NCC Rejects CTi News' License Renewal Application|中天換照未過關 蔡衍明臉書批"政治操弄"
The National Communications Commission rejected CTi News' license renewal application on Nov. 18. This means the station will go off the air when its current license expires on Dec. 11. Want Want China Times Media Group Chairperson Tsai Eng-meng posted on Facebook that political manipulation was involved.
These two characters meaning "shameless" were splashed across the front page of newspaper China Times, a holding of Want Want China Times Media Group. They referred to the National Communications Commission's decision on Nov. 18 to reject the license renewal application of CTi News, which is also owned by the group. Meanwhile, Want Want China Times Media Group Chairperson Tsai Eng-meng aired his grievances on Facebook, saying there was political manipulation.
(In the future), if people are mobilized to report a television station and lodge numerous complaints, will this be grounds for rejecting license renewals?
The one that was fined the most was not CTi News, so why is CTi News the only one being forced to shut down? Haven't executives such as Chairperson Hai of Sanlih E-Television or Chairperson Tung of Era News or those from EBC News and Formosa Television also intervened before?
The Kuomintang legislative caucus held a press conference, where it denounced the NCC as unprincipled, pointing out it is supposed to be an independent agency. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders issued a statement saying freedom of the press does not mean an absence of oversight. It encouraged democratic institutions to use mechanisms to ensure journalistic integrity and editorial freedom. It added that the application review was legitimate, but "rejecting a license renewal" is an extreme method and the NCC needs to prove rationality and apply the same standards to other application reviews. Scholars also reacted to the decision.
The Satellite Broadcasting Act does grant the NCC a supervisory role. Perhaps in the past there was no way to effectively assist and require television stations to improve their internal controls, news quality, and freedom from the owner using supplementary methods. In this case, the news autonomy of grassroots journalists has been infringed on.
If the NCC wants to prevent manipulation by others and politicized harm, then the easiest thing to do is to turn the demands required of CTi News into the general rule. For example, the editorial office convention movement primarily involves the operations of news departments. They should be free from interference by owners. This should be uniformly applied to all other television media outlets. I believe society as a whole will think the NCC is acting fairly and impartially if it does this.
Scholars said the requests made of CTi News during the application review, such as preventing owners from interfering in the reporting of news, should become the general rule and become mandatory for all outlets. This is the only way to mend the NCC's image and allow the sector to continue to develop.
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