Week 10 – Janice, Karen, Vanessa and Yannie

Top News of the week: Press conference of Charlene Choi and Ronald Cheng

The rumor of the marriage between Charlene Choi and Ronald Cheng has become a hot issue in different media. From parting to marriage, and then divorce, it only happened within a week of time. This rumor originated from the news of Apple Daily under the Next Media. Firstly it exposed their marital relationship just by gossiping. And then this “rumor” dramatically turned to be the “fact” because of the evidence of their marriage license. On the same day, two persons involved called a press conference in order to clarify the rumors and declare their relationship.

Our group has watched the video clip of the press conference and we have come up with some viewpoints from different angles. Two of us focus on the reporting manners of the media and show sympathy for two celebrities while one sees their press conference as a show. There is also a neutral comment on their case.

From the first viewpoint, the roles of Charlene and Ronald are the victims under the oppression from the media. With this perception, their performances in the press conference are being well accepted. “Watching two people being shot by many cameras with harsh flashes, they were as if the targets that are being shot by hunters with guns.” one of us said. Although both of them perform well in the showbiz industry, they cannot escape from the reports of the media and public's critics. During the conference, Charlene sadly commented this rumor made her understand that being an artist could never have any privacy. This really sounds sad but somehow it is quite true in the reality. Marriage is the manifesto of love between two people. They absolutely have the rights to keep their marriage as a secret or announce it to the public. However, media always have different ways to gather information or collect evidence, in which will violate the privacy of celebrities. Even if characters involved in this case are not celebrities, divorcement is undoubtedly a bad news to any couples. For Charlene and Ronald, they have to not only face the problems in their relationship, but also deal with the the media and public. It is difficult to imagine how stressful and cruel they are suffering. This side shows sympathy on Charlene and Ronald and one even shows admiration for the calm performance of Charlene.

From another viewpoint, the rumor is viewed as a shame and the celebrities are the swindlers. Every step they did or attitudes they adopted when responding were deliberate and well planned. At the beginning of the hearsay over the past few years, they chose to deny their relationship and lied about it. “From announcing their separation and then divorce, all Hongkongers are being deceived by what they said in these few years.” If Apple Daily did not disclose their marriage license, the public as well as their fans will never realize their relationship. Although the celebrities always claim that they have their privacy, the problem is that they always use lies to stand up for their rights. This behavior would arouse some bad feelings among the public and their fans would even feel being betrayed by their idols. This is another case to prove the low credibility towards celebrities in the showbiz.

Between the support and opposite side in this case, there is a comment in the middle range. As both of the characters cried in the press conference, the feel of sympathy towards their announcement of divorce is also demonstrated. However, there is disappointment as celebrities always deceive the public. A seven-minute press conference is perceived differently by four of us. According to the encoding-decoding model by Stuart Hall, different audiences will interpret different meanings of the same media text by using their implicit knowledge of both medium specific and broader cultural codes. In the discussion of the press conference, our group mates also have different ideas based on the same video clip. The issue of Charlene and Ronald has become another furor among the locals. No matter how we perceive this news, stand neutral or against the invasion of celebrities' privacy by Apple Daily, many of us still cannot stop our curiosity and hence, buy its newspapers and magazines for more detailed information of the story.


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