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Taiwan plans to allow parties and military to hold 10% of electronic media

Taiwan plans to allow parties and military to hold 10% of electronic media

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The government is preparing to reverse a trend and allow investment in electronic media companies by political parties, the military and government units to reach up to 10 percent, reports said Monday.
Minister without Portfolio Chang Chin-fu was reportedly preparing a proposal to submit for approval to the Executive Yuan in the near future.
The clause in the Satellite Broadcasting Act would also bar representatives of state-run corporations from launching new media or serving on the board or as manager or supervisor, reports said. Violations would lead to fines of NT$2 million (US$62,000).
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party spokesman Tsai Chi-chang said there was only one political party in Taiwan which had the power to control media companies, and that was the ruling Kuomintang. The policy was designed to give the KMT greater control over the media, Tsai said.
If the government approved the proposals, the freedom of the press in Taiwan would retreat markedly while there would no longer be any fair competition between the political parties, he said.
DPP legislative whip Kuan Bi-ling said the law was designed to allow the government to extend its control over the media. If the package came up at the Legislative Yuan, the DPP would fight it until the end, she said.
DPP lawmaker Lin Shu-fen said the government was designing the law to suit the requirements of major corporate groups in their quest to take over more media companies.
KMT legislator Justin Chou said that as the media sector was rapidly modernizing, some government investment would help Taiwan’s media remain competitive. He discounted DPP allegations that the government was trying to expand its influence.
Both Premier Wu Den-yih and the KMT said they were opposed to political parties running or investing in media companies.
Under martial law, new media were banned until the late 1980s, though a majority of television stations and most newspapers were still leaning toward the KMT until 2000, when the DPP won the presidential elections for the first time. The new government pushed for the removal of political and military influences from the media.


Updated : 2021-09-20 03:16 GMT+08:00