SCMP, November 3, 2002 By Antoine So and Cheung Chi-fai The publication of Eastweek magazine was suspended yesterday by its 'shocked' owner after a public outcry caused by a front-page photograph of a naked and distressed actress taken against her will. Emperor Group chairman Albert Yeung Sau-shing, who owns the magazine, was on his way back from North Korea last night to deal with the row caused by the photographs published last Wednesday in the weekly, which even prompted a rebuke from Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. In a statement released last night, Mr Yeung said he was shocked and ashamed. 'I had to make a painful decision to demand Eastweek stop publication immediately and take measures to settle the issue,' said Mr Yeung, who bought the magazine from Oriental Daily News last September. After Mr Yeung issued the statement, Eastweek president Chan Yiu-on announced he, editor-in-chief Mun Hon-ming and editor Wong Kim-man would take responsibility for publishing the photographs and would resign after settling the issue. 'We regret the stopping of publication. We express regret towards the victim, the public and the media. We feel very sorry about this,' Mr Chan said. 'Publishing the photo did not involve any money and personal interest. We have also liaised with the police to provide more information about the case,' he said. It was not known whether the magazine would resume publication. Yesterday, officials, politicians, teachers, social workers and religious groups united in condemning the magazine. The Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority received about 600 complaints about the picture last Wednesday - the highest number by individuals it had received. Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology Henry Tang Ying-yen, who oversees the authority, said the chief executive was furious. 'On seeing the front page picture, Mr Tung contacted me and expressed his grave concern . . . He believes this kind of immoral act must be condemned by all in society,' he said. Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said after a radio programme that the police's Organised Crime and Triad Bureau was probing the case to find out if there \twas anything criminal in the publication of \tthe picture. Glossary outcry (n) a strong objection Example: At a joint meeting of the Legco security and legal panels, Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee spoke on the proposed anti-subversion law. She said certain protection would be afforded to journalists after an outcry by media groups on possible curbs on press freedom. (SCMP, October 22, 2002) rebuke (n) a direct and strong criticism condemn (v) to show strong disapproval Example: Fears are growing in South Africa after the country's most serious bombings since the end of apartheid eight years ago. Some condemned the bombings will simply place the country and its people in misery. (SCMP, November 1, 2002) furious (adj) extremely angry probe (v) to investigate Discussion points Outrage against the publication of the photo does not only stem from the fact that it is indecent, but also that it appears to have been taken against the victim's will. We should refuse to buy or read these publications. It is a lesson for us all to re-examine the values of our society and the mass media. ? What is the function of the media? ? What are its responsibilities? ? What is freedom of speech? Is it an absolute right? Or should it be subject to certain restrictions? In your opinion, what are these restrictions? ? What is your opinion of the mass media in Hong Kong? Do you think it does a good job? Why? ? How can we make the media responsible for its actions? Is closing Eastweek the right solution? Why? Do you support the setting up of a media-watch body to scrutinise the media? Why? Do you worry about its independence? On the other hand, how can we protect press freedom? ? How can you be a smart reader?