Lobby groups Media Monitor Alliance and Media Reform yesterday called on the Government Information Office (GIO) to closely review applicants for new cable TV licenses this month in regard to inappropriate broadcast content.
"A survey conducted by the Broadcasting Development Fund recently showed that, surprisingly, 31 percent of viewers have never watched a news channel, and that 73 percent of viewers believe that Taiwan's news channels have a negative influence on society because they are full of violence, gore, groundless gossip and rumor, while the most important issues are sometimes neglected," fund chief executive officer and Media Monitor Alliance spokesman Connie Lin (林育卉) said.
According to the survey, about 50 percent of viewers aged between 30 and 50 thought there were too many news channels, while 54.8 percent of all interviewees said they disliked seeing politicians "showing off."
About 70 percent of viewers agreed with the proposition that there is too much celebrity gossip in the news, while 50 percent of viewers said that news services contain excessive, aberrant or superstitious content.
"The reason why news channels place lots of emphasis on gossip, violence and gore is that there is ruthless competition between media outlets," Lin said.
"We have eight all-day news channels for such a small island. Under the pressure of time and limited human resources, absurdity in the news becomes inevitable." she said.
Lin asked the GIO to reorganize the media environment and reduce the number of cable news channels.
She said this was the most practical and realistic way to ease competition between media outlets and would then give the audiences what could truly be called "news."
Media Reform commissioner Eve Chiu (
The Media Monitor Alliance and Media Reform together with other activist groups will today visit GIO Minister Pasuya Yao (