Taiwan (ROC) Government and Media
Government Type: Semi-Presidential Republic
Chief of State: President Tsai Ing-wen
Head of Government: Prime Minister of Taiwan, SU Tseng-chang (President of the Executive Yuan) (Since January 11, 2019)
Political Party: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)
Political Position: Left-leaning, pro-independence
World Press Freedom Rank: Taiwan 43/180
According to Reporters without Borders, 2020 world freedom index “Taiwan’s journalists are suffering from a very polarized media environment dominated by sensationalism and the pursuit of profit.” The organization also warned that “Beijing is exploiting this weakness by putting pressure on Taiwanese media owners, who often have business interests on the mainland. Beijing is also suspected of orchestrating online disinformation campaigns”.
Government Influence on Media: According to the constitution of Taiwan (Republic of China) Article 11 “The people shall have freedom of speech, teaching, writing, and publication.” However, in Taiwan, defamation and libel are criminal offenses under chapter 27 Article 310 of the Criminal Code and according to this law, an offender is subject to a fine of not more than fifteen thousand dollars or up to one year, short-term imprisonment. In 2019, the Taiwanese media group Want Want China Times (owns CTiTV news station, CTV, and the China Times newspaper and has pro-Chinese stance) filed defamation lawsuits against Financial Times journalist Kathrin Hille because of an article she published. This is an example of a corporate entity using the defamation and libel code to suppress speech.
In December 2020, The National Communications Commission (NCC), a government agency whose duties include developing regulatory policies & regulations as well as processing applications for licenses rejected CTiTV’s license renewal citing repeated violations of rules on accurate reporting which resulted in the channel ending its broadcast on December 11. The channel, owned by Want Want China Times Group, is known to have a pro-China bias. According to ABC News, NCC Chairperson Chen Yaw-shyang “made no specific allegations of a pro-China bias, but said the channel appeared susceptible to outside influence.” On the other hand, focustaiwan.tw reports that “CTiTV has argued that the decision was politically motivated, as CTi News is known for being critical of Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party administration and friendly toward China.” This is an example of the government using its power to suppress speech it deems unfriendly to the majority party.
Public Broadcasting in Taiwan is state-funded. For example, The Public Television Service (PTS) recently received “NT$45 million (US$1.5 million) budget” also “the station will receive NT$1 billion (US$34 million) annually to run the platform as part of a four-year infrastructure project”
In conclusion, the media in Taiwan is subject to pressure from both pro-Beijing and the pro-Independence factions with both sides using the countries libel and defamation laws that ultimately reduce free speech and plurality.
|Top 5 Taiwan Media Sources by Web Rank|
|Liberty Times Net|