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December 05, 2000 07:31am
Cybersex News Report Sparks Outcry in Hong Kong
Source: Reuters

(HONG KONG) -- A Hong Kong online newspaper has kicked up a fuss with its ``investigative'' report on the local sex trade which includes a video clip of a naked journalist and a prostitute engaging in sex.

The report posted on HKCyber sparked calls from some Hong Kong lawmakers Tuesday for more control over Internet content and access for minors.

The 16-minute online video is purported to show a journalist making his way through a seedy prostitution area, picking up a prostitute and then going to a room where they have sex for several minutes.

Shiu Yeuk-yuen, chairman of HKCyber part-owner Skynet Ltd., defended the editorial decision to broadcast the story.

``We have more than fulfilled our moral responsibility by giving warning twice, once when going into the site and a second time before the clip is played,'' Shiu said in an online recording posted Tuesday afternoon.

Skynet Ltd. is a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Skynet (International Group) Holdings Ltd. (0577.HK).

The warning pops up when users click on the picture that leads to the report, saying the material may be offensive and should not be shown to anyone under 18. The user can then click on to the video clip.

A number of journalists lashed out at the style of reporting in the report, saying it was unnecessary and unprofessional.

``This was not professional news reporting. It was totally unnecessary for the journalist to engage in the act, let alone posting it on the web,'' said the Chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, Mak Yin-Ting.

Hong Kong bars the sale of pornographic publications to anyone under 18 but this does not apply to Internet content.

``People should be given the option to block access to anything that young people under 18 years old should not see,'' said legislator Cheung Man-kwong.

Shiu argued that the responsibility fell on parents to monitor what their children should and should not see but added that the company was considering limiting access to such content to registered users only in future.



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