More senior editors and reporters at the Chinese-language China Times have resigned following the newspaper’s severe criticism of opponents of Want Want China Times Group’s acquisition of cable television services owned by China Network Systems (CNS).
Last week, a number of senior editors and reporters resigned or applied for early retirement due to the criticism. They included deputy managing editor Ho Rong-hsing (何榮幸), deputy editorial page editor Chuang Pei-chang (莊佩璋) and junior reporter Yo Wan-chi (游婉琪).
This week, international news center director Yen Ji-yu (閻紀宇), as well as senior investigative reporters Kao Yu-chih (高有智) and Huang Yi-ying (黃奕瀠), were reported to have turned in their resignations as well.
Yen posted a message on Ho’s Facebook page saying that he had indicated his intention to resign in an e-mail to his supervisor. Yen said he did not know Ho had also resigned.
“The problem with the China Times is that the boss had said that the newspaper might as well fold if it refused to be the hound of the falcon,” Yen said.
“The newspaper had lost its integrity when it became the hound. It cannot survive if the public chooses to abandon it. What happened to the China Times will eventually become a warning in journalism textbooks. Ironically, the fall of the China Times would perhaps be the last positive contribution the newspaper makes to Taiwanese society,” he said.
Kao said on his Facebook page that he decided to leave the paper because he disagreed with the way Want Want China Times Group attacked Academia Sinica associate research fellow Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), who was an opponent of the Want Want-CNS deal.
Nor was he happy at how the newspaper reacted to the mounting criticism following its coverage, Kao said.
Kao and Ho were both members of the China Times’ investigative reporting team, which included former China Times reporter Dennis Huang (黃哲斌).
Meanwhile, three members serving on the ethics committee at CTiTV network — which also belongs to Want Want China Times Group — have also resigned.
The three members are National Chung Cheng University associate professor Hu Yuan-hui (胡元輝), National Chengchi University professor Liu Yu-li (劉幼俐) and Garden of Hope Foundation chief executive Chi Hui-jung (紀惠容).
Both Hu and Chi said they decided to resign because they felt they had failed to fulfill the responsibilities that were entrusted to them.
Both also felt the decisions reached by committee have had little bearing on the direction of the news coverage on the network’s news station.
Chi joined several other media analysts by submiting a written petition to National Communications Commission (NCC). They accused CTiTV of twisting the facts and not fulfilling the interests of its viewers with its malicious criticism of Huang Kuo-chang. The media analysts are due to submit the petition to the NCC today.
The NCC said it would invite those in senior management positions at CTiTV to brief it on the operations of the ethics committee, as well as the guiding principles of news coverage at Want Want China Times Group.