Thu, Mar 20, 2003 - Page 4 News List

DPP lawmaker wants even tougher media laws

STOP TALKING Julian Kuo says legislation to restrict political ownership of TV and radio stations should be amended to ban politicians from hosting their own shows

By Tsai Ting-I  /  STAFF REPORTER

One proposal to amend media reform legislation would not only seek the removal of legislators from operating or owning a TV station as the DPP would like, but would also prohibit elected politicians from producing or hosting both TV and radio shows.

DPP Legislator Julian Kuo (郭正亮) yesterday demanded 15 elected politicians hosting or producing TV or radio talk shows quit their posts in his press conference. Kuo justified his proposed addition to the media reform bill because some of the politicians have manipulated the media, attacking their competitors on their shows.

"Politicians hosting or producing broadcast shows is just like athletes serving as referees in a single game. It should be prohibited," Kuo said in the press conference.

According to information from the Government Information Office (GIO), Independent lawmaker Sisy Chen (陳文茜) is the most active media hostess among 15 politicians. Chen hosts a daily talk show Sisy's News at Star TV, and a daily radio talk show UFO Dinner at the UFO Radio Station.

Chen has declined to quit her posts at the two talk shows, saying that she would only consider leaving the media if DPP legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮) gives up his job as chairman of Formosa Television (FTV).

Chai, meanwhile, has refused to make a decision as to whether he will step down as FTV's chairman since February, saying that breaking up the monopolization of the market has not yet been achieved.

Aside from Chen, Independent Aborigine lawmaker May Chin (高金素梅) hosts a TV show, Lighting the Lamp, at the Chinese Television System (CTS), while PFP Legislator Shen Chih-hwei (沈智慧) hosts a daily radio talk show at the Taichung National Radio Station.

DPP legislative caucus leader Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), said that the caucus has not yet discussed how it would handle the proposal, but has affirmed that "No other country in the world would allow prominent politicians to host TV and radio shows."

In response, KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) said that her party would endorse the proposal, but would also prohibit all government officials from hosting talk shows.

PFP Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安) said her party hasn't reached agreement over the issue.

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