An academic yesterday urged the government to take the percentage of locally produced programs a TV channel transmits into consideration when deciding whether to renew broadcast licenses.
“There are still ways to salvage the nation’s TV industry if everyone faces the crisis honestly,” National Chung Cheng University professor Luo Shih-hung (羅世宏) said. “The government should increase funding for locally produced TV programs and limit the broadcast of programs imported from China and other nations. The funding for public broadcasting channels should also be increased.”
Meanwhile, the percentage of a TV network’s locally produced programs, as well as the funding for such programs should be an important gauge in the evaluation of the performance of the network and the decision on whether to renew its broadcasting license.”
Luo made the remarks in a letter to the Chinese-language Apple Daily in response to the controversy generated by recent nominations for the 50th edition of the Golden Bell Award.
Lan Tsu-wei (藍祖蔚), who chaired the award’s review committee, said the committee members originally did not want to nominate any program for the variety show category because of the declining quality of these shows, adding that in general they “lack creativity, offer low-level entertainment and provide nothing informative.”
He added that members came up with a short list for the variety show category, which nominated only three programs instead of the traditional five, via multiple rounds of discussion, even though some members of the committee suggested they leave this category vacant.
Lan’s remarks were considered humiliating by some of the nation’s entertainers. Variety show host Jacky Wu (吳宗憲) said the remarks insulted the entire entertainment business and encouraged netizens to find out who the review committee members are.
Luo said Lan’s remarks do not only apply to Taiwanese variety shows, they also apply to the nation’s TV series, news programs and talk shows.
Luo said Taiwan needs to understand that the quality of its variety shows has fallen behind those of China and South Korea. The reasons include a drastic decrease in the money spent on producing TV shows by Taiwanese production companies, insufficient government subsidies and a shortage of talented artists and producers.
China has made great strides in its production of variety shows, Luo said.
The main problem with Taiwanese variety shows is that they do not have the competitive edge necessary to attract viewers, Luo said, adding that Taiwan’s television networks could deteriorate to an inconceivable degree if Chinese shows come to dominate Taiwan’s airwaves.
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