Thu, Feb 05, 2009 - Page 3 News List

NCC approves set of draft regulations for news content

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday approved a draft amendment to the Satellite Radio and Television Law (衛星廣播電視法).

The amendment would set stricter regulations on TV news and comments in talk show programs, which the commission said “must follow fact-checking procedures and the principles of equality.”

Aside from the rating system for TV programs, the amendment would authorize the establishment of a rating system for commercials.

In the past, the law only authorized the closure of channels that repeatedly committed violations. The amendment would require that channels remove programs if they repeatedly broke the law.

Previously, both channels and cable TV service providers would be punished if the programs broke the law. Under the new regulations, only channels would be penalized.

The amendment will be submitted for further review at the Legislative Yuan.

The amendment has not only defined the term “placement marketing,” but also set the conditions where the practice is acceptable.

“Placement marketing” refers to programs sponsored or funded by the government, political parties or the military, either in support of a specific government policy or political candidate.

The amendment proposed that the practice be prohibited in news channels and those for children or young adults. The practice is only acceptable in channels that are not of the above stated categories. TV stations air the programs would also be obligated to inform viewers that the programs are funded, sponsored or produced by government organizations or a certain political campaign.

Fines would be between NT$400,000 (US$11,800) and NT$2 million. Should the channels disagree with the NCC’s rulings and want to appeal, the channels would have to present evidence showing that no business was involved in production, it said.

To encourage enterprises to support sports games or art events, the amendment allows channels to broadcast commercials, provided that they do not interfere with programming.

Meanwhile, the amendment proposed regulating home shopping channels as well as those that transmit signals through neither satellite nor radio waves.

The penalties set to regulate satellite radio and TV programs would also be applied to regulate these channels.

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