Wed, Jul 29, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Radio, TV operators attack NCC over disciplinary plan

CONTROL Broadcasters said they were able to monitor programming and exercise discipline as the commission launched its ‘better content campaign’

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Radio and television service operators criticized the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday for being too concerned about their ability to exercise discipline.

“We used to like to criticize the content provided by the three old television stations [Taiwan Television, China Television and Chinese Television Service] because they simply aired the agenda set by political parties, the government and the military,” said Chen Chao-ping (陳朝平), chairman of the Cable Broadband Institute in Taiwan (CBIT).

“After the law required political parties, the government and the military to withdraw from media operations, we now see more diversified media content free from any form of control,” Chen said.

“The audience embraces the diversity and I think the government should not worry about it too much,” the CBIT chief said.

COMBINED EFFORT

Ma Chang-sheng (馬長生), a representative of Commercial Radio Broadcasting Association, said that the media, the audience and the government are all in the same boat and should work together to maintain standards of media content.

“We hope that the commission can also believe that we can regulate ourselves,” Ma said.

“We won’t do anything to destroy ourselves,” he said.

Chen and Ma made their remarks at a press conference called by the commission to announce the launch of its campaign for better media content.

The commission appears to be taking a tougher stand on ensuring that TV stations abide by regulations on their content, including commercials and programming.

PENALTIES

Jason Ho (何吉森), director of communication content department, said the commission had collected more than NT$60 million (US$1.8 million) in penalties last year from radio and TV operators who broke content regulations, including NT$40 million in penalties for violating rules on “infomercials.”

Commenting on the complaints from station operators, Commission Chairwoman Bonnie Peng (彭芸) said “this only shows there are differences in opinion.”

“On average, less than 20 percent of the cases we handle involve penalties or warnings,” she said.

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