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Taiwan seeking to incorporate major public media (update)

2018/01/24 23:07:08

Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君)

Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) The Ministry of Culture is aiming to incorporate Taiwan's major public media such as the Public Television Service (PTS) and Central News Agency (CNA) into an independent media group to better serve the people, Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) said Wednesday.

The ministry is drafting a public media law under which PTS, CNA, Radio Taiwan International (RTI) and Chinese Television System (CTS) will be amalgamated into a media group, Cheng said.

The main goals of the media group will be to serve the public, to help develop the country's media industry and connect Taiwan to the rest of the world, she told reporters during a lunar year-end gathering.

"Taiwan is a democratic, free and open society," Cheng said. "Among Asian societies, we have excellent conditions to set up a Chinese-language public media group with a global view."

The law will seek to establish a "public media development fund" that will no longer be reliant on government funding, Cheng said, but she did not elaborate on the funding sources.

In a recent meeting with members of the CNA board of directors and supervisors, she proposed that the government encourage the business sector to contribute to the fund.

In order for a public media entity to serve the public and build credibility, it has to have a stable funding, Cheng said, adding that she hopes the public media development fund will be able to fund the proposed media group.

Asked about her vision for the public media group, Cheng said she hopes the group's journalists will not only translate its programs into foreign languages, but also produce programs from a Taiwan perspective.

She said she hopes the public media will reach audiences around the world, but the first targeted audience will likely be in Northeast and Southeast Asia and on the west coast of the United States.

Cheng said she has held discussions with board directors and supervisors of all four media and plans to hold a series of public hearings, starting in February, to obtain more views on the draft legislation.

Hopefully, the legislation will be passed by the end of the year, she said.

(By Sabina Cheng, S.C. Chang and Christie Chen)