Friday, October 26, 2007

Pro-China legislators Attack Radio Taiwan International

Dancers practice in the morning on a college campus.

The Taipei Times reports on a sad affair: Radio Taiwan International's budget slashed...

The government's Radio Taiwan International (RTI) had two-thirds of its budget blocked by pan-blue legislators at the Education and Cultural Committee meeting yesterday. Some Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers said they opposed the station's program Taiwan Perspective. KMT Lawmaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) accused RTI of being politically biased and lacking journalistic ethics. RTI president Lin Feng-cheng (林峰正) said the radio station would not survive past next April or May if the legislators slash its budget. He said the station had always maintained high journalistic professionalism and accurately reflected the voice of the people.

I have a couple of friends who work there, but more importantly, RTI consistently does good stuff, offbeat stories, with a Taiwan focus, though not necessarily a Green one. Just shows the virulently anti-Taiwan stance of the KMT...the DPP needs to play up stuff like this to counter the fake localization strategies of the KMT.



Tommy said...

Actually, I think that RTI could do some of the publicity work itself. There should be nothing wrong with using a few seconds of their airtime before every broadcast to publicize this. I wonder if they are considering such an approach. A diplomatic announcement, repeated several times daily, saying that the KMT-dominated legislature has slashed their budget, and that they will not be able to continue much longer might go far. Depending on what they say, they can build sympathy for themselves among listeners without risking being caught up in the defamation lawsuit that overtly stating the political implications of the budget slashing might arouse.

Eli said...

Interesting factual error from the article. Lin Feng-cheng is no longer the president of RTI. As far as I know, he hasn't been for awhile. Why did they get his comment and not the present president's comment? Thomas, RTI mainly broadcasts overseas, so wasting airtime talking about the budget might not serve any purpose, at least locally. Of course, a local public relations campaign about the issue might be an interesting response, but from where would the budget for that come. The legislators are complaining about a very short feature called Taiwan Perspectives, which is a very small part of what RTI does, and usually consists of commentary on China based on current news. Yes, it is usually critical, but it is also listed as commentary--you know, like editorials, which every newspaper also has. However, I think the larger issue is that the station is no longer in the hands of the KMT, as it once was a KMT tool. I guess the question I would ask these legislators is: Is it more or less biased now than it was in the past? Is it more or less biased than other sources of news? Anyway, I would say, check for yourself: One other thing: the programs and news features are for the most part all individual productions and are the brain-childs of the people producing them. Lastly, I think the issue deserved a longer article than was provided. It basically allowed a certain legislator to make a claim that RTI lacks journalistic integrity, and then provides a fairly weak reaction by a person who no longer serves in the position in which he is listed as serving. And unlike radio, print is a medium that should allow for more context in a new story.