Taiwan Broadcasting System (TBS) chairwoman Tchen Yu-chiou (陳郁秀) and Chinese Television System (CTS) acting general manager Chen Ya-ling (陳雅琳) have resigned over the erroneous airing of news tickers announcing a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, CTS said yesterday.
Tchen also resigned as chairwoman of CTS, which is part of the government-funded public broadcasting group TBS, a CTS statement said.
The channel said it is conducting an investigation to determine the causes and circumstances leading to the erroneous news tickers, some of which said that China was attacking off the northern coast, being shown during CTS’ morning news program on Wednesday.
“All personnel involved will be punished with no leniency,” the statement said.
CTS has already punished seven people, including several news producers and editors, for the blunders. Chen also offered to resign on Thursday, but Tchen rejected the offer, CTS said.
The tickers, which aired at 7am, read: “New Taipei City hit by Chinese People’s Liberation Army missiles” and “Vessel explodes in Port of Taipei, facilities and ships destroyed.”
CTS later said they were shown due to a display setting error.
Other false news tickers appeared at 9:34am and 9:36am. They read: “Oil field discovered in the Bashi Channel,” “Fist-sized hailstones fall in Taipei overnight, downtown traffic a mess” and “Datunshan (大屯山) erupts.”
CTS on Thursday said that the messages were intended to test a news ticker module that had erroneously been allowed to run for about 35 seconds on air due to staff negligence.
Tchen said in a statement that she resigned to show that TBS was taking the matter seriously, and as chairwoman she was ultimately responsible for the group.
Recent incidents involving CTS and Public Television Service (PTS), another TBS network, showed that “their corporate structure, equipment and the antiquated mindsets of some employees” failed the broadcasters as they transition amid a changing media landscape, she said.
At PTS, a contractor on Feb. 8 mistakenly deleted about 424,000 news clips produced between 2017 and January from its digital archive. Although 320,000 were recovered, 80,000 were lost. The Control Yuan last month said it would investigate the incident.
Tchen said she hoped TBS would “draw a lesson from the bitter experience” to form a new board as soon as possible that can “start a new chapter in its reform” to live up to public expectations.
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