Tue, Oct 17, 2006 - Page 8 News List

Letter: News needs improving

By Xia ming-huay

I often hear media reports about people committing suicide in which politics is blamed. Of course, these people were usually deeply involved in political affairs and were what we would call diehards. A simple way to avoid this could be to change the channel, but in Taiwan there often seems to be little difference between any of the news channels.

In Taiwan, the audience often has to accept poor quality news with a biased agenda. As a journalist, you cannot afford to miss any event which the other channels are covering. Therefore Taiwanese news channels always have the same stories, such as the campaign to depose the president.

Some doctors have suggested that people from different sides of the political divide not watch news that is likely to upset them. This may lead them to commit suicide. I think that TV companies must take responsibility for this.

But there are three ways to prevent such tragedies:

First, people can turn off the TV and try reading newspapers, because their stories are more detailed than TV reports and readers can select the news items they like.

Second, TV companies should improve the quality of their broadcasting and try to air other news besides politics. Maybe they could try news about financial affairs and wealth creation.

Finally, I believe that media watchdogs such as the National Communications Commission should prohibit the endless around-the-clock rebroadcasting of political news.

But if the TV is really getting you down, then just turn it off and do something else instead.

Xia ming-huay

Taipei

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