More than 300 National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) students took part in a rally on the university’s campus in Hsinchu yesterday in support of a campaign against media monopoly.
The event, organized by NTHU student group “Radical” (基進筆記), which publishes campus news on a monthly basis, is part of an on-going nationwide campaign staged by college students against media monopolization after learning that a consortium including Want Want China Times Group chairman Tsai Eng-meng (蔡衍明) was buying Next Media Group’s four media outlets in Taiwan.
They oppose control of the mass media being concentrated in the hands of a few conglomerates and want the government to scrutinize the transaction.
“Safeguard press freedom. I’m at Tsing Hua to protect Taiwan!” the students chanted.
They also signed petitions and wrote down prayers on prayer cards before posing for a photograph.
NTHU chief secretary Chien Chen-fu (簡禎富) and dean of student Affairs Lu Ping-chiang (呂平江) also lent their support.
Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), an NTHU student and a co-convener of the Youth Alliance Against Media Monsters, also attended the rally.
Chen provoked a media frenzy earlier this month for calling Minister of Education Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧) a hypocrite and liar, and demanding an apology from him for sending an e-mail that asked universities to “show concern” over the participation of students in recent protests.
Chen has since apologized for his remarks in an effort to avoid diverting attention from the issue of media monopolization.
Wang Dan (王丹), an exiled leader of the Tiananmen democracy protest of 1989 and currently a visiting professor at NTHU, showed up with his own printed slogans to convey his opposition to media monopolization.
“People in Taiwan can voice their diverse views freely. It is very good that students are standing up to fight against media monopoly,” Wang said.
He added that he hopes the government will take the students seriously.