Pornography ban unrelated to press freedom

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2000, 12:00am

With reference to the article headlined 'Indecency curbs may close newspapers' (South China Morning Post, April 22) I believe that the newly proposed curbs on pornographic material in newspapers should not be linked with the idea of suppression of press freedom.

Banning all indecent material in newspapers does not mean suppressing press freedom, as journalists can still perform their duties, which is to report facts.

As a spokesman of the News Executives Association, Cheung Kwai-yeung should know about professional ethics of a reporter and editor when providing information about facts to the public.

The curbing of immoral information should not be considered press control.

The main coverage of a newspaper should include international and local news with objective reporting. I was shocked that the major concern of Mr Cheung was that no one would advertise in newspapers if they had to carry a diagonal red line across every page for up to three months.

It is true that a newspaper has to rely on advertisements in order to survive financially, but advertising should not be the main factor controlling the content of a newspaper.

In recent years, more and more local newspapers have included lustful text and photos in order to boost sales. If this continues, these publications will begin to affect the well-being of our younger generations.

I don't quite understand why Mr Cheung said that the controls on pornography might hurt Hong Kong's image abroad. Everyone knows that pornography leads to sex offences.

If the Government controlled these immoral publications, the crime rate in Hong Kong would certainly drop.

Instead of ruining its reputation, the ban would attract more tourists.

For the well-being of our young generations and the future of Hong Kong, the Government should control the publication of indecent material.