The National Communications Commission (NCC) ruled yesterday that radio stations that broadcast programs with Tainan City Councilor Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) as a guest on Oct. 21 last year would be fined for violating the Broadcasting and Television Law (廣播電視法).
The Tainan Prosecutors’ Office is investigating if radio programs instigated an incident involving Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Vice Chairman Zhang Mingqing (張銘清).
But the NCC is also examining if the contents of the programs violated communications laws.
An independent panel entrusted by the NCC to review media content made the first ruling, which was then confirmed by NCC commissioners. NCC Communication Content Department Director Jason Ho (何吉森) said yesterday the panel decided to penalize the radio stations because they were partly responsible for using radio waves, a public resource, to instigate the incident.
NCC Spokesperson Lee Ta-sung (李大嵩) said the penalty would be based on the content broadcast in the programs The Taiwanese Club (台灣人俱樂部) and I Love Taiwan (我愛台灣), on which Wang was a special guest.
The Taiwanese Club is aired on 11 stations around Taiwan between 8am and 10am, whereas I Love Taiwan is only broadcast on one radio station from 10am to 12pm.
Lee said transcripts of The Taiwanese Club programs showed that both Wang and the program’s hosts used expressions such as “Let’s quickly mobilize,” “besiege him,” “Let’s move” and “Let’s bring our men there,” to encourage listeners to confront the ARATS vice chairman as he visited the temple.
Lee said the programs’ contents violated Section 5 of Article 21 of the Broadcasting and Television Law, which mandates penalties for programs that disrupt public order or customs. Each of the 11 radio stations will be fined NT$13,500 for broadcasting the program.
The radio station that also broadcast I Love Taiwan will be fined an additional NT$24,500 as both the host and the guest used stronger expressions like “Let’s throw dog shit [on him]!” and “Remember to dump cow shit there,” Lee said.
The panel decided that prosecutors would determine if the programs’ content was also guilty of instigating listeners to commit crimes.
Radio stations can appeal NCC rulings if they disagree, Lee said.