An annual report published by the National Communications Commission (NCC) showed that people are mostly dissatisfied with inappropriate content broadcast in advertisements and news programs.
The independent government agency said that it last year received 4,894 complaints on the content of broadcasts, of which 79 percent was perceived by people as improper content aired in ads and news programs.
By broadcast medium, 4,777 reports were related to TV content, while 117 cases were related to radio broadcasts.
People expressed particular concern when advertisements involved sexism, violence, foul language, or the sexual objectification of women, the commission said, adding that content deemed harmful to the mental and physical health of children and teenagers also prompted reports.
On news programming, most reports were related to content that contained only partial or false information, the commission said.
The agency said that it has sent official letters to various broadcasting associations, which are required to remind their members about regulations governing advertisements.
Some advertisements that might not be appropriate for younger audiences should not be aired in prime-time hours, or when children and teenagers commonly watch TV, it added.
The commission said that while it respects the editorial freedom of TV stations to choose topics, the manner of presentation and the time slots to air their content, it is important for broadcasters, audiences and the agency to engage in direct dialogue.
“We plan to establish an online platform for the public and the media to directly communicate with each other. The platform would ensure that the personal information of people filing complaints would be protected, and that broadcasters would handle such complaints in a timely manner,” the commission said. “People would be able to check responses to their complaints from broadcasters or the commission, and would be able to refile their complaints if they are dissatisfied with how they are handled.”
Penalties as large as NT$5.53 million (US$182,774) were imposed in 62 cases that were deemed to have violated broadcasting regulations, the agency said, adding that the majority failed to show a clear distinction between programming and advertisements.
The agency said it is creating amendments to three broadcasting laws: the Radio and Television Act (廣播電視法), the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) and the Cable Radio and Television Act (有線廣播電視法).
However, broadcasters should abide by current regulations, which would continue to be enforced, it added.
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