2007年6月5日 星期二

KMT should give up on TV fight

By Chen Ping-hung 陳炳宏

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2004 Taipei Times

As the result of a resolution by the Government Information Office's (GIO) broadcasting license review committee, the operations of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-run China Television Company (CTV) and Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) have been thrown into a crisis. CTV has obtained a temporary license, and BCC is still awaiting a second assessment [of its license extension application]. The difficult question of how to resolve this situation has become the main concern of both these party-run enterprises.

Finding itself in this difficult situation, I imagine that the KMT is feeling wronged, thinking that the regulations stipulating the withdrawal of party, government and military from the television and broadcast media offers a two-year grace period, and that there really is no reason for the GIO to apply too much pressure before these two years are up. In addition, the GIO has not been very aggressive in dealing with the abuses of underground radio stations, and the DPP government has rewarded Chiang Hsia (江霞) by making her president of China Television Systems (CTS). What right does the GIO have to complain about CTV and BCC?

If the KMT really is holding these grudges and is angry over the unfairness of its treatment by the DPP government, and now wants to try to play on these feelings to win public support by blaming the GIO and the government, I can but sigh and wonder why these two parties always are using the media issue to show how much worse the other party is, instead of trying to show how good they themselves are. In a situation where the GIO has the law on its side, the KMT really should give some deep thought to how it should go about winning public support, instead of criticizing the DPP government in an endless war of words.

Prior to the presidential election, I offered a public suggestion to the KMT that its candidate Lien Chan (連戰) call for President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to make the government take the first step in pulling out of television and broadcast media (Taiwan Television [TTV] and CTS), in which case the KMT would follow suit and immediately pull out of CTV. If Chen agreed, the KMT would win, since the DPP government would give up two stations for the KMT's one. Not only would the KMT come out a winner, it would also win public praise.

If Chen had disagreed, the two parties would keep their media outlets, but the KMT would also gain the initiative in the media debate. No matter how you look at it, the KMT would only stand to gain.

Maybe the KMT at the time thought these simply were the narrow views of some egghead scholar, and so the party took no action. With the election over, however, the KMT seems to be losing in every aspect of the media debate, and so I wonder what the enlightened people in the KMT think about my suggestion now.

Although the KMT-run CTV and BCC are now on the chopping block, they still have a chance to expand their attack by taking this opportunity to make concessions to gain further advantages. My suggestion is that the KMT immediately reorganize the CTV and BCC boards of directors, or set up independent management committees, from which they withdraw all KMT members.

And not only that: they should also invite just and neutral experts acceptable to all circles of society to serve as directors and supervisors, and maybe even to take up top-level management positions. This would show the people of Taiwan the KMT's determination to immediately pull out of the television and broadcast media, and would win public support for the KMT. It would also give them ammunition to attack the DPP government by highlighting the government's mistake in rewarding people who helped in the presidential election campaign by appointing them to positions with control over media outlets.

Given the fact that the GIO currently is holding the upper hand, I believe this is the only strategy that would offer the KMT the opportunity to move from defense to attack. However, if the KMT fails to take advantage of this opportunity and instead continues its war of words, I can think of no further line of action and would have no choice but to continue to support the GIO's immediate cancelation of all CTV's and part of BCC's frequency licenses. After all, it would mean that the KMT itself is giving up any and all opportunities to legitimately hold on to CTV and BCC.

Translated by Perry Svensson

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