Journalists must not abandon ethics

GETTING the story first, taking the best picture, are the top priorities of every journalist.

However, journalists should not pursue priorities at the expense of other members of society.

On July 27, I was one of the volunteers participating in a function called ''Man-Yan-Bong'' volunteer services campaign, organised by the Hong Kong Commercial Broadcasting Company.

We were visiting a children's hospital where the patients are physically handicapped.

Our purpose was simply to bring some joy and fun to those unfortunate children.

Superstars such as Andy Lau and Ng Kei-lung were invited.


It was planned that these celebrities would add to the fun for the children.

Ironically, they turned out to be the source of disturbance, even worse, the cause of turmoil.

The journalists attending honed in on the stars.

Photographers jumped around trying to get the best shot.


The celebrities were trying to mingle with the patients, so the journalists followed them.

The area we were all in was small and very crowded. These children are very fragile, and very shy.


They are in hospital, because they need special care. However, the journalists just carried out their supposed duties, without any thought for the children.

The organiser of the visit, a Commercial Radio disc jockey, Wong Hei, asked the journalists to keep their distance. They just ignored him and crowded in, leaning over patients when they felt it was necessary.

Who would have been responsible if there had been an accident? If journalists consider themselves to be in a profession, then they must observe certain rules of conduct, such as self-discipline and self-respect. These are the cardinal rules of any respectable profession.


Being devoted to your profession, should not make you unfeeling and blind to the needs of others. The journalists who behaved so badly in the hospital should take a long hard look at themselves and find the right balance when they approach a job in future.

Only then can journalism be considered a profession which people can respect.