A coalition of student groups yesterday announced the establishment of the Youth Front for Boycotting Fake News, with experts highlighting Beijing’s increased interference in Taiwan’s public communication channels.
More than 100 university and high-school student groups, along with more than 50 experts, have pledged to support the front, which was established last week.
The front’s creation followed student-led campaigns last month on National Taiwan University’s (NTU) and National Chengchi University’s campuses to boycott TV stations allegedly broadcasting false or biased news reports in favor of certain politicians, NTU Student Association president Michelle Wu (吳奕柔) told a news conference in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Front members said they would mail a pledge to produce verified and objective reports, as well as the Chinese-language book Critical Media Literacy (批判的媒體識讀), which is used as teaching material at Shih Hsin University, to six TV news stations to remind them of basic journalistic ethics.
The front is targeting TV stations because they are the main source of information for older people, said front spokesman Chen Ku-hsiung (陳估熊), who is also the president of the National Cheng Kung University Student Association.
Taiwan Citizen Front founder and lawyer Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) said that China has been expanding its influence over Taiwanese media, despite opponents of media monopolization in 2012 blocking Want Want China Times Media Group (旺旺中時媒體) from buying cable service operator China Network Systems Co (中嘉網路).
Chinese-backed media monopolization efforts no longer target a single media outlet, but have become a universal phenomenon in Taiwanese media, Lai said.
The campaign against false news reports is a new student movement following the 2014 Sunflower movement, and it has rallied groups promoting transitional justice, students’ rights and high-school curricular reform, Academia Sinica Institute of Taiwan History associate research fellow Wu Rwei-ren (吳叡人) said.
Chinese authorities and their proxies in Taiwan must not underestimate the civic power of Taiwanese society, he said.
Asked to comment on the Democratic Progressive Party’s performance, he said that as the party remains the most important party in Taiwan, it is crucial that it does not fall apart after its presidential primary.
When national security is threatened, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former premier William Lai (賴清德) — who are vying to become the party’s presidential nominee — should put aside their egos and rethink what they should do to protect the nation, he added.
BREAKING RECORDS: Kuo Hsing-chun’s snatch, clean and jerk, and combined lifts were all Olympic records, although well off her combined world record Taiwanese weightlifter Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳) yesterday completed her elusive quest for Olympic gold, clinching Taiwan’s first win at the Tokyo Games as she set Olympic records in the women’s under-59kg weight class. Kuo, who has not lost a major competition in her weight class since the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, where she was hampered by injury and finished third, finally chased down the gold medal that had long remained just out of her grasp. The 27-year-old finished with a combined lift of 236kg — 103kg in the snatch and 133kg in the clean and jerk — 21kg more
NEXT ROUND: About 1.44 million people who have registered online to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine are to get text messages today to book a vaccine appointment Strict border control measures, including a ban on foreign nationals entering or transiting through Taiwan, are to continue, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 10 locally transmitted COVID-19 infections and no deaths. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said five of the cases tested positive during isolation or upon ending it. The sources of infection of eight cases have been identified, one remains unclear and one is under investigation, he said, adding that 87.8 percent of the people infected with COVID-19 since May 11 have been released from isolation. Chen said an
STAY VIGILANT: Although a level 2 alert would raise the limit on indoor gatherings to 50, people should still wear masks and practice social distancing, the center said A nationwide COVID-19 alert is to be lowered from level 3 to 2 on Tuesday, but strict border controls would remain, the government said yesterday. The level 3 alert in place since May 19 is to end on Monday, with a level 2 alert in place from Tuesday until Aug. 9, the Executive Yuan said. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told a news conference in Taipei that over the next two weeks, people should still wear masks at all times outdoors, except while eating or drinking, and practice social distancing. The maximum
THE HOME TEAM: DPP Legislator Kao Chia-yu said she canceled her booking for an AstraZeneca shot as soon as she heard that the Medigen vaccine was an option President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that she would get inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Taiwan-based Medigen Vaccine Biologics Corp (高端疫苗). Tsai wrote on Facebook that she had registered for her first vaccine dose using the national online COVID-19 vaccination booking system, which allows people to indicate their preferred vaccine brand and to make an appointment when the shot becomes available. Tsai said that she opted for the Medigen vaccine — one of three now available on the system, along with the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines — even though Medigen has yet to deliver any doses or provide a