Academics call for reform of Taiwan Broadcasting System (

1 August 2012 13 h 21 min Comments Off

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Taiwan Broadcasting System, the umbrella organization for several publicly funded television enterprises, requires broad reform in both programming and management, communications specialists said July 10 at a forum organized by the ROC Ministry of Culture.

“Public TV services, as a measure of a country’s development as a civil society, must function as a clean public space transcending partisanship,” Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai said in her opening remarks. “The MOC will do everything in its power to build up trust among all parties involved.”

TBS is made up of the Public Television Service, Hakka TV, Indigenous TV, Chinese Television System and Taiwan Macroview TV.

The ministry has been in charge of TBS-related affairs since its establishment in May, taking over from the now-defunct Government Information Office. The forum sought opinions from academics and industry professionals on how to improve public TV networks.

Hu Yuan-hui, former general manager of PTS, said the MOC should focus social attention on the value of public broadcasting and create a wholesome service that contributes to the development of social diversity.

“But before these steps can be taken, the new TBS board of directors must be formed as soon as possible,” he said. Hu was referring to the extension of current board members’ terms for more than 19 months because of legal disputes between the board and network managers. Candidates for a new board, nominated by the Executive Yuan, are currently under review by a legislative committee. Unclear definitions of the responsibilities of the board and managers are the source of the controversy, according to Liu Yu-li of National Chengchi University.

“Board members should be impartial members of society, while day-to-day operations and programming should be left to professional managers,” she said. “This would leave more energy for the making of quality programs and provision of better news services.”

Liu also questioned the requirement for 17 to 21 board members. Given its relatively smaller size compared to the BBC and Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK), 11 to 13 members should be sufficient for TBS, she said.

Lo Shih-hung of National Chung Cheng University called for a simpler and more transparent method of selecting directors. The legislative committee now responsible for this process is composed of representatives of major political parties according to the proportion of their seats in the Legislature. Moreover, committee deliberations are not open to the public, Lo said.

Participants advised the MOC that creating a reform task force to seek general feedback from nongovernmental organizations could break the partisan deadlock.

Source: (11/07/2012)

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