Plans to spin off RTHK from the Government have been shelved, according to its head, Cheung Man-yee. She said government policy was that discussion about changing the status of the publicly funded broadcaster should stop 'in the short run'. The Government believed corporatisation was the best but not the only option. The much-discussed idea was raised again last year after RTHK was vehemently attacked by a local adviser to China, Xu Simin, for its allegedly critical stance on the Government and its policies. In remarks at a Lunar New Year reception, Miss Cheung said 1998 was a year marked by 'media turmoil'. 'There was a lot of fierce debate over media ethics and standards. Further discussion is needed on the question of whether a media council should be set up. 'The Government's establishment policy is [to promote] open market and free flow of information. It is the overall responsibility of the media to raise its quality and strengthen credibility,' she said. Miss Cheung has said the idea of a media council - first raised in the mid-1980s - could provide a focal point for a community debate on ways to improve the media.