press freedom or privacy infringement

Thesedays, Journalism is totally different from that in the past. The role of the mass media has changed from a reporter to an amusement producer. Readership is of great importance than the level of reality and moral to those editor. Journalists are now thriving on sensational news indeed and some even go as far as printing sexually and bloody pictures. This practice has triggered an discontent in the community. It is widely felt that the ethical standards of local newspaper, even the mass media, has declined.

Many local newspapers are competing against one another to capture their reader’s attention by exposing private lives of celebrities and using sensational headlines. They assign paparazzi to track celebrities closely, setting up inescapable dragnet to make sure every little thing of life, even taking off bra, must be caught. The general public, disappointedly, has got used to getting amusement from these celebrities’ privacy. Their privacy, however, are disclosed in extraordinarily great in detail.

Government should encourage people to talk and come to a consensus about legislation against intrusion into privacy. Nevertheless, such legislation may curtail protections for the freedom of the press. Legislation against paparazzism is a double-edged sword that may deter coverage that is in the public interest. Government should encourage people would come to a consensus and strike a balance between protecting privacy and protecting the freedom of the press. The essential thing to do is to educate the public on the media.

It is better to try to drive shoddy publications out of business by elevating the public’s taste in reading matter. Some publishers would stop at nothing to boost sales. Some have made pornography and voyeurism their selling points. A radical way of curbing the evil tendency is to elevate and refine public taste. Clearly, though pornographic and voyeuristic tricks may increase sales in the short term, many consider it beneath them to associate with people who read dirty magazines. Businesses would hesitate to take out adverts in such ublications, and their survival would be less and less likely. Over the past few years, Hong Kong has seen several media scandals ,including the Chan Kin-hong affair (Apple Daily). They have not only aroused citizens’ indignation but also taught them insightful lessons about the media. Protracted as it may be, the process will help elevate public taste in reading matter. The best way of remaking vulgar publications and ridding Hong Kong of them is to do more to establish a set of values and educate the public about tasteful news publications. What one reads betrays one’s taste.

While vulgar publications are detested, elevated, healthy ones are well received. I hope the government is aware that statutory regulation may be so draconian as to inhibit the freedom of the press. It should try as far as possible to adopt the benevolent method of educating the public about the media. It should seek to elevate citizens’ taste. It should have faith in citizens’ taste. It should give people to understand that pornographic publications are barred from polite society and see that Hong Kong’s media ecology will develop more healthily.

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