Thu, Aug 09, 2007 - Page 2 News List

English-language channel to hit airwaves next year

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cabinet Spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) announced yesterday that the Government Information Office (GIO) will launch a new English-language TV channel next year to promote Taiwan.

"Whenever it comes to international issues that concern Taiwan, our foreign allies always ask Beijing for a reaction first. If we have our own method of delivery, they will also have direct access to our views," Shieh said.

The spokesman made the announcement during a press conference after yesterday morning's weekly Cabinet meeting. He said initially the channel would be operated as a private firm with government funding.

Shieh said that the GIO will spend approximately eight to 12 months setting up the new TV channel and a budget of NT$2 billion (US$61 million) will be needed for its establishment.

Shieh said that he had discussed the matter on Tuesday with several local TV managers and university professors who compared efforts by TV channels such as Japan's NHK and Qatar's al-Jazeera.

"These channels do a great job of speaking out and delivering messages to the world on behalf of their countries. That is why we came up with the idea of a similar channel for Taiwan," Shieh said.

Shieh said that the government would not get involved in the management, although the channel would rely on the government for funds. The GIO will eventually make the channel an independent TV station, Shieh said.

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