Tue, Mar 23, 2010 - Page 1 News List

KMT will not invest in any media outlet, King Pu-tsung says

By Ko Shu-ling and Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) yesterday said the party would not operate or invest in any media outlet.

King said his party would proceed as planned to complete the public bidding process for party-owned businesses by the end of June. In the future, King said the KMT would no longer run party-owned businesses nor invest in or manage media outlets.

The Chinese-language United Daily News report yesterday said the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC), which will soon issue licenses for digital terrestrial TV services, proposed to allow political parties, the government and the military to indirectly invest in media outlets.

The ministry also said that the percentage of indirect investment could be as much as 50 percent and that the government could even consider completely lifting the ban on direct investment by the three groups.

King said the party’s position on the matter was that the media should not be influenced by political parties to allow them to make their own decisions. It is the common responsibility of the ruling and opposition parties to ensure the healthy development of the media industry, he said.

Meanwhile, National Communications Commission chairperson Bonnie Peng (彭芸) said yesterday she opposed direct investment in the media by political parties, the government and the military, and defended the commission’s decision to cap indirect investment in the media by the three parties at 10 percent.

“Given the nation’s history during the Martial Law era, at the moment [I] do not agree with raising indirect investment in the media [by political parties, the government or the military] to 50 percent,” Peng told KMT Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) at the legislature. “As a media researcher, my view is that we should take progressive steps on this matter. The public may not be ready if you raise direct investment in the media to 50 percent.”

Earlier this year, the NCC approved a plan to cap indirect investment from political parties, the government and the military at 10 percent, while upholding a total ban on direct investment.

As part of its responsibilities, the MOTC decides how many terrestrial TV licenses will be issued in any given year, while the NCC issues the licenses.

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