A campaign initiated by the Youth Alliance Against Media Monsters two weeks ago that calls on academics to reject any publication of their works by the Chinese-language China Times has so far gathered more than 100 signatures from acclaimed academics and writers.
The petition was galvanized by the conditional approval of a NT$76 billion (US$2.54 billion) deal allowing the Want Want China Times Group to acquire some of the cable TV services owned by China Network Systems (CNS) and its treatment of Academia Sinica associate research fellow Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), who was accused by the media giant of paying students to attend a protest against the acquisition deal. The group later apologized for the accusations.
“Based on the Want Want China Times Group’s derogatory reports about Huang, we believe that the media group and its media subsidiaries have forsaken their self-discipline and journalistic ethics,” said Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆), spokesman of the alliance, which is composed of 30 student clubs from several universities.
In particular, the China Times, a newspaper that used to be seen as the voice of the public, has gone against its journalistic conscience and become the personal mouthpiece of Want Want China Times Group chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明), Lin said.
“That was why we decided to support an anti-media monopoly protest to be staged today with our petition movement,” Lin said.
Since the China Times is no longer faithful to journalistic ethics and has become nothing more than an “attack dog” for Tsai and his group, people must refuse to read it or to allow their work to be published in the newspaper, so as to uphold the principles of media independence and freedom of speech that society rightfully deserves, Lin said.