Back to list

Paparazzi hounding of bereaved father spurs call for news boycott

2012/01/11 22:22:47

Taipei, Jan. 11 (CNA) The paparazzi's hounding of a Taiwanese man whose son recently committed suicide after being listed as wanted in a murder case has spurred thousands of netizens to issue an online call for a boycott of insensitive news reports.

Renowned Taiwanese film director Wu Nien-jen led the criticism of the news reporting, posting a call on his Facebook page for the paparazzi to stop chasing the man who had just lost his son.

"Can you not refrain from asking the weeping father any questions?" Wu wrote on Facebook. "Can you not just film him from behind if you need footage for your work?" he said. "Young people like you cannot understand the pain in his heart."

The Facebook comment drew more than 120,000 "like" responses and has been reposted more than 64,000 times.

Some netizens have taken the issue one step further, launching an endorsement campaign on Facebook for the media to stop hounding the man.

"We do not want insensitive reports!" reads the title of the online campaign, which has so far been endorsed by more than 54,000 people.

It was reported Monday that the man's son Chang Chih-yang had slashed himself with a knife while in police custody in Japan after he was detained in connection with the murder of two Taiwanese students in Tokyo.

Since then, Chang's father, a businessman in Taipei, has been hounded by photographers, videographers and reporters. Images of the man, with tears streaming down his face while being questioned by reporters, have been broadcast repeatedly on television news channels.

Commenting on the issue, the regulatory National Communications Commission (NCC), said Wednesday that it has been collecting relevant news reports in preparation for devising ways to prevent such insensitive news reporting.

NCC spokesman Chen Cheng-tsang urged the media to exercise self-discipline and to produce more sensitive reports on events related to natural disasters, crime and human malfeasances.

Chen said the NCC will examine all the news reports of the Chang case and will ask the media to adhere to the relevant rules of journalism ethics, which prohibit "interception-style and invasion-style" interviews, recording without the consent of the subject, and invasion of privacy.

(By Kuo Yi-chieh and Elizabeth Hsu)
enditem /pc