CTi denied press freedom, KMT says

Johnny Chiang said freedom of the press is a human right and denying it greatly damages Taiwan’s reputation for free speech.

  • By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung / Personal Reporter, with a personal editor

Foreign media and the international community should be concerned that press freedom and freedom of expression may be suppressed in Taiwan, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday.

The KMT made the call at an international press conference in Taipei before the CTi News channel aired at 12 p.m. today.

The National Communications Commission (NCC) said Nov. 18 that it would not renew CTi News’ broadcast license, citing “repeated violations of regulations and the failure of its internal discipline and oversight mechanisms.” .

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

CTi TV said the NCC’s decision was politically motivated, as CTi News is known to be critical of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration and friendly to China.

The Taipei High Administrative Court on Monday rejected a request for an injunction from CTi TV to stop its CTi News channel from shutting down, meaning CTi News must stop broadcasting on local TV networks from today. .

The PDP government cannot reject a news channel because it disagrees with the government’s positions on issues, because it is the role of the media to oversee the government, not to become its spokesman, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said at the press conference.

Freedom of the press is a fundamental human right and the denial of this by President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration greatly damages Taiwan’s international image of free speech, he said. he declares.

“One wonders if Taiwan is still a democracy, or under an authoritarian government, as the government suppresses views and voices contrary to its own,” he said.

The NCC’s refusal to extend CTi News’ license undermines claims that the commission is independent, Chiang said, adding that the suspicion is that it violated constitutionally guaranteed democratic freedoms.

The KMT cited files, allegedly leaked by the presidential office in May, as evidence that the NCC’s refusal to extend the license was a predetermined decision, not based on the fact that CTi had “failed to self-regulate.” .

On May 15, an email account named “ser lo” sent members of the media on the presidential office’s contact list two emails containing several files, allegedly documents prepared by aides for two meetings between Tsai and Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) regarding the selection of cabinet members for Tsai’s second term.

One of the documents reportedly said that of the three newly appointed NCC commissioners, two had a pan-green ideology and could “help run CTi News.”

Meanwhile, former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said at the press conference that a statement released Nov. 18 by Reporters Without Borders “does not look like a commentary by media professionals.”

The statement said the decision not to renew CTi News’ license is “regrettable, but does not violate freedom of the press.”

Freedom of the press does not mean “unregulated” and the license review was a legitimate action, the statement said.

Interestingly, the organization’s reaction differs from the past, Chiang said, adding that the ratio between media in Taiwan that oversees the government and those critical of the opposition is heavily skewed in favor of the government.

CTi News provided information for the public to form their own opinion and its deletion essentially deprived the public of dissenting opinions and commentary, Ma said, adding that unless you live in an autocratic country, the shutdown of a television channel undermines the freedom of the press.

Additional reports by CNA

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