The National Communications Commission (NCC) should be tough when it reviews a license renewal application by CTi News, the New Power Party (NPP) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Five new commissioners are to take office on Monday next week, including NCC Acting Chairman Chen Yaw-shyang (陳耀祥), who is to be chairman.
The commission said that it has received a CTi News license renewal application, which the channel is required to file at least six months before the license expires.
Photo: Wu Shu-wei, Taipei Times
NPP Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said that the time has come to check whether CTi News has kept promises it made six years ago and all eyes are watching the application.
The channel in 2014 promised that it would have a news ombudsman oversee the quality of its reporting, but it did not fill the position until after the commission last year fined it NT$500,000, NPP caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said.
The penalty was handed down four days before the anti-red media protest on June 23 last year, Chiu said, referring to a rally in Taipei against media firms that spread fabricated news for China.
Chen, an expert in administrative law, should know better than anyone that these promises were conditions under which the commission renewed the channel’s license, Chiu said, adding that the Administrative Procedure Act (行政程序法) also authorizes the commission to take action, including nullifying approval.
However, the commission simply let CTi News ignore the conditions, he said.
“Given the channel’s record, it is hard to imagine that the commission would renew its license. We hope that the new commissioners would do better than their predecessors in being tough when reviewing the application,” he said.
On the issue of establishing a ministry of digital development, Hsu said that the NPP supports having a dedicated agency in charge of developing digital services and products, but it should not weaken the commission’s function as an independent regulator of the media.
Campaign for Media Reform representative Eve Chiu (邱家宜) said that the government should not turn the commission into a ministry of digital development, as that would give it conflicting responsibilities as an overseer of content and content creators.
Regarding a draft bill governing management of over-the-top (OTT) platform operators, which the commission made public last week, Hsu said that the party agrees that operators should be regulated and that tax revenue from offshore operators should help fund local media content.
Chunghwa Telecom has the most resources, so it should take the lead in the local OTT industry, she said.
Regarding Chinese OTT operators, Chiu Hsien-chih and Netizen and Democracy Association Chairman Tai Chi-chuan (戴季全) said that the Anti-Infiltration Act (反滲透法) and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) regulate them.
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