Fri, Feb 09, 2018 - Page 0 News List

Poll sees a ‘disorderly’ 2017 media

QUALITY:Taiwan Media Watch said the term ‘disorderly,’ which 31.6 percent of voters chose, reflected the number of problems in the media’s reporting of major social issues

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Chinese character for “disorderly” (luan, 亂) was chosen to represent the nation’s media industry for last year, Taiwan Media Watch — a private foundation dedicated to media monitoring and journalistic professionalism — said on Wednesday.

The character was chosen from among five through online voting, with over 1,000 people having participated, the foundation said.

The runners-up were the characters for “fake” (jia, 假), “labor” (lao, 勞), “rise” (xing, 興) and “cold” (han, 寒).

Of the voters, 31.6 percent chose “disorderly,” 23.3 percent chose “fake,” 17.2 percent chose “labor,” 13.7 percent chose “rise” and 6.7 percent chose “cold,” the foundation said.

“Disorderly” reflected the large number of problems inherent in the media’s reporting of major social issues, it said, adding that “fake” symbolized the public’s growing sensitivity to fake news, particularly as information spreads so quickly over the Internet.

Foundation members on Wednesday presented reporters with red sheets of paper on which they had written “disorderly” in Chinese using calligraphy brushes.

The members also announced five major industry-related issues that emerged last year — also selected through the voting — and offered industry leaders suggestions on how to improve.

The five issues were the emergence of “fake news” as a key phrase in media-related discussions, the Nation Communications Commission’s announcement of a draft bill to combat media monopolies, the Taiwan Media Workers Union’s opposition to reporters having their work hours regulated, the Reporters Without Borders’ (RSF) establishment of a Taipei office and a bill by the commission to prevent investment in public television stations by political party members.

Cedric Alviani, director of RSF’s Taipei office, said he fully approves of the use of “disorderly” as a word to represent the state of the media, not only in Taiwan, but worldwide.

Taiwan ranks first in Asia in terms of freedom of the press, but still ranks No. 45 globally, he said.

“Actually, things could be better,” he said. “I hope that the media in Taiwan can promote better quality reporting.”

The media play an important role in a democratic society, but the quality of reporting around the world is declining, he said, adding that he hopes Taiwanese media outlets can remain vigilant and independent.

Business and political interests always strive to control the media, but the nation’s media remain “satisfactory,” which the RSF represents with the color yellow, he said, adding that the media in Taiwan would hopefully move up to “good,” which is represented by white.

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