2018年10月8日 星期一

Taiwan needs truly public media

Chen Ping-hung 陳炳宏
Sun, Oct 07, 2018 Taipei Times

During media literacy lectures, I put the following question to my students: Do you think, simply by your telling me which TV channel is on at 9pm in your household, I would be able to guess whether you voted for then-presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the 2016 presidential election?

The students’ response is invariably to grin, then nod feverishly and concede that, indeed, I would.

This is, of course, quite dismaying, as it raises two very important points. First, media outlets in Taiwan have their own standpoints, especially with regard to political issues, and they always present one-sided viewpoints and ideas, essentially indoctrinating their audience.

The second is that the partisan nature of the overall media environment has, for all intents and purposes, already split Taiwan into two countries. The question is: Is there anything to be done about the parlous situation?

The partisan mire that Taiwanese media are trapped in can only be cured by an objective, diverse public broadcasting system.

I have had two stints in a supervisory role at the Public Television Service (PTS) and understand all too well how the public’s suspicions of a public media system derive from the performance of PTS over the past 20 years. It is difficult for many to believe that the system can be trusted to be objective and independent.

However, this in itself should not be a reason to oppose the idea of a public media system. For example, Taiwan’s democratic system has faced serious challenges over the past few years, but not many would propose that the nation return to the time of authoritarian rule.

Given the less-than-ideal performance of PTS, then, it might be better for people to knuckle down and think about how it can be improved so that it can meet the public’s expectations, rather than just give up on it.

It is with this end in mind that the Ministry of Culture has proposed amendments to the Public Television Act (公共電視法) and the creation of a public media act. This move is to be applauded.

Judging by the draft public media act, the creation of a public media foundation should be beneficial to the domestic content provision industry, nurturing the overall broadcasting environment.

The legislation would also promote broadcasting overseas, fostering international cooperation and exchanges, as well as exporting Taiwanese cultural content, and see the creation of more ethnic channels, promoting the development of more diverse, multicultural content and requiring channels specializing in specific ethnic groups.

All of these are changes that the public has wanted to see and one can only hope that they will, in fact, be realized through the passage of this bill.

The most significant change that will come with the change of the Public Television Act to a public media law will be the merger of Radio Taiwan International (RTI) and the Central News Agency (CNA) within two years of its passage, under articles 54 and 55.

This will see the merger of three institutions — RTI, CNA and PTS — putting the more than 1,000 employees of the institutions within one organization.

In the past, CNA was repurposed from being the communications branch of a political party to a so-called “national news agency,” although it continued to play the role of a government mouthpiece.
For example, when the KMT was in government, CNA was criticized for broadcasting KMT propaganda, and since the DPP has been in power, the agency has been criticized for doing the same for the DPP. Throughout, doubt has been cast over its fairness and objectivity.
The root cause of the problem is that being a government news agency, as opposed to national or public news agency, is in CNA’s very DNA. Whichever party is in power can pick the agency’s senior management, including the chairman, board members and director.
Expecting an organization with this kind of management structure to be fair and objective is asking a lot, as the senior management is appointed by the governing party.
Consequently, it makes sense to amend the Public Television Act to make CNA truly “national,” transforming it into an objective, independent national news agency.
As with CNA, so with RTI: Too long has it masqueraded as something it is not. That said, the organizational changes to be made to RTI might need further consultation.
Your average Taiwanese is probably not all that familiar with RTI, as its responsibility used to be to broadcast overseas — including to China — and Taiwanese listeners had no access to it. Because it did not have a domestic audience in Taiwan, Taiwanese have not been all that aware of its existence.
However, more recently, it has assumed a higher profile among Taiwanese, due to the increased international broadcasts from other countries, coupled with Taiwan’s reduced diplomatic allies.
Countries have different approaches to whether it is best for the media outlet responsible for international broadcasts to be government or public institutions. For example, the BBC World Service, the British overseas broadcaster that broadcasts in 32 languages over shortwave radio frequencies and the Internet to a weekly audience of 188 million, is run as a public media organization.
Its US counterpart, the Voice of America, which broadcasts in 44 languages, ostensibly falls under an independent organization, the Broadcasting Board of Governors, of the US federal government, but its chief executive is appointed by the US president, and so it is widely regarded as a government institution.
Taking the examples of the US and the UK, we can think about how we could set up an overseas broadcaster and whether such an agency should be conceived of as an independent public media outlet or one under the jurisdiction of the executive branch.
As mentioned, other countries’ overseas broadcasts have become increasingly important in Taiwan. In addition, neighboring nations such as South Korea and Japan, with Arirang TV in the case of South Korea, and in the latter case Japan Broadcasting Corp (NHK) and — from 2016 — the semi-official Wakuwaku Japan channel, have been filling our TV screens with South Korean and Japanese dramas, exporting their national culture and government propaganda.
Why could Taiwan not do this, too?
Unfortunately, the proposed amendments will come too late for Taiwan Macroview Television Service, which started broadcasting in 2000, but closed shop last year, with the budget for this year being transferred by the Overseas Community Affairs Council to PTS.
It is a pity that Taiwan’s outlets responsible for overseas broadcasts have come to this. Perhaps the government could consider merging all the outlets capable of overseas broadcasts into one body. This would not have to come under the Ministry of Culture, although the executive branch would have to be involved in one way or another.

