Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ma Administration's Media Handling Draws Int'l Interest

Reuters reports that the Administration of President Ma Ying-jeou is being investigated by an international media body for alleged tampering with the state media organs. This is good news -- someone has to be shining a light on what's going on here.

An international media watchdog said on Monday it was probing allegations the Taiwan government, which wants better ties with Beijing, tried to influence local coverage of China's tainted milk powder scandal.

Taiwan's Government Information Office asked a news agency to change its coverage of the milk powder scandal, the latest in a recent string of demands against the island's notoriously free-wheeling media, the International Federation of Journalists said.

It said it was still investigating the charges and did not offer details of the changes that were allegedly requested.

Taiwan's government called the Federation claim "groundless and misleading," saying it was "based on false stories by reporters whose interests are at stake in the issues concerned."

Local coverage of the milk powder scandal, which has killed at least four children in China and prompted removals of Chinese-made goods from shelves around the world, has raised Taiwan consumers' fears of imported dairy products.

"It wasn't overt interference, but there was a clear message conveyed that (the government) wasn't satisfied with the reports," said Sam Grunhard, project director with the Australia-based federation, which claims 600,000 members in 122 countries. "We need to find out more."
Very good news, and it is good to see it getting some play in the international media.

MEDIA: Speaking of media, how about The Formula, which is just plain bizarre....
China has seen self-ruled Taiwan as part of its territory since the island broke away from Mao Zedong's Communists amid civil war in 1949. Ma is pushing for stronger ties with Beijing, which has threatened to take the island by force, if necessary.
Taiwan broke away from Mao's Communists? Mao's Communists never ruled it! I'm not even going to get into the actual history, just too tired after running around Washington on a gorgeous October Day here in the nation's capital. I doubt Jennings wrote that; it's so badly wrong that it must be an editorial insertion. Can't we just say: the PRC claims Taiwan, which it has never ruled?


RQ&T said...

I have to say I definitely agree with your second point.

As for MA bowing to China (once more), I am not so surprised but had no idea an intl media watchdog caught wind. Thanks for the report and keep up the blogging! ^.^

Tim Maddog said...

This quote from Mr. Ma's government:
- - -
[...] "based on false stories by reporters whose interests are at stake in the issues concerned."
- - -

... reminds me a lot of all those stories by AP, AFP, BBC, CNN, DFP, and Reuters which state things based upon the interests of Ma and his beloved China.

You appended:
- - -
I doubt Jennings wrote that; it's so badly wrong that it must be an editorial insertion.
- - -

If Kathrin Hille can get credit for a good formulation, why can't Ralph Jennings get the blame for a bad one? Jennings has repeatedly allowed his name to appear in the byline of articles bearing such nonsense, so I think he must bear at least some of the responsibility.

Tim Maddog

Anonymous said...

This is good news. It's as if the media has been tasked by the government to change peoples' perception of China. There was a definite media shift that started when the reporting of the monsoon in Burma suddenly disappeared and was totally replaced by the massive reporting of the earthquake in China.
Of course, it could be argued that the media had already been recruited by the KMT before the election to help create the image of a defunkt economy and suffering of the population at the hands of the DPP. Just look at how much worse the economy is now yet the media totally downplays it.

Anonymous said...

China's defense minister has demanded that the U.S. cancel a $6.5 billion arms sale to Taiwan, saying it created "obstacles" in relations between Beijing and Washington.

Liang Guanglie's remarks are the latest show of pique by Beijing over the arms package that includes Patriot III missiles, Apache helicopters, and parts for F-16 jet fighters.

Washington must "strictly adhere to its commitments on the Taiwan issue, immediately cancel all items regarding arms sales to Taiwan and cease U.S.-Taiwan military relations," Liang was quoted by the official Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday as telling visiting U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

The sale has not "not only damaged relations between the two countries and two militaries, but also created obstacles in exchanges and cooperation in all areas including high level exchanges between the two militaries," Liang was quoted as saying at his Monday meeting with Hagel.


Anonymous said...

While you're in Washington DC area, check out Great Falls by the C&O Canal, Maryland Side, perhaps the Billy Goat Trail. Based on your website pictures, I think you might like it.

A warning, the trail does require some physical exertion and there are places where you walk near a cliff.

You're son will almost certainly love it and your will likely enjoy it too.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that in Taiwan there are clearly pro-blue and pro-green medias (there are more pro-blue medias but it's not exactly a landslide ) both side seem to play their agendas a bit too much.

Then again, neither side is really Al-Jazerra or even FOXnews bad. they're presenting their view of the situation, though they don't go overboard THAT badly.

As for Ma and the economy, he has a 4 year mandate. it's hard to make a concrete judgement until the end of his term, and it's not even the end of his first half year for crying out loud, during Chen's first term, 911 send the stock to well under 4000 points, we're not nearly at that mark yet, and the actual world economic situation is definately worse.

Taiwan definately needs to make some sort of active progress in the cross-strait situation, wether the KMT goes too far, remains to be seen.