Pressure from employers and government agencies, as well as uncertainty about work, are the top challenges facing media workers in Taiwan, the Association of Taiwan Journalists said on Wednesday.
According to a survey conducted by the association and Taiwan Media Watch in February, 30.1 percent of journalists said that they were most concerned about pressure from their company’s executives, while 25.3 percent said they were worried most about job stability.
Another 23.8 percent said that pressure from government agencies was their biggest challenge, the association told a news conference in Taipei.
Meanwhile, 48 percent of 63 journalists surveyed said that either they or their colleagues had been attacked or had received threats while carrying out their duties over the past year, the association said.
Many journalists do not report their rights being infringed upon for fear of a backlash or threats to their personal safety, the association said.
Legislation to combat disinformation and protect personal information related to COVID-19 infections has resulted in some self-censorship by media workers to avoid penalties, it said.
The association said that the National Communications Commission should consider a media entity’s observance of workers’ rights when reviewing a company’s broadcasting license.
Government agencies and police should respect journalists’ rights, the association said, adding that it has documented several cases in which reporters faced obstruction from authorities when covering protests or other events.
Taiwan Media Workers Union chairman Cheng Yi-ping (鄭一平) said that reporters have to deal with all sorts of pressure from company executives and government agencies.
When a news channel suddenly stops reporting about the dubious actions of a politician or decides not to air certain news stories, it could be because company executives have given an order to that effect, he said.
Chen, who is also deputy director of the Next TV Workers’ Union, said that media companies should pay for mental health counseling and therapy for reporters who have to cover traumatic disasters, such as the Taroko Express No. 408 train crash, which killed 49 people injured more than 200.
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