Public media is one possible way in which Taiwan could escape the partisan mire of pan-blue and pan-green politics. In addition to nationalizing of CNA and RTI, which have for too long played the role of government media, the government should also look into strengthening Taiwan’s overseas broadcasting when proposing new public media legislation.
Chen Ping-hung is a professor at National Taiwan Normal University’s Graduate Institute of Mass Communication.
Translated by Paul Cooper

2018年9月29日 星期六

We should teach media literacy to all students

Chen Ping-hung 陳炳宏
Sat, Sep 29, 2018 Taipei Times

Fake news prevention has once again become a hot issue. Unfortunately, people keep talking past each other and there is a complete lack of agreement.

The right way of dealing with the fake news problem is for those in favor of freedom of expression and those in favor of legislation to continue their dialogue in search of common ground.

However, an urgent task that should be immediately addressed is education in media literacy.

This is the fundamental solution to the problem, and it is a preventative measure that is less controversial and that can be implemented promptly.

Unfortunately, in the discussion about fake news, the Ministry of Education, the authority best placed to implement such policies, has remained completely silent, as if the issue were none of its business — an astonishing reaction.

The ministry organizes more than 100 teacher workshops every year, ranging from courses for principals and deans-to-be to on-the-job training. If it could integrate media literacy training into such workshops and included fake news prevention, participants would surely become the best teachers of media literacy and the deconstruction of fake news, having an immeasurable influence on countless students.

Surely cyberbullying, infringing on human rights, videos that violate people’s privacy and the distribution of fake news that causes social unrest are mostly the result of mistakes made by younger generations because they lack an understanding of the innate character of the Internet, as well as the related laws — in other words, a lack of media literacy.

Perhaps many students’ ignorance is not a result of their schools’ unwillingness to teach media literacy. Instead, it could be because teachers lack training and simply do not know how to teach media literacy.

As a consequence, fake news has more serious consequences in Taiwan than in many other nations. Is this not a problem that people in education should face head-on?

In addition to holding teachers’ workshops, the ministry could also implement a nationwide contest to submit teaching plans aimed at preventing fake news. There must be passionate educators who would like to help solve this problem.

Innovative teaching plans from teachers in the classroom could serve as instruction materials for others, while the ministry could use the contest to stress the importance of responding to fake news and inspiring people’s creativity on how to do so.

Moreover, as the authority overseeing the Lifelong Learning Act (終身學習法), the ministry can take advantage of education for adults — such as social education halls, libraries and community colleges — to push for media literacy and the deconstruction of fake news, to make adults who heavily rely on social media aware of the dangers of spreading false information and the possibility of breaking the law.

As all sides continue to debate how to prevent the spread of fake news, from both preschool and school to lifelong learning, should the ministry not take responsibility and push for media literacy education and fake news prevention, as no other ministry can do so without causing much controversy?

Only when people understand that they should never spread information that cannot be verified can we turn the saying that “gossips and rumors will only be stopped by the wise” into a reality.

Chen Ping-hung is a professor at National Taiwan Normal University’s Graduate Institute of Mass Communication.

Translated by Eddy Chang

From:Taipei Times:We should teach media literacy to all students(Chen Ping-hung 陳炳宏)

2018年9月27日 星期四

反對公共媒體法,就是支持媒體藍綠對決!

陳炳宏/台灣師範大學大眾傳播研究所教授

筆者在學校講授媒體素養課程時,會跟同學說:只要你告訴我你家晚上九點在看哪一台電視節目,我大概就可以猜出2016年你家把票投給蔡英文還是朱立倫?這時候同學通常都會笑,然後點頭如搗蒜!

