TV news stations fined over content

CLAMPDOWN::The National Communications Commission dished out several fines and announced it would abandon an amendment to the Telecommunications Act

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Jul 18, 2013 - Page 4

CtiTV News and ETTV News were yesterday fined NT$300,000 each for violating the Satellite Broadcasting Act (衛星廣播電視法) in its news programs.

The National Communications Commission (NCC) said that an episode of CtiTV’s talk show News Storm in April showed close-up footage of a cobra and a frog whose bodies still moved after being decapitated.

The program violated Article 18 of the act for failing to show the relevant content classification.

ETTV, on the other hand, was found to have aired news stories advertising the products of a specific restaurant in the evening news broadcast on April 25.

The channel was fined for violating Article 19 of the act, which requires that a clear separation between programs and commercials should be maintained.

Aside from CtiTV and ETTV, Chinese Television Systems was fined NT$15,000 for an episode of its entertainment show Power Sunday, in which the guests were forced to accept unwanted kisses if they lost a game.

Jason Ho (何吉森), director of the commission’s communication content department, said that the majority of members of an independent content review decided that the program had shown people being bullied and ridiculed. The program violated Article 21 of the Radio and Television Act (廣播電視法) in airing content considered harmful to children and teenagers.

Meanwhile, On TV, the CTiTV variety channel, and Formosa TV were each asked to address problematic content appearing in their programs, without being penalized.

Ho said that Formosa TV was found to have improperly conducted embedded marketing in its TV series Feng Shui Family, in which it used children to advertise a particular brand of children’s snack. This was the first violation recorded after the government relaxed the regulations on product placement in TV programs.

Though the program did not highlight the product, encouraged its consumption or introduced it in ways that affected the program’s production, Ho said that the program should not take advantage of children’s credulity and their influence on parents to help promote certain products.

Ho said that the rule restricting the embedded marketing of products for children does not only apply to children’s programs, but also to other programs. Meanwhile, programs should not practice embedded marketing to attack competing products or services.

In other developments, the commission announced that it would abandon an amendment to the Telecommunications Act (電信法) and would instead start drafting a digital convergence act (數位匯流法) that would combine the Telecommunications Act and three broadcasting acts.

The announcement came after the Executive Yuan twice rejected the amendment to the Telecommunications Act.

NCC spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said that the commission is scheduled to submit the draft of the digital convergence act next year.