Mon, Jun 07, 2004 - Page 8 News List

KMT must return its media to the public

The Campaign for Media Reform 媒體改造學社

The media have reported that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) intends to sell all its media businesses as a single package for about NT$8 billion.

These media businesses include Chinese Television Company, Ltd (CTV), Broadcasting Corporation of China, the Central Daily News and the Central Motion Pictures Corporation.

Private enterprises such as Eastern Multimedia Corp and Chinatrust Group have shown their interest in the deal.

As a media reform group, Campaign for Media Reform is strongly disappointed with the KMT's handling of its party-run media businesses.

The campaign believes that the KMT's ownership of media businesses is actually the product of particular historical conditions.

Some were directly taken over from the Japanese colonial government and are the property of the Taiwanese people, while others received their operating permits through special channels under the party-state system of the past.

From the perspective of reason and law, it's inappropriate for the KMT to sell its media businesses to private enterprises for profit, as if the party is dealing with its own assets.

This campaign expects the KMT to abandon assets it gained unjustly under its authoritarian rule, demonstrate an ambition to reform and return these assets to the people for public services.

The excessive commercialization of Taiwan's media environment has led to public discontent with the media's performance.

If the KMT sells its media businesses to private enterprises, it will certainly worsen the media environment, leaving a negative impression that there is only money in the eyes of the KMT.

If the KMT can transfer its media businesses to public welfare groups in an appropriate way for the sake of public services, not only would this better satisfy the public and improve the media environment, it would also show that the KMT was responsible enough to rule the nation and that it could do so with long-term vision.

Hence, this campaign makes the following three appeals:

First, the KMT should immediately stop planning to sell its media businesses to private enterprises.

The KMT should also plan to return these media to the people, turning them into organizations for public services, so as to demonstrate its broad vision and governmental competence.

Second, the ruling and opposition camps should negotiate a law regarding inappropriately obtained party assets as soon as possible.

This law would be taken as the legal tool for the handling of the KMT's media busi-nesses.

The Democratic Progressive Party should take the initiative to come up with policies that would give the proposed "public media group" a priority option to take over these media.

Third, if the KMT really does not care about public opinion, reality and historical justice, and insists on selling its media businesses, agencies such as the Government Information Office and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications should not approve the sale.

Moreover, they should order the KMT to deal with these media in accordance with public interests.

In particular, the wireless broadcast band used by CTV, one of Taiwan's four terrestrial television stations, must not be sold or transferred in any form to private enterprises.

The Campaign for Media Reform is a local media monitoring group.

TRANSLATED BY EDDY CHANG

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top