台媒體各有顏色,對立撕裂國家

這樣的情景通常讓筆者很沮喪!因為這裡面有兩個問題值得深思:一是台灣媒體各據立場,特別是政治議題,總是提供單一面向的思考與建議,洗腦觀眾;二是凡事藍綠對決的媒體生態已經把台灣撕裂成像兩個國家了!而面對這樣的困境,能否有解決之道呢?筆者始終相信,唯有透過客觀多元的公共媒體制度,才有可能讓台灣媒體擺脫只問顏色的泥淖!

筆者擔任過兩屆公共電視監事,很清楚民眾對公共媒體制度的疑慮來自公共電視20年來的表現,無法讓國人信服其客觀獨立。但這實在不應該成為反對公共媒體制度的理由啊!例如,這些年來台灣民主制度發展得實在很不健全,但我想應該沒有人會認為台灣該再回到威權統治時代吧?因此面對公共電視表現不如理想,大家應該努力的是如何讓公共電視變得更好,更符合全民的期待,而不是將它棄之於不顧吧!最近文化部提出將公共電視法修改成公共媒體法的主張,應該就是這樣的態度,用意值得肯定與期待。

中央社挨批官媒,應依法公共化

從文化部近日提出的《公共媒體法》草案來看,有關未來公共媒體基金會應協助本國內容產業發展,促進整體製播環境之提升;應積極辦理國際傳播,促進國際合作與交流,並輸出本國文化內容;增訂族群頻道服務專章,為促進多元族群文化發展,得設置族群專屬頻道等主張,都是這些年社會各界對公共媒體的殷殷期盼,期待能藉由此次修法而得以實現!至於從《公共電視法》修正為《公共媒體法》最大的變動來自新法規定中央廣播電臺及中央通訊社兩機構應在法案通過後兩年內與公共電視整合(修正條文第五十四條、第五十五條),這部分因為涉及三個獨立組織與超過千名員工的整併,成為這次修法改變最大,也最被關注的條文。

過去中央通訊社從黨營媒體變成所謂的國家媒體,但其實還是扮演著政府媒體的角色,例如藍執政,中央社就被批評為藍宣傳,綠執政,就被批評說為綠宣傳,其公正客觀性向來被質疑。究其真正的原因即是,它本質就是政府媒體,不是國家媒體或公共媒體。所謂政府媒體,就是當哪一黨執政,該黨就可以任命其高階經營管理者,例如指派董事長、董監事,甚至社長,這樣的媒體組織,期待它客觀公正實在是強它所難,因為它的高階主管是政府指派的,大家怎會期待它能公正客觀呢?因此趁《公共媒體法》修正同時,將中央社真正公共化,這樣期待它成為客觀獨立的國家通訊社才有意義,才可能名實相符。

英美案例看央廣,調整應可再議

中央廣播電台的本質也跟中央通訊社一樣,同樣偽裝很久了!但是未來央廣的組織調整則可再廣徵意見。國人對央廣可能感覺陌生,因為它過去肩負對海外(含大陸地區)廣播宣傳的重責大任,台灣地區並無法收聽。正因為他特殊任務與在台灣沒有聽眾,導致國人對它的存在較無感。但近年來隨著世界各國逐漸強化海外宣傳,加上台灣的外交弱勢,它的存在其實應該受到國人的重視。不過負責海外宣傳的媒體,究竟應該是政府的,還是公共的,各國還是有不同的制度設計。例如英國負責海外宣傳的英國廣播公司國際頻道(BBC World Service),用32種語言以短波及網際網路對全世界進行廣播,每周聽眾高達1億8千8百萬人,係屬於公共媒體組織;但是負責美國海外宣傳的美國之音(Voice of America),每天以44種語言向世界各地廣播,雖說是隸屬於美國聯邦政府下轄獨立機構廣播理事會(Broadcasting Board of Governors)所管轄,但其執行長由總統指派,普遍還是認定它為政府組織。

