Anyone with sense will know that the media cannot take money from the government, business or individuals because the role of the media is to monitor the government, private sector and celebrities.
If the media accepts money from these quarters, it will be expected to do something in return, mostly likely to turn a blind eye to any wrongdoings on their part. Even worse, it may be expected to gloss over the mistakes of those who provided money.
The mandate of the justice ministry's Agency Against Corruption is to investigate allegations of government corruption and collect evidence to file charges, which in some ways is similar to the role of the media. For this reason, the agency certainly cannot accept subsidies from any government agency lest it should compromise its authority to investigate reports of irregularities.
Regrettably the agency fails to see this simple fact. It recently planned to have Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) partly sponsor an anniversary event to the tune of NT$1.19 million. The event, a road run estimated to cost NT$2.38 million, was held on the agency's first anniversary to raise awareness of anti-corruption efforts. The plan to obtain Taipower sponsorship was later aborted because of widespread criticism.
It is known that the agency is currently looking into two cases of alleged irregularities at Taipower. If it accepts money from the state-owned power company, how can it continue the investigation?
State-owned enterprises are fertile ground for influence-peddling, kickbacks and corruption, and the agency should keep its distance from them, even if it is starving. (editorial abstract -- July 24, 2012)
(By Lilian Wu)