Wed, Jan 11, 2006 - Page 1 News List

GIO looking to take foreign soap operas off prime time TV

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Soap opera fans may no longer be able to watch their favorite programs because the Government Information Office (GIO) is considering banning soap operas produced by Japan, Korea, China and Hong Kong on prime time TV.

GIO Minister Pasuya Yao (姚文智) yesterday confirmed that the GIO is studying the plan, but he stressed that it was not final.

"We are indeed assessing the proposal," he said. "The goal is to see more locally produced programs on TV. To that end, we are thinking of amending the existing laws or adjusting administrative orders to encourage more locally produced TV programs so that local actors and actresses will have more job opportunities."

Lawmakers are divided over the plan.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) said that the GIO should respect the free market instead of restricting foreign TV content.

"We support the GIO's plan to offer government funding to help local TV producers make better programs," Pan said. "However, we are sorry to hear that the GIO is planning to suppress foreign programs, when it should be looking into why they are more popular than local ones."

KMT Legislator Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) said Yao was "excessively strict in correcting errors."

He joked that Yao might consider closing down CKS International Airport so that foreigners could be prevented from entering the country altogether.

DPP Legislator Lin Chung-mo (林重謨), however, said that he fully supported the GIO's move, and that he would persuade his daughter, who he said is an avid Korean soap opera fan, to watch something else.

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