Mon, Aug 21, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Indignant lecturers and students plan protest over intrusive news reporting

By Chin Yu-chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Enraged by cable news channels insensitivity in reporting events, a group of professors and graduate students will lead a protest tomorrow in front of the TVBS building to show their unhappiness with the country's six news cable stations.

"We can't stand it any longer. The treatment of [New York Yankees pitcher] Wang Chien-ming (王建民) was the final straw [that led us to stage the protest,]" said event organizer Lin Ching-tang (林靖堂), a graduate student at the Fu Jen Catholic University's communication department.

Lin was referring to the open letter issued by Wang last Thursday, announcing that he will no longer accept interview requests from the Taiwanese media.

Wang said that he was disappointed by the way that the furor created by the local press had affected his family's privacy.

Lin said that in order to boost viewing figures cable news reporters often interview people against their will and their insensitivity has been damaging for some interviewees.

"We will continue with the campaign until we receive a suitable response from each and every cable news channel," Lin said.

Deputy manager of the TVBS Pan Tsu-yin (潘祖蔭) said his station had no comment on the planned demonstration.

Ma Yung-jui (馬詠睿), deputy manager of ETTV, said: " I believe that the cut-throat battle for ratings is wrong and that everyone should strive for `cleaner' news reporting."

"As for Wang Chien-ming, he is the pride of Taiwan and I don't think any domestic press meant to present him in a bad light. The Taiwanese press has been friendly toward him," Ma said.

He added, "I don't think the decision to write the [open letter] statement was Wang's own."

SETN's news department manager Yu Chao-wei (余朝為) said that its reporters always adopt high moral standards and that SETN has demanded their reporters respect the wishes of interviewees when seeking approval for interviews.

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