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各位關心台灣公共媒體發展的朋友好

立法院凍結公視4.5億預算,以及林益世委員提出公視法第13條修正案及附帶決議的作法已引起社會強烈反彈,至今已有六萬多人、近百個民間團體連署反對這項提案,包括侯孝賢、林正盛、魏德聖、楊力州、曹瑞原等一百多位電影及紀錄片導演也聯名反對,民間團體也計劃在2008年1月1日下午1:00遊行。

除了本地的不滿聲音,許多國際組織包括國際記者協會 (The International Federation of Journalists)、亞太廣電聯盟(Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)、以及大英國協廣電協會(Commonwealth Broadcasting Association)等,都表達嚴正關切。此事引起國際社會注意,已使新聞自由排名亞洲第一的台灣顏面全無,我們誠摯呼籲馬英九總統、王金平院長及史亞平局長正視此事,國民黨及林益世委應立即撤銷提案,審慎考量台灣的國際形象與觀感,勿讓台灣貽笑國際。

除了持續打電話給立委施壓,請您傳真給以下的相關單位,讓大家了解國際社會對此事的看法。

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親愛的馬總統、王院長、史局長及立委諸公你們好

公共電視邁入成立第十年,今年卻陷入前所未有的危機。依公共電視法,政府每年應提撥九億經費捐贈給公共電視,但直到12月下旬,仍有四億五千的經費遭到立院凍結。12月9日,林益世委員提案主張增設公視董事名額,並要求公共電視等單位執行98年度預算時須逐項報請主管機關核可同意始能動支。

林委員的提案已引起社會強烈反彈,至今已有六萬多人、近百個民間團體連署反對這項提案,包括侯孝賢、林正盛、魏德聖、楊力州、曹瑞原等一百多位電影及紀錄片導演也聯名反對。許多國際組織包括國際記者協會 (The International Federation of Journalists)、亞太廣電聯盟(Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)、以及大英國協廣電協會(Commonwealth Broadcasting Association)等等,都對此事發展表達嚴正關切。

立法院凍結公視預算與林委員的提案,不僅違反黨政軍退出媒體的社會共識,同時違背馬英九總統就職演說時所強調「絕不干預媒體」的承諾,讓公視的獨立自主精神蒙上陰影,已使新聞自由排名亞洲第一的台灣顏面全無,此舉將嚴重國際社會對台灣的觀感,也將使台灣的新聞自由度嚴重滑落。

公共媒體的獨立性是世界各國民主政治與多元文化的重要指標,不容政治干預,我們誠摯呼籲馬英九總統、王金平院長及史亞平局長正視此事,國民黨及林益世委員立即撤銷提案,審慎考量台灣的國際形象與觀感,勿讓台灣貽笑國際。

小市民敬上

信件下方為各國媒體組織對此事聲明與看法,敬請各位審慎思考。

無疆界記者組織聲明

Public media independence threatened, despite government denials

Reporters Without Borders urges President Ma Ying-jeou to keep his promises to us to respect public media independence. He wrote in a letter to our secretary-general: "We believe that accusations of this administration's interference in Taiwan's media are based on some wrong information or misunderstandings." But the organisation has had disturbing reports of ruling Kuomintang party decisions undermining the independence of the public media.

"Taiwan should be a press freedom model in Asia and the independence of the public media is one of the key components of a free and diverse press system," Reporters Without Borders said. "We want to believe in President Ma's promises but they must be translated into action."

The organisation added: "We are aware that political pressure on the public media is not new and existed under the previous government but it is vital that, regardless of political party debate, the media should have a favourable legislative and political environment. We urge the president to order a probe into the various accusations of meddling and to set up mechanisms that guarantee media independence."

In reply to a letter from Jean-François Julliard, the new Reporters Without Borders secretary-general, President Ma wrote that his government "will never attempt to control or interfere in the activities of the media." He added: "The ROC [Taiwanese] government is fully aware of the indispensable role that freedom of the press has played in the consolidation of our democracy (…) Both Taiwan's governing party and the opposition cherish the freedom our people enjoy."

In his letter, at the end of October, Julliard had requested an explanation for recent cases of political pressure on the state media, above all on Radio Taiwan International (RTI) and the Central News Agency (CNA). Julliard wrote: "Reporters Without Borders has been told that some officials used to be in the habit of calling journalists to ask them to rewrite stories. Nowadays, officials try to exert a more general control by appointing leading government supporters to run them."

The chairman and some ten other senior members of the Public Television Service Foundation (PTSF) - which oversees the Public Television Service (PTS), Hakka Television, Indigenous Television and China Television Service - issued a statement on 10 December condemning the ruling Kuomintang's attempts to control these media and calling for their independence to be guaranteed.

The Kuomintang's campaign to reaffirm its influence over the public TV stations seems to have strengthened since parliament's decision to freeze half of the PTSF's budget. At the same time, two parliamentary committees decided that the programming of Hakka Television, Taiwan Macroview Television and Indigenous Television should be subject to review by the entities concerned by their content. The Kuomintang legislators within this committee also called for the TPBS (Taiwan Broadcasting System or Public Television Service) budget to be conditioned on agreement with the Government Information Office (GIO) about content.

