In the Asia-Pacific region, Taiwan now ranks seventh, behind Palau, New Zealand, the Marshall Islands, Australia, Japan and Micronesia. As recently as 2007, it was ranked fourth in the region.The Chinese language media is reporting a newly manufactured controversy (here, here, Min Shih and here). Apparently some reporters from local media organs were at a job fair and wanted some shots of someone applying for a job. So a local restaurant chain, Ding Tai Feng, helpfully had one of their current employees act out the role of jobseeker for the foreign media. President Ma and the Deputy Minister for Labor Affairs had stopped by the stand as the little roleplay was being enacted and were unaware that the whole thing was just a playlet for the media standing around.
“Some journalists [in Taiwan] voiced fears that press freedom was backsliding in 2010,” the report said.
“A growing trend of marketing disguised as news reports, a proposed legal amendment that would limit descriptions of crime and violence in the media, and licensing obstacles all contributed to these concerns,” it said.
Apparently Someone was Embarrassed and so it was decided to lash out at SET-TV, one of the pan-Green media, claiming that the whole thing was SET-TVs idea. The usual KMT legislators and media piled on. According to some other reports in the media, SET-TV's reporter was not present at the scene, though most other local media were. The National Communications Commission (NCC), a "watchdog" originally set up as the lapdog of A Certain Party (here for some of the story) of course weighed in to demand an accounting from SET-TV. Quite a coincidence that only a pan-Green station was singled out for this treatment, eh?
Yes, sure is hard to see why we might be falling in the Freedom House rankings.
- IPS' Dennis Engbarth with a truly thorough and impressive piece on Tsai.
- American Enterprise Institute piece on China and its inflation problems.
- Drew dissects the biking tourism portal.
- Kitchen Boy in Taiwan: looks promising.
- Chinese army goes after Taiwan's top military brass.
- Saddening story of hiker lost on Baigu Mountain (白姑大山) for 45 days and finally found dead.
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