The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused CTi News of trying to mislead the public by publishing a half-page advert claiming that the party interfered in the National Communications Commission’s (NCC) review of its application for a license renewal.
CTi News is distorting the commission’s review process by painting it as a political conflict and turning it into a smear campaign against the DPP, party spokeswoman Yen Juo-fang (顏若芳) said.
“The NCC is an independent body, which carries out reviews and makes decisions based on its members’ professional expertise, as well as regulations and legal requirements governing media operations,” Yen said.
“We condemn the baseless accusations in CTi News' advert, which claims that the DPP is a ‘black hand’ that has politically interfered with the NCC’s [operations]... CTi News is fabricating news to make false accusations against our party,” Yen added.
The advert on the bottom front page of the Chinese-language China Times, a CtiTV News affiliate, features two slogans — “Defend media freedom” and “Safeguard democratic values” — and allegations that the DPP had pressured the NCC into “shutting down” CTi News.
It also says that while “the DPP prides itself on upholding Taiwan’s democracy and freedom, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) is now burning down those values.”
Yen said the advert got only one thing right — that the DPP leadership and top officials have not expressed their views on CTi News' case, as “our party has defended media freedom, and we respect the NCC’s review process.”
“The advert actually proves that the DPP did not politically interfere in the process,” she added.
CTi News has in the past few days been presented a series of reports and programs that reflect the stance of Want Want China Times Group, the parent company of CTi News, to attack lawmakers and academics, she said.
“Is this in line with the code of ethics for journalists ?” Yen asked.
Media reports have shown that CTi News and certain Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members had colluded to produce news reports to mislead the public and pressure the NCC, she said.
“They were working to undermine the NCC’s independence and its authority,” Yen said, adding that it shows how the KMT is trying to interfere with the NCC.
The advert also claims that CTi News has received “widespread support” for its “cause of defending media freedom” by listing leaders from the KMT, the Taiwan People’s Party, New Party, Taiwan Renewal Party, Formosa Alliance and other organizations purportedly speaking out in support of it, Yen said.
Regarding this claim, Yen said that CTi News has reporters, on the pretext of conducting interviews, forcing politicians to express their stance about the NCC review process and whether they support CTi News.
That is misleading and inappropriate media behavior, she said.
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