Wed, Aug 29, 2012 - Page 8 News List

Regulating cross-media monopoly

By Flora Chang, Lin Lih-yun 張錦華,林麗雲

The sad thing is that, with the exception of CtiTV, there have been precious few reports about the issue on other cable television news channels. It would be interesting to know how the NCC interprets the fact that these other channels have not reported on the case at all.

Is the failure of these media outlets to report on the issue simply a choice based on professional news considerations? Or is it a case of self-censorship arising from their fear of offending cable-television operators? If it is the latter, then it is also a matter of covering, or not covering, matters related to their own interests and it shows the monopolistic influence that giant cable operators can have over opinion expressed on TV. The NCC is in charge of ensuring the healthy development of the local media environment, so should it not take the initiative in investigating this issue? Will this case lead the commission to recognize the huge influence that cable system operators wield?

Academics have long been calling for the commission to draft a law on cross-media monopoly, and NCC Commissioner Howard Shyr (石世豪) has written articles advocating diversity. Shyr recently said that the commission currently has no basis for restricting concentration of media ownership and control. That being the case, is it not time for the commission to stop just sighing about it, and to actually get down to the business of drafting a law on cross-media monopoly?

Flora Chang and Lin Lih-yun are professors at National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Journalism.

Translated by Julian Clegg

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