Taiwan’s Public Television Service gets new board of directors

27 June 2013 9 h 32 min Comments Off


(Chinapost, Jun 26, 2013) Taiwan’s Public Television Service (公共電視) finally has a new board of directors after 2 1/2 years of disputes over the selection of new board members.

Four people, including former Education Minister Ovid Tseng (曾志朗), were given the green light by a board member selection commission yesterday by the Public Television Act for the formation of the board.

Others elected are Acer founder Stan Shih (施振榮), former Government Information Office Minister Shao Yu-ming (邵玉銘) and a local architect, Eric Yao (姚仁祿).

Delighted by the result, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) said that “today, the Public Television Service has a brand-new clean start.”

Lung said she expects the first board meeting of the public broadcasting service and the election of a new chairman in one month at the earliest.

Several attempts have been made to form a new board since December 2010, but the process has been delayed because of disputes over board member issues and concerns that the TV station’s independence could be infringed by board members representing specific political agendas.

In Taiwan, the Public Television Service is defined as an independent public broadcasting institution owned by the people. Therefore, it requires a high degree of nonpartisanship to get board members elected, a challenge in Taiwan’s highly charged political environment.

Over the past years, only 13 nominees have won the approval of the stringent selection commission, four short of the minimum 17 needed to form a valid board.

Under the Public Television Act, the Public Television Service’s directors should be nominated by the Cabinet and approved by 75 percent of the members of a 15-person commission formed exclusively to screen such nominees.

The commission’s members are selected by the various political parties in the Legislature in proportion to the number of legislative seats each party holds. As a result, they often disagree with each other on the candidates, and it takes only three nays to nix a nominated candidate.

Upon learning of his selection. Tseng said he expects the TV service to broadcast good programs and to help improve social quality.

Meanwhile, another elected board member, Shao Yu-ming, suggested that the TV service should extend the scope of its international news, live broadcasting of shows at the National Theater and Concert Hall, and documentaries of Taiwan’s history over the past 400 years.

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