The controversy over the Want Want China Times Group’s bid for the cable television services owned by China Network Systems continued yesterday as activists opposing the deal vowed to launch a large-scale protest next month.
The protest is to be launched by the Association of Taiwan Journalists, as well as academics. Those joining the protest are scheduled to walk from the China Times building in Taipei’s Wanhua District (萬華) to the National Communications Commission headquarters on Renai Road.
They said on the event’s Facebook page that Want Want China Times Group chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) should apologize to Academia Sinica associate research fellow Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), National Tsing Hwa University student Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) and all Taiwanese for using the group’s various media outlets to attack the two men.
They also said that Tsai should resign from all positions he holds in the group, as he has lost his qualifications to manage the media.
Those holding managerial positions in the group should also be held responsible for all inappropriate news reports in recent months and apologize to the reporters, they said.
They added that Tsai should give up his bid to purchase the cable TV systems.
The commission should also severely punish Cti News TV channel for violating the operational plan it submitted to the government, they said. Meanwhile, they added, the government should stipulate laws to prevent any media monopoly.
Kuang Chung-hsiang (管中祥), an associate professor at National Chung Cheng University, said that the protest was not solely about being against Want Want China Times Group.
“Want Want China Times threatened academics and former commissioners, fabricated news to attack those holding different opinions and changed reporters’ stories. Not only had the group harmed professionalism in news reporting, it had also changed reporters working for the group into victims,” he said.
Kuang said that the protest also aims to expose that the government has failed to regulate media behavior, allowing some of them to trample media professionals.
In related news, China Television Systems (CTS) yesterday accused the commission of illegally allowing cable TV providers to remove its educational channels from the channel lineup.
CTS said in a statement that the act had affected the interests of viewers, particularly students of National Open University, who need to take their courses though these channels.
CTS is scheduled to hold press conference today to urge the commission to address the problem immediately.