Sun, Feb 21, 2016 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan in Time: Suppressing free speech

In the first of a two-part series examining the nationwide crackdown of the print media following the 228 Incident, ‘Taiwan in Time’ looks at the suppression of private newspapers and the disappearance of their publishers

By Han Cheung  /  Staff reporter

Lin Tsung-yi was notified by a servant of his father’s arrest in the morning of March 11. When Lin Mo-seng’s wife asked the men where they were taking him, one of them reportedly replied, “We’re going to see Chen Yi.”

Official charges against Lin included plotting rebellion, encouraging [NTU] students to riot and attempting to use international interference to achieve Taiwanese independence.

Most historians agree that the real reason Lin was arrested was because of his newspaper’s criticism of the government. And it was not just Lin.

The publishers of other private newspapers, such as the People’s Herald’s (人民導報) Wang Tien-teng (王添?) and Ta Ming Pao’s (大明報) Ai Lu-sheng (艾璐生), were also taken away never to be seen again.

But the most curious part of this is that even Juan Chao-jih, (阮朝日), general manager of the government’s Shin Sheng Daily News, became a victim of this media purge, together with editor Wu Chin-lien (吳金鍊) and other staff members.

On March 25, the Shin Sheng Daily News announced its new general manager and editor-in-chief, who were high-ranking military and government officials.

What happened to these people and how the newspaper’s coverage changed under the new management will be examined in next week’s edition of “Taiwan in Time.”

Part II appears in next Sunday’s Taipei Times.

Taiwan in Time, a column about Taiwan’s history that is published every Sunday, spotlights important or interesting events around the nation that have anniversaries this week.

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