Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) yesterday expressed the hope that Beijing would grant journalists “genuine freedom” in covering China and said that the key to cross-strait news exchanges is transparency and equality.
Speaking at a cross-strait news reporting awards ceremony in Taipei, Wang said press interactions between Taiwan and China should not be limited to the establishment of media outlet offices on the two sides, which China has lobbied for.
Taiwan is more interested in China promoting genuine freedom in news reporting, Wang said.
He also urged the two sides to consider promoting information flows on an equal basis when discussing issues related to the number of journalists on site or how long journalists from Taiwan can stay at their posts in China and vice versa.
Wang said he hoped the two sides could improve the environment for news exchanges and allow both societies to benefit from a free flow of information.
Wang’s statement reflected his concern over China’s control over the media and its occasional moves to block local access to Taiwanese news Web sites.
Speaking of Beijing’s request for media outlets in Taiwan and China to open offices on a reciprocal basis, Wang said the government understands the need, but its current priority is the establishment of offices of the organizations that represent the two sides in cross-strait negotiations — the Straits Exchange Foundation and Beijing’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits.
The council will do its best to achieve that goal, he added.
The Taipei-based Want Daily was the biggest winner at the 16th Cross-Strait Relations and Mainland News Reporting Awards ceremony. It took four prizes — best newspaper news reporting, best newspaper feature, best non-video news reporting and best non-video news reporting by citizens of China, Hong Kong and Macau.
Other winners included the Voice of Han Broadcasting Network, Radio Taiwan International, TVBS, Business Weekly and Rhythms Monthly.
The awards are organized by a development fund management committee operated by the council.