從英美兩國對海外宣傳機構的定位來看,海外宣傳機構究竟應該是獨立的公共媒體,還是屬於行政管轄的組織,都有值得參考之處。如前所述,世界各國越來越重視海外宣傳,不僅是廣播,鄰近國家如韓國早有阿里郎衛星頻道在台落地,日本NHK外,2016年日本半官方宣傳頻道「WAKUWAKU JAPAN」衛星頻道亦在台播出,兩台都是滿滿的日韓偶像劇,面對如此積極的海外文化與政治宣傳攻勢,台灣豈能輕忽?另可惜的是,這次《公共媒體法》似乎把2000年開播,卻在2017年收攤的宏觀電視台給忘了,2018年這筆海外宣傳的預算已由僑委會移交給公共電視,這是台灣進行海外宣傳的電視媒體,可惜已弱化如此,因此建議此次修法能將海外宣傳機制設計一併考量,未必由文化部負責,但行政院不能沒有角色。

總體來說,公共媒體是帶領台灣媒體脫離藍綠對決困境的可期待力量,除多年來偽裝成政府媒體的中央通訊社及中央廣播電台應該盡速公共化以正常化外,台灣海外宣傳機制亦應透過《公共媒體法》草案的討論而確立並強化。

原文連結:雲論:反對公共媒體法,就是支持媒體藍綠對決!

2018年9月25日 星期二

防制假新聞 教育部袖手旁觀?

陳炳宏/台灣師範大學大眾傳播研究所教授

最近假新聞防制再度成為熱門議題,可惜各界的討論迄今還是各說各話,毫無共識。不過不管主張新聞自由,還是要求立法管制,筆者認為都需要繼續對話,逐步尋求共識,才是面對假新聞議題的正確態度。反而有件事,那就是民眾的媒體素養教育,卻是迫切且應立即進行的,因為媒體素養教育是解決假新聞的根本,且最沒有爭議,可立即執行的防制策略。但很遺憾,各界在討論假新聞議題的過程中,本該最有立即執行力的教育部卻毫無聲響,感覺完全置身事外,令人錯愕。

教師還不懂如何教

教育部每年都要舉辦超過百場的教師研習活動,從主任或校長儲訓班、到在職專業班等,只要課程中加入媒體素養議題(含假新聞防制),相信所有參與者回到教育現場後,都是最佳的媒體素養培力、解構假新聞的種子教師,對廣大學子的影響真不可計量。現在許多侵犯人權的網路霸凌、侵犯隱私的影音爆料、散布引發社會恐慌的假新聞等,不正是因為年輕世代不了解網路特性與相關法規,亦即缺乏媒體素養而犯下的錯誤嗎? 

廣大學子的無知,也許不是學校不肯教媒體素養,而是過去專業教師的養成過程,就從來沒學過媒體素養,因此當然不懂如何教!這樣的後果就是,台灣假新聞的危害顯得比其他國家影響更為深遠,教育界豈能不正視? 

過去台灣媒體觀察教育基金會曾與國家教育研究院合辦過一兩場教師媒體素養研習,只不過合作過程讓媒觀深深感受到,教育部及國教院不僅被動,且不重視媒體素養教育。今年媒觀原有意繼續與國教院合辦媒體素養教師研習,但負責督導且接受教育部撥給經費的國教院,卻要求媒觀負責所有研習行政事務,連工讀生都要自聘,但給媒觀的行政費用竟然是0元,您沒有看錯,就是0元!因此擔任媒觀執行長的筆者,雖然深知108年國教課綱推動在即,迫切需要讓教學現場的教師了解媒體素養,但面對辦理費0元的不合理要求,決定拒絕接手行政業務,結果這項研習當然胎死腹中。 

媒體素養終身學習

其次,除教師媒素研習外,教育部還可辦理全國防制假新聞的教案徵選,相信教學現場一定有熱情且願意參與解決此重大問題的教師。根據筆者過去舉辦相關活動的經驗,所謂重賞之下必有勇夫,只要祭出高額獎金及獎勵,一定會有很有創意的教案出現,這不僅可以讓教學現場有具創意的教案可以當教材,教育部更可以透過全面性的教案徵選活動,一來形成新聞話題,藉此宣傳防制假新聞的重要,二來可激發民眾對防制假新聞的創意,也許高手真的在民間,會有解決假新聞氾濫的好建議出現,透過眾志成城,看有無可能在短時間內將假新聞的危害降到最低,否則拖到2020大選年,後果實在堪慮。

另外,教育部是《終身學習法》的主管機關,教育部可以利用社會教育館、圖書館或各社區大學等成人教育場域,去推動媒體素養、解構假新聞,讓深度依賴社群媒體的民眾,了解傳散不實資訊的嚴重性,甚至會有違法之虞。

從學前教育、學校教育到終身學習,當各界為防制假新聞而爭論不休時,各位想想,目前還有比教育部更應該立即負起責任,並可立即推動媒體素養及假新聞防制而無爭議的單位嗎?筆者始終相信,當全民了解所有無法經過自身證實為真的資訊,都不應該被傳散時,古人所言「謠言止於智者」才會成為可能。 

原文連結:蘋果新聞:防制假新聞 教育部袖手旁觀?

