The heads of 10 journalism and communication schools nationwide yesterday issued a statement opposing a bid by Want Want Broadband to acquire the the cable TV systems owned by China Network Systems (CNS).
The statement is expected to be the focus of discussions at the legislature’s Transportation Committee meeting today, when lawmakers review four nominations for commissioner of the National Communications Commission.
The Want Want-CNS deal involves the merger of a media conglomerate owning newspapers, magazines and TV networks with the nation’s second-largest multiple service operator (MSO).
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The commission has yet to approve the merger, which it has been reviewing for 16 months.
Three of the department chairs — Lin Yuan-huei (林元輝), chair of the department of journalism at National Chengchi University; Lin Lih-yun (林麗雲), director of the Graduate Institute of Journalism at National Taiwan University; and Hu Guang-shiash (胡光夏), chair of the department of journalism at Shih Hsin University — yesterday attended a press conference called by Taiwan Media Watch board director Lin Fu-yueh (林福岳). Want Want China Broadband was represented by special assistant to its chairman, Chao Yu-pei (趙育培).
Lin Fu-yueh said that the group of journalism department directors do not want a media group to monopolize public opinion in Taiwan.
“We reviewed the performance of the Want Want China Times Group over the past year or so and feel the group is not qualified to manage media,” they said. “We are thus strongly against allowing such a group to manage even more media.”
The experts also listed several actions taken by the group that they said were unprofessional and failed to live to up to its corporate responsibility, including allowing the Chinese government to buy news coverage at the Chinese-language daily China Times and lashing out at individuals and groups with opposing views.
In response, Chao said Want Want China Broadband and Want Want China Times Group were different companies, adding that the former was prepared to make 29 commitments if the Want Want-CNS deal were approved.
He said the China Times was fined NT$1.8 million (US$61,000) for allowing embedded marketing by the Chinese government, and added that Want Want China Broadband would have an internal review on all aspects of marketing.
Chao said the company would not give preferential treatment to channels from the Want Want China Times Group, adding that media controlled by the group represented only one of many different voices in Taiwan and it is unlikely that the deal would monopolize opinions.
“We welcome specific examples about how stories in the China Times betrayed the faith of Taiwanese, not abstract thoughts and observations,” Chao said.
Lin Fu-yueh said he had read the list of commitments and doubted the company had the ability to keep them.
“If Want Want China Broadband and the Want Want China Times Group are indeed unrelated, I could not help but ask why the latter defended the former by devoting an entire page at the China Times to the coverage of a public hearing on the deal,” he said. “Would you do the same if it was another group that wanted to purchase the CNS? Would you give favorable coverage to that group, too?”
Lin Lih-yun quoted Want Want chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), who said at the public hearing earlier this month that he did not know what was wrong with getting paid by the Chinese government to write news for them.
“The commission should have rejected this deal a long time ago because Tsai was doing something illegal,” she said. “They should have revoked the licenses of their television networks, too.”
The statement was drafted by Taiwan Media Watch and endorsed by: Aaron Chiu (邱誌勇), chairman of the department of mass communication at Providence University; Chen Chih-hsien (陳志賢), chair of the department of cultural development at National Kaohsiung University of Applied Science; Mark Chen (陳春富), chair of the department of communication arts at Fu Jen Catholic University; Chen Ping-hung (陳炳宏), chair of the Graduate Institute of Mass Communication at National Taiwan Normal University; Tseng Kuo-feng (曾國峰), director of the department of radio and television at National Chengchi University; Shaw Pin (蕭蘋), head of the Institute of Communications Management at National Sun Yat-sen University; and Day Wan-wen (戴皖文), chair of the department of communication at National Chung Cheng University.
‘UNAFRAID’: Most Taiwanese do not seem to be aware of the danger of war and might be unprepared, a KMT legislator said of the poll by an affiliated foundation Nearly 60 percent of Taiwanese believe that a war between Taiwan and China is “unlikely” or “impossible,” a survey released yesterday by the National Policy Foundation showed. The survey asked participants if they thought there was a possibility of war between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait based on recent developments, said the foundation, which is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). While 42.5 percent of respondents thought it was “unlikely” and 17.1 percent believed it was “impossible,” 5.1 percent said it was “very likely” and 17.2 percent said it was “fairly possible,” the survey showed. Another 18.2 percent gave
The Kaohsiung Prosecutors’ Office on Monday indicted a Chinese sea captain over his alleged involvement in the killing of four pirates at sea in 2012, while serving as the captain of a Taiwanese fishing vessel. The suspect, identified by the media as 43-year-old Wang Fengyu (汪峰裕), was charged with homicide and breaches of the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act (槍砲彈藥刀械管制條例), the indictment read. Wang asked two Pakistani mercenaries that he hired as acting captain of the Kaohsiung-registered Ping Shin No. 101 to fire on and kill four suspected Somalian pirates in the Indian Ocean off the Somalian coast on Sept. 29,
UPGRADE: The system is more efficient than others, which typically involve longer procedures that can produce pseudo-positive or pseudo-negative results The National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center yesterday unveiled an infrared wax physisorption kinetics imaging system, which it said efficiently detects 10 types of cancer. Through scanning tissue section samples, the imaging system can detect colon, breast, stomach, oral, ovarian, cervical, prostate and skin cancer, as well as neuroendocrine tumors and glioblastoma, center associate research fellow Lee Yao-chang (李耀昌) told a news conference in Taipei. The system uses paraffin and beeswax with organic solutions as developers for its infrared imaging device, which can mark abnormal polysaccharides on the surface of cancer cells in six to 15 minutes, while the wax is absorbed by
China is trying to convince Taiwanese that an authoritarian system is preferable to democracy, the Information Operations Research Group (IORG) said at a conference yesterday. China has been employing Taiwanese sympathetic to its “united front” tactics to help spread disinformation about democracy and Taiwanese society through social media, television programs, YouTube and by other means, the group said at the conference to promote public awareness of China’s cognitive warfare campaign. In the group’s latest report, it highlighted eight disinformation discussions that its researchers listed under three main topics: flu viruses in the US are deadlier than COVID-19; US troop movements caused the