Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin (林永樂) yesterday said the ministry has never given travel allowances to reporters in exchange for their presence at press conferences.
Lin made the remarks in response to what he said was a “mistake” in a press notice.
The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) said in a report yesterday that the China Youth Corps had issued a press notice saying that reporters and photojournalists who attend a press conference on Thursday would be given NT$1,000 by the ministry as a travel allowance.
China Youth Corps, a quasi-governmental organization with close ties to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), issued a second press notice 40 minutes later in which it said that the information about the travel allowance was mistakenly placed, and apologized for the wrong information, the Liberty Times reported.
In response to reporters’ inquiries, Lin said yesterday that the ministry has never given any travel allowance to reporters.
An employee at the organization who wanted to encourage greater attendance in the press conference was responsible for the mistake, it said.
The ministry was not involved because the employee issued the press notice without the ministry’s knowledge, the organization said.