2018年9月19日 星期三

大阪事件是假新聞嗎?

陳炳宏/台灣師範大學大眾傳播研究所教授

這幾天受我國駐大阪處長輕生新聞影響,讓假新聞議題再度沸沸揚揚,有評論說這是網路霸凌,有學者說這是假新聞,眾說紛紜。面對假新聞議題,筆者想再野人獻曝,提出一點區辨思考與解決意見。

首先,如果不先釐清什麼是假新聞,那麼其實很難定義大阪事件是否屬假新聞的討論範圍。簡單說,何謂假新聞為何到現在莫衷一是,主要還是定義的問題。從新聞學對新聞類型的定義來說,廣義的假新聞大致可分成三類:一是「偽新聞」(Pseudo news),亦即所有預備好等媒體來採訪而刻意提供的新聞資訊,都屬於偽新聞,例如所有記者會、產品發表會等都屬於這類;二是「錯新聞」(Phony news),屬於媒體的錯誤報導,即新聞內容部分真實,但也含有錯誤訊息,即可歸類為錯新聞。最後一種也是大家最關注的「假新聞」(Fake news),亦即虛構資訊且刻意傳散,企圖引發民眾對特定議題產生特定的思考與討論,才是現在大家苦思解決的假新聞,其最重要的判斷點即在,資訊毫無根據,至少從新聞查證的角度來看,缺乏明確可信的消息來源,但又隱含影響民眾觀感的企圖。 

搞混錯新聞假新聞

因此從前述分類來看,多數人不在意偽新聞,但卻把錯新聞與假新聞混在一起談,因此導致大阪新聞是錯新聞或假新聞到現在混淆不清。如果大家現在把假新聞的定義弄清楚,用前述三個標準來分析,是否比較好了解大阪新聞是錯新聞還是假新聞呢?

其次,其實也是筆者最關心的,假新聞到處流竄,全球束手無策,這對台灣最大的挑戰是,2018及2020年兩次大選前各界能否有防制假新聞的策略?

早在幾年前,筆者即在教育部108課綱公聽會建議,將「資訊科技與媒體素養」這項核心能力拆成兩部分,因為教學生懂科技(硬體)、寫程式(軟體)的資訊教學,跟傳播領域所熟悉的媒體素養可能八竿子打不著,媒體素養應成為獨立的核心能力,但不知是教育學界的傲慢、無知,還是無奈,迄今無人回應此項建議,只有幾周前課審會決議讓媒體素養成為學習內容(其實筆者也不是很聽懂這句話是什麼意思)。

筆者想強調的是,資訊科技成為核心能力應是好事,但它跟防制假新聞的媒體素養教育不見得很有關係;或者務實說,期望教學現場的資訊科技教師去教學生如何防制假新聞等媒體素養議題,實在是強他們所難,因為隔行如隔山!筆者的意見很明確:防制假新聞策略無他,唯推動媒體素養教育而已。

如果台灣教育體系能從小教導學童,對於網路上傳散的資訊,只要不能親身確認是否真實,那就先不要傳散,這是媒體素養很重要的教導,其他如資訊科技課程也許教出很會用數位科技產製影音內容的新世代,但這些具備資訊科技能力的新世代了解現在到處在網站傳散的偷拍影音內容,其實都是侵犯隱私權,甚至有違《社會秩序維護法》嗎?也許資訊倫理課綱會教,但媒體素養課程教得更多、更完整啊。 

落實媒體素養教育

如果政府真想防制假新聞,不要再去想立法或重罰等旁門左道的策略,趕緊要教育部落實課綱的媒體素養教育,然後讓目前在教學現場的教師懂得媒體素養,兩方法而已。 

原文連結:蘋果新聞:大阪事件是假新聞嗎?

