The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday warned television stations against inflating votes in favor of select candidates during the vote counting process on election day to boost their ratings.
“While we respect the freedom of the press, we will have staff stationed at the Central Election Commission’s [CEC] Election Affairs Emergency Response Center on Jan.1 1 to monitor if the numbers of votes aired by different news channels are authentic and come from reliable sources,” the NCC said.
The NCC added that during an Oct. 25 meeting, it had asked radio and television stations to adhere to the principle of fairness and verify facts in their election day coverage.
On Oct. 29, the NCC and the CEC jointly issued a notice to radio and television stations that they should comply with the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法), as well as the Radio and Television Act (廣播電視法), the Cable Radio and Television Act (有線廣播電視法) and the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法).
Public complaints about unfair TV coverage of political campaigns and candidates submitted to the NCC would be turned over to the CEC, which would determine if the channel has breached the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act, the NCC said.
“When the vote count starts on election day, news channels are obligated to inform viewers where they got their numbers. They will be punished if they inflate votes to mislead viewers,” the NCC said.
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