Accompanied by Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪), Taiwan Indigenous Television (TITV) employees yesterday accused the station’s program director of contracting a friend who has no background in producing programs to undertake several production projects, and urged a probe into the issue.
“Many Aboriginal voters have complained to me about the declining quality of programs aired by TITV, so when TITV employees came to me and told me about what has been going on within the station, I realized why,” Liu told a news conference at the Legislative Yuan.
Liu said that since last year, TITV has outsourced production of three programs — costing more than NT$10 million (US$340,000) — to three different production companies.
“Although the three programs were outsourced to three companies, Ibun Sugnarin, a good friend of TITV program director Maraos, serves in the management division of all three companies, and worked as a producer or director in these programs,” Liu said. “It’s intolerable that taxpayers’ money is being spent this way.”
More than 10 TITV employees attended the news conference, but they all had their faces covered, because they were worried they might lose their jobs.
“Ibun Sugnarin has no background in media production,” a TITV employee said. “He graduated from a theological college and works as clergyman in a church.”
“TITV is a television station that specializes in broadcasting content to the nation’s Aborigines and is funded by the government. We don’t want the taxpayers’ money to be wasted like this,” another TITV employee said. “We call for a probe into the problem.”
Osay Kolas, executive director of the Aboriginal Cultural Foundation, a government-run organization that provides funding for TITV, said she was sorry to hear about the complaints.
“We regret that the production process of programs at TITV is not being carried out as we’d expected,” Osay said. “Although we provide the funding for the station, it’s the Taiwan Broadcasting Service [TBS] that actually oversees its operation — we will discuss the issue with TBS’ management and urge it to investigate the matter and make sure that the conflict of interests is handled appropriately.”
Although she said she expected TBS to take care of the issue, she said she understood this may be difficult because the dispute surrounding the selection of the broadcasting service’s board of directors remains unresolved and thus TBS’ own management is hindered.