2018年8月17日 星期五

宏泰投資群併中嘉應有的在地承諾

陳炳宏/台灣師範大學大眾傳播研究所教授

被市場戲稱「八字太硬,三嫁不成」的全台第一大有線電視多系統經營商中嘉網路公司,在去年遠傳併購案破局後,由在地宏泰企業領軍的一群未有黨政軍或中資爭議的投資者集資515億有意併購,日前此案已由國家通訊傳播委員會辦完公聽會,算又有新的進展。

台灣第一大有線電視多系統經營者(MSO)在2007年被外資韓國MBK私募基金所併購,如果這次能由本土集團購回,應該不是件壞事。不過本案的焦點不該僅在於經營者是在地或外資,而應回到所有媒體併購案的核心議題:媒體被企業集團併購後,其經營者理念為何?媒體會不會成為該集團維護利益或打擊競爭者的工具?還有併購後如何保障員工權益?以及集團如何參與及獎勵在地影視內容產製等,才是討論媒體併購案的核心議題。

首先,非媒體本業的企業集團介入媒體經營後,最易引發詬病的是其產權擁有者的媒體理念與經營策略。由過去的例子來看,包括旺中、富邦、鴻海,到宏達電及台塑,還有茂德國際等企業,很遺憾多數集團併購媒體後的經營策略常造成社會各界的質疑,因此宏泰投資團隊若取得中嘉的經營權,新經營團隊如何取信於社會,承諾不會因企業私利而不當操弄旗下媒體,這才是筆者關心的。筆者建議,宏泰投資團隊在取得中嘉經營權前,應該承諾未來MSO董事會將聘任一定比例的獨立董事,並接受社會公開監督,表明無不當操弄媒體之意圖,並尊重專業經理管理團隊,展現媒體經營之專業素養。

其次,勞工是企業營運的根本,媒體工作者具有一定程度的專業理念,投資團隊表尊重,應承諾在併購後儘速與員工簽署勞動契約,而設有新聞部門者,應與員工另簽署新聞製播公約,且不應將新聞部門當作是獲利單位,因為有線電視系統新聞部門其實是系統經營者的社區公關部門,並不是業務部門,而是協助有線電視系統落實地方與社區服務的最佳代言人,經營者應該珍惜新聞部門才是;另目前部分有線系統並同時擁有地區型衛星電視頻道執照,簽署節目製播準則亦不可少,此外除可鼓勵員工成立工會外,並應在董事會中納入員工董事,以落實員工參與治理的理想。

還有,不是媒體在地經營就會是好事,經營在地媒體的在地業者是否能善用其在地優勢,具體鼓勵與獎勵在地影視內容產製,這才是在地經營業者值得喝采的策略,否則空有在地之名卻無助於在地影視產業的提升與發展,在地業者與外資業者又有何異?因此建議宏泰投資團隊能承諾接手後每年能投資一定比例的獲利所得來鼓勵及獎勵在地內容產製,例如與衛星頻道合作製播優質在地產製節目,提升衛星頻道的節目品質,並達成提升在地影視內容的目標。

最後,也是筆者最關心的,媒體集團如何協助關心媒體發展的公民團體推動民眾媒體素養教育,是媒體業者(特別是有線電視系統)不應迴避的職責,如此除可提升民眾對媒體角色的認知與理解外,亦可實踐媒體的社會責任,是一舉數得的舉動,亦值得公開承諾。

此案是台灣最大有線電視集團的併購案,除相關法律規範應該被滿足外,業者有在地優勢之餘,也應展現更大的誠意與承諾,這樣的「收復國土」(當年旺中併購中嘉時的用語)才有意義啊!

原文連結:雲論
宏泰投資群併中嘉應有的在地承諾

2018年6月7日 星期四

從自助餐模式到水果行模式:尊重消費權益的頻道與系統間之合理授權機制

陳炳宏/台灣師範大學大眾傳播研究所教授

5月4日凌晨台灣寬頻公司 (TBC) 突然將民視新聞台從其所屬包括台中市等四縣市的五家有線電視系統集體下架,引發軒然大波!此舉讓各界議論紛紛,從簡單的有線系統頻道上架條件談不攏,上綱到相當複雜的中國介入阻擋台獨媒體等理由都有,但當大家把焦點放在主管機關國家通訊播委員會 (NCC) 如何處理,以維護系統業者與頻道業者間的授權機制權益時,其實在這場戰爭中消費者才是最大的輸家!

