- Posted November 29, 2012 by
Taipei City, Taiwan
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2000 Students Protest Against Media Acquisition (Taiwan)
On Nov. 29, 2012, more than 2000 Taiwanese students, professors, and NGOs gathered in front of Fair Trade Commissions (FTC) and Legislative Yuan in Taiwan, protesting against the upcoming media acquisition in Taiwan. It is the fourth wave of anti-media-buying demonstration began since July. Many are afraid that the media acquisition will bring damage to Taiwan’s freedom of the press and freedom of speech.
Today the FTC has to make decision on approval of this media acquisition which is claimed from the pro-China Want-want Groups toward Next media in Taiwan. Students asked FTC to reject this acquisition for the following reasons.
First, the buyers are morally questionable. The chairman of Want Want Group, Tsai Eng-meng, is notorious for his attitude towards the June 4 Tiananmen Square event. When responding to Washington Post back in February of 2012, he claimed that “not that many people could really have died” in the Tiananmen Square event. After buying Chinatimes in 2008, Tsai forced numerous editors and reporters to leave their posts; particularly those who covered stories against the PRC government. His pro-China attitude makes his involvement in this media acquisition more questionable. In addition, the Formosa Plastics Group is also infamous for its damage to Taiwan and East Asia's environment.These years there have been more than 10 large-scale demonstrations against Formosa Plastics Group in southern Taiwan,Thailand and Vietnam.
Second, there's no special regulation about media buying in Taiwan right now. What FTC considers is merely about the influence of business competition and antitrust problem. Nevertheless, students believe that media, which is the basement of public sphere and freedom of speech, should not be regarded the same as business. Instead, a new, special regulation for media buying and market should be soon established.
After the demonstration on FTC, the students moved to Legislative Yuan. They asked all parties in the Congress to support their movement, push media-buying regulation, and to oversee this huge media acquisition this time. The largest opposition party Democratic Progression Party (DPP), and other minor parties including People First Party(PFP), Taiwan Solidarity Union(TSU), had signed and claimed support to this movement. Unfortunately, the ruling party KMT refused to send anyone to communicate with students and protesters.
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