The Chief Executive appeared to come out in favour of a self-regulating media rather than a press council appointed by himself. It was the first time he had raised media ethics during a policy address and he left it as the last item before his conclusion. Hong Kong Journalists Association chairman Mak Yin-ting said she was surprised to hear Mr Tung's comments. 'I was a bit relieved when he said he hopes the media can truly exercise self-discipline,' said Ms Mak. But she urged the media not to read too much into Mr Tung's comments as he indicated in the speech he had a bottom line on the issue. This required programmes and publications to refrain from using pornography, violence, libel or misrepresentation to make profits. 'At this stage we hope he is in favour of self-regulation, but he does have a baseline,' said Ms Mak. Mr Tung had referred to the Law Reform Commission's recommendations on privacy which have been released for public consultation and said the Government would wait with 'interest' for the outcome. The commission said a statutory press council should be set up with the power to fine newspapers which intrude on privacy up to $1 million. 'In this respect, I share the hope of our citizens that the media can set higher standards for their professional ethics and truly exercise self-discipline,' he said. Mr Tung promised, as he had done in earlier policy addresses, to protect press freedom. Frontier legislator Emily Lau Wai-hing warned Mr Tung's remarks could not be viewed as a rejection of an officially appointed press council.