Mon, Mar 18, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Media obsessed with sex and lotteries, report says

THE LOW ROAD According to the report, 70 percent of discussion on TV call-in programs last month was on either the Chu Mei-feng sex scandal or the lottery

STAFF WRITER

According to a report released by an advertising association, Taiwan's media have given too much coverage to tabloid news -- particularly sex-scandals and lottery-related issues -- in January and February this year.

The report said that some media were even suspected of advertising for the former chief of Hsinchu's Cultural Affairs Bureau, Chu Mei-feng (璩美鳳), who was secretly taped allegedly having sex with her married lover last year.

And since TaipeiBank began to issue lottery tickets early this year, the national media have also contracted "lottery fever."

The report shows that subjects about Chu and the lottery occupied about 70 percent of discussion on last month's TV call-in programs.

The report, which was released by the Taiwan Advertisement Association, is based on several studies conducted by the Association of Taiwan Journalists (台灣新聞記者協會), the End Child Prostitution Association of Taiwan (中華民國終止童妓協會), the Taiwan Association of University Professors (台灣教授協會), the Taiwan Media Watch Educational Foundation (台灣媒體觀察教育基金會) and the Mothers Foundation for Media Watch (媽媽監督媒體基金會) in January and last month.

According to the Association of Taiwan Journalists' study, the lottery accounted for 56 of the 266 subjects discussed during call-in programs.

The same study also revealed that Chu became a major topic of discussion when she revealed her plans to publish a book on her relations with her lovers.

Among the 50 non-political subjects of call-in programs last month, Chu's topics accounted for 14 and the lottery 20.

As for coverage and discussion of the lottery, the Association of Taiwan Journalists and the Taiwan Media Watch Educational Foundation's reports both suggested that a cable TV station led the way.

But the Taiwan Media Watch Educational Foundation (台灣媒體觀察教育基金會) said that, although the four cable TV stations and four terrestrial TV stations had conducted too much lottery coverage, more evidence was needed before concluding that excessive media coverage was responsible for the current lottery fever.

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