates just how absurd our media has develop into. Isn’t it time that we began discussing such lack of professionalism? More importantly, is not it time for us to feel of strategies in which we can adjust such depictions? What genuinely is freedom of speech? In my view, Hong Kong Media have overstepped their boundary.
In case you are not convinced about this problem yet, here are some incidences that reinforce my earlier sentiments. In the year 2002 throughout the month of October, well recognized gossip magazine East Week splashed naked pictures of actress Carina Lau in the edition. They claimed that these have been images of the actress at that time when she had been arrested some twelve years go.

Actress Lau was clearly in anguish and distress but this did not cease East week from publishing this shocking images. In response this sheer lack of humanity, angry protesters marched to the streets of Hong Kong claiming that regional tabloids lacked moral substance. Most of them wondered ‘what had occurred to media ethics’ while it could be correct that you as the media authority did a thing in response to these acts your actions were not strong enough. By means of your actions, this magazine corporation was closed for a single year. But shortly just after, the organization was reopened and is still back in small business. I ask you, ‘How a lot of a lot more Carina Lau’s do we have to witness before we can instate radical modifications in our nearby media?

In close relation to this incident was a publication created by Next Magazine. The group had displayed photos of the dead corpse of a woman at the bottom of Sheun Chi developing. (Mei Ning & Cottrell, 2008)Not only have been these photographs quite disturbing but they had been worsened by the alleged causes of the death. The magazine claimed that it was the husband of the deceased who had been engaging in acts of promiscuity that had propelled his wife to suicide they claimed that he had been engaging in additional marital affairs with prostitutes.

Alternatively of sympathizing with these distraught family members, the media was fuelling their anger and remorse. What was more devastating about the media handling of this case was that some media corporations paid the deceased wife’s husband to take meals and pose with prostitutes for their news things.
Lastly, there was the case of actress Gillian Chung. Members of Quick finder magazine had been so keen on receiving a story that they followed her backstage during a presentation in Malaysia and took nude photographs of her.

This revolting and corrupt act was an indication of just how unscrupulous our regional media can get. (Mei Ning & Cottrell, 2008)
Provided all these incidences a single is left to ask themselves, what has develop into of our neighborhood media and what can we as the nearby media authority do. Just before answering these pertinent concerns, it is vital to assessment some of the statistics involving media ethics in Hong Kong.

A survey performed by Hong Kong Federation of Journalists (HKFJ) identified that professionalism in Regional media was dwindling. A further survey performed by the Hong Kong Press Photographer’s association (HKPPA) found that persons in Hong Kong did not trust newspapers any a lot more. Furthermore, the Hong Kong News Executives Association asserted that there was minimal professionalism in the field any longer.

Apart from these, quite a few Hong Kong residents believe that media content material is now increasingly questionable. Most of them assert that there is too considerably pornography and violence in the news these days. In addition, some readers and television viewers have asserted that Hong Kong media engages in too a lot exaggeration and in the procedure, they finish up violating people’s privacy. As if this is not sufficient, quite a few individuals have lost confidence in them.

In 2007, the HKJ identified that the majority of journalists i.e. fifty eight percent of them felt that freedom of speech in Hong Kong has diminished. This is a shocking revelation given the truth that a rising number of folks nevertheless think that freedom of speech has been more than emphasized by regional reporters. Nevertheless, the similar participants in the survey accepted the reality that self censorship was lacking in media outlets sixty % of them accepted this. (Mei Ning & Cottrell, 2008)

In order to spot these acts in context, it is important to examine the situation of ethics in general. Aristotle: one particular of the greatest philosophers of his time, asserted that ethics is not some thing restricted to the theoretical realm. Rather, it encompasses a series of practical components. According to Aristotle, virtues may perhaps be regarded as dispositions that cause humans to act in particular strategies when faced with particular situations. Consequently, they may possibly be regarded as habits. In other words, very good conduct is only a combination of habits that are in turn affected by repeated actions that are in truth complemented by repeated corrections. Ethics in other words is a really practical concern.

When Aristotle’s arguments are applied to the Hong Kong media, then a single can determine why there is in truth area of modify. Considering that it has been established that media ethics has deteriorated, there is a need to recognize some of the repeated acts that have triggered this poor media ethics. For instance, by continuously victimizing celebrities, displaying pornographic photos or by altering stories to make them juicier, the Hong Kong media has continuously created a name for themselves as unethical. This can be reversed by curbing these compact acts internally. Performing this will make certain that all the groups involved in the media deal with the challenge systematically. The culture of searching for short-term stories will have ended and most of them will supply balanced, honest and moral stories.


To the Hong Kong Broadcasting Authority additional wants to be performed in terms of regulating these broadcasts so as to minimize this unethical behavior. To the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority – radio and television standards have actually gone down. You can change this as a physique by restoring the correct image of journalism in this country. Also, Radio Tv Hong Kong needs to play its element in ensuring that reports are decent enough. You as the Press Council want to heighten the degree of professionalism in Hong Kong media by spearheading self regulatory fights against unscrupulous reporters.


Mei Ning, Y. & Cottrell, J. (2008): Hong Kong Media Law HKU Press