Influential Kuomintang lawmakers also proposed amending the public television law without a view to having a supervisory council controlled by the ruling party. According to several sources, legislator Lin Yi-shih said he would like to get rid of the outspoken "PTS News Talk" show.

Parliament, in which the Kuomintang has a majority, decided in October to appoint six new members to the PTS's supervisory board.

After Ma's election, RTI's chairman resigned in protest against GIO interference. CNA deputy editor-in-chief Chuang Feng-chia also resigned after condemning internal censorship on various subjects, including the president of China. He told Reporters Without Borders that the news agency "belongs to the country and not the Kuomintang." This was a few days after President Ma's campaign director was appointed as the CNA's deputy chairman.

In a letter to Julliard, the head of the GIO's International Information Department, Manfred Peng, denied any interference and accused the RTI and CNA officials of manipulating their reasons for resigning. He insisted that the GIO just conveyed listener comments to RTI's management without issuing any directives about content.

Chen Hsiao-yi of the Association of Taiwan Journalists told Reporters Without Borders that "interference has always existed and the parties always tend to put their friends in positions at the head of the state media."

RTI and CNA were in the past all directly controlled by the Kuomintang but, under President Lee Teng-hui (1988-2000), the state media were granted editorial independence and their funding was guaranteed as part of the GIO's budget. Article 11 of the public television law says that public television "belongs to all citizens and its operations must be independent and autonomous, and free of any interference."


IFJ譴責立院對公視施壓

Media Release: Taiwan

December 11, 2008

Government Interference Puts Strain on Taiwan Public Media

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) holds grave concerns for the status of independent public media in Taiwan after the country's legislature announced increased control of funds, news reporting and programming of the national public television network.

According to media reports, on December 9 the Educational and Cultural Affairs Committee and the Interior Affairs Committee of the Legislative Yuan approved resolutions proposed by the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to enforce strict regulations on the operation and programming of the Taiwan Public Television Service (PTS). The service includes Hakka Television, Indigenous Television and the China Television Service.

The move comes one year after the legislature froze NT$450 million (about US$14 million) in funding for all programs under the auspices of the Public Service Television Foundation. The freeze affects half of the PTS annual budget.

In a statement on December 10, PTS said the new regulations, under which four of its channels could only disburse programming and production budgets after "item-by-item government approval", were "unjustified interference in our independence".

It had sought but failed to gain a clear explanation from government bodies of the rationale for the freeze.

"The Taiwan Government's efforts to exert strict controls on public television is a significant setback for Taiwan's media profession, whose ability to provide independent information and commentary to the general public is increasingly restricted," IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.

"Journalism conducted in the spirit of public service is one of the pillars of democratic freedom. Heavy regulation of public media will undermine the right to freedom of expression of Taiwan, and thus the country's democracy."

The IFJ calls for an independent review of the resolutions passed by Taiwan's legislature and an investigation into the reasons for blocking funding to PTS.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide


Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union

Taiwan's public TV 'under serious threat'

Taiwan's Public Television Service (PTS) Foundation has warned that proposed new legislation seriously threatens the independence of Taiwan's public media.

The proposal by two parliamentary committees would prevent PTS, Taiwan Indigenous TV (TITV), Hakka TV and Macroview TV from using programming and production budgets without with prior, item-by-item government approval.

"The proposal legislation seriously violates the social consensus for all political parties to withdraw from media operation," the foundation said.

"If passed, it would signify the undoing of hard-won freedom of the media and democratic progress in Taiwan."

It said half of PTS' annual budget of US$28 million had been frozen by parliament for nearly one year despite PTS demonstrating good faith by submitting various operational plans and performance reports.

"Over the course of its history, PTS has never transgressed its designated role and has always respected criticism and suggestions from the legislature and society," the foundation said.

"However, we will never accept unjustified interference in our independence and will take whatever steps necessary to protect the freedom of public media and the core democratic values that the people of Taiwan have cultivated at great cost."

Wednesday 10 Dec 2008


CommonHealth Broadcasting Association

Taiwan is in danger of losing independent Public Television Services

The Kuomintang (KMT) legislative caucus proposed new legislative measures on Tuesday (Dec. 9) that, if enacted, would violate the widely embraced principle of government and military non-interference in the Fourth Estate and deprive Public Television Services and its member channels, Taiwan Indigenous Television, Taiwan Hakka Television and Taiwan Macroview Television of their independence.

If the proposed legislation is passed, the above four public television channels would require prior item-by-item governmental approval for all budgetary dispersals. The KMT party holds an over three-quarters majority in the legislature. President Ma Ying-Jeou is a member and former KMT party chairman.

Public Television Services Foundation issued an emergency public statement on Tuesday evening critical of the proposed measures. In the statement, the foundation appeals to the public to support the independence of Public Television and uphold Taiwan's democratic values.

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