不過凡事建議往好的方向想。首先,這爭議已引發消費者瞭解,原來台灣有線衛星頻道這麼多,多到必須爭取有線系統的青睞,要上架才有收視率,才能用收視率換廣告,才能生存,導致系統台主宰著全國觀眾的眼睛跟耳朵。因此從2003年黨政軍退出廣電媒體後,幾乎各大企業集團前仆後繼都想搶食有線電視系統這塊大餅。其次,這爭議的發生,正好讓各界,包括主管機關都該好好思考,頻道是否上架,或者消費者到底能看到哪些頻道,其主導權應該在消費者手上,而不是系統業者或頻道業者,NCC千萬不要畫錯重點!

有關系統與頻道大戰影響消費者權益的爭端,筆者有個屬於烏托邦等級的建議即是「自助餐模式」,頻道是否能在系統上架應由消費者決定;也就是說,有線系統就像是自助餐廳,衛星頻道就是餐廳擺出來讓顧客選點的各種菜色,有顧客(觀眾)要點(訂)菜(衛星頻道),餐廳(有線系統)就得賣。有線電視系統只是一家自助餐廳,每個訂戶都有點菜(選頻道)的權利,這樣即可將頻道是否上架的機制回歸到市場,也就是消費者手上。

但筆者認為這是屬於烏托邦等級的建議,是因為系統業者,甚至頻道業者都不願答應這樣做。像這次有個爭議點在於,TBC抗議民視一次賣三台,還要求通通上架,實在欺人太甚。因此在系統業者想控制平台,頻道業者想組裝連賣的前提下,自助餐式的營業模式是否可落實,全看NCC有沒有勇氣去維護消費者權益,否則應該真只是烏托邦!

其次比較務實的是頻道業者可各自組裝,但消費者有權分別購買,然後授權系統業者代銷的「水果行模式」。這雖然可行,但卻對消費者很不公平,頻道與系統業者間也容易有計價紛爭。首先談消費者權益,為何要消費者接受組裝的頻道群?通常頻道集團手中頻道可能只有幾個有收視價值,但多數都是灌水稀釋節目用的頻道,也就是大量重播或號稱頻道首播的舊節目在幾個頻道間換來換去,對消費者來講通通是重播,只是在不同頻道播出而已。因此強要消費者買組合好的頻道群實在不公平,建議NCC應同意頻道可以自行組裝的同時,也要各自標價,如果消費者不願意買組裝頻道群時,也可以一個一個買,也就是說,系統業者就像家水果行,消費者買水果(頻道)可以一顆一顆買,也可以一斤一斤買,更可以一籃一籃買,價格不同,各取所需。不過即便如此,業者就會將比較受歡迎的頻道訂高價,其他組裝在一起的頻道超低價,最後消費者還是會接受只有包含幾顆高品質蘋果的爛蘋果禮盒,正所謂上有政策,下有對策,NCC對此不可不審慎因應,否則還是會有消費糾紛。

其次談到頻道與系統兩業者間的紛爭問題。即便將來開放頻道業者可以自行組裝頻道群,都可以自由上架,但頻道業者如何與系統業者拆帳分潤則是門大學問;也就是頻道組合如何計價問題。筆者建議NCC應改組目前的費率委員會,不再在於審議系統的年度月費,因為數位化實施分組付費後,月費這件事變成是小事,也就是以後訂戶所支付的有線電視價格,會因為頻道組合的不同而有所不同,縣市政府主管機關不用再去審訂月費,頂多只是基本頻道的價格,但這還是會涉及頻道組合或單頻單賣問題。因此費率委員會還是可以存在,但它應轉型成為審議系統與頻道間對頻道訂價與組合有爭議時的仲裁機構,由中央主管機關或各級縣市政府邀請財務會計、新聞傳播、消費團體、公民團體,及各級政府代表,加上頻道業者團體及系統業者團體代表,合組成一審議委員會,負責去仲裁頻道組合及計價爭議,除建立有線市場自由競爭機制外,也可保障消費者的消費權益。

總而言之,系統與頻道間的上架與計費爭議由來已久,過去兩業者間尚有「產業大老」可以鎮得住,還算沒有出過太大的紕漏,但將來隨數位化、集團化等發展後,頻道如何組裝、如何計價、如何銷售,勢必成為有線電視產業下一階段發展的重要議題,各界不能不未雨綢繆啊!

原文連結:新國策智庫:從自助餐模式到水果行模式:尊重消費權益的頻道與系統間之合理授權機制