TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Wednesday (Nov. 11) boarded a bus displaying an advertisement promoting press freedom to Taipei City Hall, hoping to promote a less politically-driven environment in Taiwan's media circle.
Following controversies surrounding television outlet CTiTV's license renewal request, Ko accepted Kuomintang legislator Lo Chih-chiang's (羅智強) invitation to join him on the "press freedom" bus. As part of the Want Want China Times Group, CTiTV has repeatedly come into conflict with the National Communications Commission due to its harsh criticism of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party and comments favoring China.
On Wednesday morning, Ko boarded one of the 20 advertisement buses rented by Lo in protest of the government's potential ban on CTiTV. He clarified that he is advocating for media freedom in Taiwan and not supporting CTiTV.
Ko emphasized that several media outlets in the country have attempted to misguide their readers with vague and misleading headlines. He remarked that he had previously been a victim of such a smear campaign and that he is often labeled as "pro-China" for sharing ideas different from the mainstream opinion.
Ko said he hopes there can be fewer political factors in Taiwan's news reporting. He urged the central government to remain fair in CTiTV's case and investigate thoroughly before making a decision, reported CNA.