The National Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday said it has submitted a list of more than 2,000 broadcast media journalists to the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to be included among those prioritized for vaccination, adding that the center would decide whether they should be vaccinated.
The list, which was mainly provided by the Satellite Television Broadcast Association, includes 2,174 broadcast media journalists from radio services, and terrestrial and cable television stations. It does not include online and print media journalists, as the commission only regulates broadcast media.
“We have handed the list to the CECC, which is to make a final decision on this matter,” said commission Vice Chairman Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗), who also serves as the commission’s spokesman.
The list also includes journalists from CTi News, which no longer broadcasts on cable television after its license expired on Dec. 11 last year, Wong said.
“We have noticed that journalists from CTi News are still working side-by-side with other TV news journalists, so they should be on the proposed list for vaccination,” Wong said. “We care about the safety of journalists in the broadcasting media and do not have any agenda regarding who should or should not be vaccinated.”
The high risk of broadcast media journalists contracting the virus came under scrutiny after a Next TV photojournalist was found dead on Monday last week in a restroom at the company’s headquarters in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖). He tested positive for COVID-19 in a postmortem polymerase chain reaction test.
In other news, the NCC yesterday approved proposals from eight cable system operators to move CTS News and Info to channel 52.
CTi News previously broadcast on channel 52, but its license renewal application was rejected by the commission on Nov. 18 last year. The spot was left vacant after CTi News’ license expired.
Of the eight cable systems that proposed to move CTS News and Info to channel 52, six are owned by the Taiwan Optical Platform, a Taichung-based multiple system operator with subscribers in Taichung, as well as Changhua, Yunlin and Nantou counties.
Earlier this year, the commission had approved 15 cable system operators’ applications to broadcast CTS News and Info on channel 52, 11 of which are owned by Homeplus Digital, the nation’s largest multiple system operator.
Yesterday’s ruling would help the news channel expand its viewership to 1.76 million cable subscribers from around the nation, about 36 percent of the market.
Subscribers of eight cable systems could watch the news channel at the end of this month or the beginning of next month after cable systems complete the required administrative procedures, the commission said.
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