Formosa TV (FTV) and China Television (CTV) were each fined NT$300,000 by the National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday for inappropriate coverage of the brawls over the Local Government Act (地制法) at the legislature in January.
The NCC said it received many complaints after the coverage was aired. It then turned the case over to an independent content review committee, formed by experts that are not related to the commission.
NCC spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said the news was broadcast on nearly all TV channels, but the two stations were fined because of a history of repeated violations.
Jason Ho (何吉森), director of the NCC’s communication content department, said the two stations received the highest penalty because each has committed five violations in the past three years.
Taiwan Television, Chinese Television Service, CTi News, SET News, TVBS, TVBS-N, ERA News, Eastern News, EBC Financial News and Formosa News all received warnings for their presentations of the same news, Ho said.
“A majority of the members on the content review committee believed news content should be presented in ways that can be viewed by a general audience, as prescribed by television program rating regulations,” Ho said.
May Chen (陳依玫), chairperson of the self-disciplinary committee at the Satellite Television Broadcasting Association (STBA), said the association agreed that television stations should not show lengthy coverage of physical violence, particularly on news programs aired around dinner time.
“But the reports of the physical conflicts at the legislature was meant to show the disagreement between the two main political parties, which is very different from covering a crime or an act of sexual abuse,” she said, suggesting that a representative from the association be allowed to attend the review committee meeting.
The content review committee also discussed a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) political advertisement that was intended to portray the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as a party of violence. The advertisement used the footage from the legislature.
Ho said the committee members believed the advertisement was flawed but did not violate any regulation.
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