Sat, Aug 23, 2003 - Page 2 News List

News and variety shows exploit women: report

By Roger Liu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Increasing numbers of TV variety shows and news programs are hiring young women to raise their ratings, a move which objectifies women, a report by the government-sponsored Broadcasting Development Fund said.

In video footage of a TV show played by the fund, a close shot of the breasts of a girl wearing a bikini comes first, then the camera pans across her thighs.

In other footage, girls who participated in a variety show as guests perform pole dancing and caress themselves like strip dancers when asked to by the male host.

"There are no words to express my anger when I see this," said Wang Ya-ko (王雅各), a professor of sociology of National Taipei University.

"This kind of program should not exist in any modern and democratic nation," he said. "It's true when people say media is the source of all evil."

"Human beings can sell anything by exposing the female body. In the US the media does this in a solemn way. However in Taiwan, it's very explicit," Wang said.

Many TV news programs focus on adult film stars or betel nut beauties, and reporters frequently ask questions as if they were trying to pick up the women, said Connie Lin (林育卉), CEO of the fund.

"There are too many stereotyped images of young women and too much gratuitous voyeurism in news reports ? they are turning the female body into a commodity," said Lu Shih-hsiang (盧世祥), CEO of the Foundation for the Advancement of Media Excellence.

"Some TV news station directors want to attract an audience by showing near-naked women, but they seem to forget they have offended a majority of their audience and infringed on their rights," Lu said.

"The things we talk about in the bedroom should not be shown on TV," he said.

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