National Communications Commission (NCC) chairwoman Bonnie Peng (彭芸) said yesterday it would be “very difficult” for the Next Media Interactive Group to secure operational licenses to offer satellite TV news given the sensational animated news content of its News-in-Motion program.
“We will not allow anyone to test our limits,” Peng told the legislature’s Transportation Committee after being urged by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) to penalize Next Media immediately.
NCC spokesperson Chen Jeng-chang (陳正倉) said the group has applied for five operational licenses for the Next TV network. The commission is leaning toward approving the licenses for the network’s entertainment, sports and movie channels, he said, but it has yet to rule on its news and information channels.
“Even if the commission gives its approval, it will come with conditions,” Chen said.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Chen said the possibility of the commission granting approval to the news and information channels was very low.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) showed a clip that detailed the process of a teenager going on a killing spree. She said the clip can be watched online or downloaded on mobile phones, even though Next Media has yet to receive licenses for a satellite TV channel service. She asked the commission to establish guidelines to regulate animated news within a month.
KMT Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said the server for News-in-Motion is in Hong Kong, which essentially allows the group to host it without any government supervision.
“Can’t we regulate such a high-profile Hong Kong-based firm?” he asked.
Jason Ho (何吉森), director of the NCC’s communication content department, said the content displayed in animated news can be regulated by the Children and Juveniles Welfare Act (兒童及青少年福利法).
“Article 26 states that no party should supply or provide publications, videotapes, films, compact discs, electronic signals or other products containing violence, sex, obscenity or gambling that are harmful to physical or mental health,” Ho said. “Violators can be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$500,000.”
Ho also said that Article 8 of the Telecommunications Act (電信法) stipulates that a telecom carrier “may terminate the use of telecommunications by a user, whose business is providing telecommunications content to the detriment of public order and good morals.”
Chunghwa Telecom, whose multimedia-on-demand system Next Media intends to use, issued a statement last night saying it would abide by NCC rulings if the content of a channel violated any laws.
Next TV editor-in-chief Chen Yu-hsin (陳裕鑫) said that Next TV and the Apple Daily are separate operations. News-in-Motion is part of the Apple Daily, Chen said.
“We do share the same animation production team, but each places orders based on different needs,” Chen said.
The Ministry of the Interior said yesterday it would launch a probe into News-in-Motion to see if the content broke any laws.
“If [the content] constitutes a criminal offense, we will move the case to the Criminal Investigation Bureau,” Deputy Minister of the Interior Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said.
Chien made the remarks when asked by the KMT’s Yang Li-huan (楊麗環) if News-in-Motion violated the Children and Juveniles Welfare Act since minors can download the videos on their cellphones.
Several civic groups, including Media Watch, the Association of Taiwan Journalists, the Garden of Hope Foundation, the Awakening Foundation and the Taiwan Alliance for Advancement of Youth Rights and Welfare, said they would stage a protest outside the Apple Daily headquarters today.
Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said yesterday that the Apple Daily’s detailed description of sex assault and violent crime cases through animated videos had a negative impact on children’s mental health and violated the Act.
Anyone who provides violent or pornographic pictures or videos can be fined between NT$6,000 to NT$30,000 and have their business license suspended.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said last night that the city had fined Next Media NT$500,000 for violating the media classification regulations in the act.
“We will continue fining the company until it agrees to follow the regulations,” Hau told a press conference at Taipei City Hall.
Yeh Ching-yuan (葉慶元), commissioner of the city’s Law and Regulations Commission, said the company had violated Article 30 by offering material that is harmful to children and teenagers.
The city government could suspend operations for up to one year if Next Media failed to prevent individuals under 18 from viewing the news on its Web site, Yeh said.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MO YAN-CHIH
Two people were killed and another nine injured yesterday after being stung by hornets while hiking in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳), with officials warning against wearing perfume or straying from trails during the autumn to avoid the potentially deadly creatures. Seven of the hikers only sustained minor injuries after being stung along the Bafenliao Hiking Trail (八分寮) and made their way down the mountain with a guide, the New Taipei City Fire Department said. Four of them — all male — sustained more serious injuries and were assisted when leaving the mountain, the department said. Two of them, a man surnamed
Recent movements by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have been “highly unusual,” but the military maintains a grasp of the situation, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said on Friday, after the military for the first time said it was monitoring troop movements in China’s Dacheng Bay (大埕灣). The minister gave the remarks to reporters before appearing at the legislature on the first day of its new session. The Ministry of National Defense on Thursday evening released an air force surveillance photograph of a PLA Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine aircraft, and said it was monitoring the PLA Rocket Force and ground
‘ABNORMITY’: News of the military exercises on the coast of the Chinese province facing Taiwan were made public by the Ministry of National Defense on Thursday Taiwan’s military yesterday said it has detected the Chinese military initiating a round of exercises at a bay area in coastal Fujian Province, which faces Taiwan, since early yesterday morning and it has been closely monitoring the drills. The exercises being conducted at Fujian’s Dacheng Bay featured an undisclosed number of People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) warplanes, warships and ground troops, the Ministry of National Defense said in a press statement. The ministry did not disclose what kind of military exercises are being conducted there and for how long they would be happening, but it did say that it has been closely watching
China’s Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong has asked foreign consulates in Hong Kong to submit details of their local staff, which is more proof that the “one country, two systems” model no longer exists, a Taiwanese academic said. The office sent letters dated Monday last week to consulates in the territory, giving them one month to submit the information it requires. The move followed Beijing’s attempt to obtain floor plans for all properties used by foreign missions in Hong Kong last year, which raised concerns among diplomats that the information could be used for