Sun, Oct 29, 2006 - Page 2 News List

VP Lu speaks on media reform at women's meet

SPEAKING OUT The theme of this year's congress of AMMPE, an international NGO, was media reform and the impact of the Internet and globalization on journalism

By Max Hirsch  /  STAFF REPORTER

Vice President Annette Lu speaks at the opening ceremony of this year's Congress of the World Association of Women Journalists and Writers in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

Taiwan Television Enterprise (TTV) plans to broadcast a TV series next year based on a novel originally written on toilet paper in prison.

The evolution of the story These Three Women from bathroom tissue to cable TV parallels the transformation of its author from prison inmate to vice president.

"I was afraid I would lose my mind due to boredom," Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said, referring to her six years in jail during the 1970s for speaking out against the government. "So, I wrote These Three Women on toilet paper because I knew the prison warden wouldn't confiscate that."

A dozen books and three decades later, Lu has established a reputation for herself as a political heavyweight and a woman of letters.

Lu's literary credentials made her the ideal keynote speaker yesterday at the opening ceremony of this year's Congress of the World Association of Women Journalists and Writers (AMMPE), a global organization promoting communication and solidarity among women writers and members of the press. The group was incorporated by founder Gloria Salas de Calderon in Mexico in 1969.

A coterie of A-list politicians, as well as women writers from around the world, attended the ceremony at the Agora Garden Hotel in Taipei to launch the four-day congress, which has been convened biennially in various locations worldwide for 37 years.

"Taipei is honored this year to host the congress," said Jennifer Shen (沈春華), current president of the association.

The theme of this year's congress is media reform and the impact of the Internet and globalization on journalism.

Lu's keynote speech also raised eyebrows for its specific references to the pan-blue TV network TVBS.

Lu said that media reform in Taiwan should focus on "the right to know, the right not to know, and the right not to be known" -- the last two "rights" being veiled references to the proliferation of tabloid journalism and invasions of privacy, respectively, by local media.

"I could be walking down the street minding my own business, for example, and out pops a TVBS reporter," Lu said, referring to "the right not to be known."

With TVBS political talk show host Lee Yen-chiu (李豔秋) seated in the front row at the ceremony, Lu also commented that the "lethal force of Lee's talk show exceeded that of the nation's military."

Jennifer Shen later downplayed Lu's remarks, saying that the vice president was referring to the "influence" of Lee's show when she said "lethal force."

Former Taiwanese ambassador to Gautemala Gene Loh (陸以正), who established the Taiwan chapter of the association, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Javier Hou (侯清山) also delivered speeches encouraging women to play an active role in reforming the media.

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