It takes two to tango - public also to blame

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 November, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 November, 2002, 12:00am

There is a Chinese idiom that says 'You can't clap with only one hand'.

All fingers are now pointing at the magazine which sparked the nude-photo furore, but we should not forget the other hand - those who bought the magazine just to 'learn more about the event'. (Or was it 'to find out who she is'?)

And witness how some of us again succumbed to our nosy instincts and snapped up copies of another tabloid magazine which cashed in on the victim's pain.

Perhaps the media should be blamed for creating or fuelling the craze to pry into others' personal lives, but as members of the public we have our share of responsibility to stop this trend from growing.

Yet, a sense of apathy prevails. With so many people eager to get the latest update on the hottest topic in town, sales figures continue to show that the public is fascinated by obscene or gruesome material.

Those who say they are disgusted forget about their concerns within minutes. Few of the raging criticisms have turned into written complaints. Even fewer have translated into action.

There are more than 100 newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong. As long as there is demand, someone will always be ready to trade their conscience for profit.

If readers do not use their judgement, this kind of incident will happen again and again, leaving only the victim to agonise over it.

But it's sad to say - as similar cases have shown in the past - the incident is likely to become a blur very soon.

Let's hope that we can stop such hideous clapping before handcuffs are introduced to restrict the freedom of both hands.

Ms Yow is a Young Post reporter