Equal Opportunities Commission Organizes Discussion on Promoting Equal Opportunities in the Media
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) organized a forum on Saturday, 17 April 1999 to discuss ways to promote equal opportunities and to avoid gender stereotyping and discriminatory remarks in media reporting.
The forum was supported by the Hong Kong Journalists Association and the Hong Kong News Executive Association. Panel speakers included representatives from the two media organizations, academics, concern groups and the EOC.
Dr. Fanny Mui-ching CHEUNG, Chairperson of the EOC, said in her opening remarks, "Continued efforts from different sectors of the community are crucial to the promotion of equal opportunities."
"The media has a great influence. Soliticiting support of the media in promoting equal opportunities is a major corporate strategy of the EOC," Dr Cheung added.
Dr. Cheung said that traditional biases and stereotypes are not uncommon. Nevertheless, she pointed out that at the same time "There are media practitioners who have taken the initiative to help eliminate prejudice. Impartial and unbiased reports help promote understanding among individuals and strengthen mutual respect."
"Eliminating the barriers faced by disadvantaged groups will help individuals achieve their potentials and promote the overall prosperity and stability of the community," Dr. Cheung remarked.
To reinforce the promotional work, "EOC and concern groups advocating the promotion of equal opportunities also have a responsibility to strengthen their communication with the media and provide them with relevant materials, so as to enhance the media's understanding of the subject."
Many students in journalism joined practitioners in the profession as participants. In the first part of the forum, views were exchanged on discriminatory advertisements, sensational media headlines and the feelings of people being discriminated. The second part focused on changing discriminatory attitudes, implementing public education programmes and promoting equal opportunities by the media.
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