Wed, May 15, 2019 - Page 3 News List

NPP looks to enhance media penalties

INEFFECTIVE:A NT$200,000 fine handed to an outlet for publishing advertorials from the Chinese government is ‘the same as fining it NT$2,’ Huang Kuo-chang said

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party Legislator Huang Kuo-chang, right, and his colleagues hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday in response to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu’s promise to work from Kaohsiung if he is elected president next year.

Photo: Su Fang-he, Taipei Times

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday released a draft amendment to the National Security Act (國家安全法) that would allow the revocation of a radio or TV network’s operating license if it is found to have broadcast information harmful to national security or democracy on China’s behalf.

Currently, media outlets found to have published propaganda for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) supplied by the Chinese government could be fined NT$100,000 to NT$500,000 (US$3,213 to US$16,063) for breaching the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例), NPP Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said.

Although the Mainland Affairs Council has fined a local media outlet NT$200,000 for publishing paid advertorials for the Chinese government, “it is about the same as fining it NT$2 and definitely cannot stop media outlets from doing so,” he said.

To better protect the nation, the party has proposed amending the National Security Act to allow authorities to impose a fine of NT$10 million to NT$50 million on radio and TV networks found to have broadcast information harmful to national security or democracy under the instruction of, or in collaboration with, the Chinese government, he said.

The rules would also apply to networks that broadcast such information in collaboration with representatives of the Chinese government or foreign terrorist organizations, he added.

If networks do not make corrections by a specified date, they would be fined consecutively and could lose their operating license, Huang said.

In addition, the company head or owner could be sentenced to three to 10 years in prison, in addition to a fine of up to NT$5 million, he said.

“Radio and TV networks have access to public broadcasting resources, so they are expected to take a more active role in maintaining the nation’s freedom, democracy and constitutional framework than others,” Huang said.

As the presidential election nears, China is to continue trying to influence Taiwanese media, NPP caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.

A media summit in Beijing last week raised concerns over the neutrality of certain media organizations, following reports that CCP leaders told Taiwanese media to promote China’s “one country, two systems” framework during the event, he said.

“The most important goal of the amendments is to protect Taiwan’s democracy and ensure freedom of the press,” he said, adding that he hopes they would be passed before the end of the current legislative session.

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