Taipei, July 10 (CNA) Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai called on the public Tuesday to consider whether or not the Central News Agency (CNA) and Radio Taiwan International (RTI) -- two publicly funded media -- should be incorporated into the Taiwan Broadcasting System.
The purpose, according to the minister, would be to integrate all public resources to increase Taiwan's influence in the Chinese-speaking world.
She cited the BBC as an example a country promoting its culture with state power.
Lung said she was inviting the public to discuss whether it would be a good idea to use the Taiwan Broadcasting System's communication channels to help promote Taiwanese culture in the world.
She said CNA and RTI could make good use of Taiwan's cultural advantages. RTI could produce programs that even Chinese cab drivers like to listen to, said the minister.
Hu Yuan-hui, a National Chung Cheng University associate professor, said the board directors and supervisors of CNA and RTI are all appointed by the government -- a practice that he said needs to be changed.
Hu, himself a former CNA president, suggested that the national news agency should cooperate with other public media charged with promoting Taiwan to the world.
Lung said Taiwan's public media represents the country's national power and is a special product of Taiwan's democracy that could be put to good use.
"Taiwan society has paid very little attention to the issue of public television and media, but that's not all it is," Lung said at a national cultural forum in Taipei to discuss the future of the country's public media.
She said a country's public media reflects its "overall national power," citing public media in Britain, Germany and Sweden as examples.
She drew attention to a forum member's remarks that the Taiwan Broadcasting System is the only genuine public broadcasting group in the ethnic Chinese community, calling it a "unique thing" that has developed from Taiwan's democracy.
Lo Shih-hung, an associate professor from the Department of Communications at National Chung Cheng University, called on the public to build the broadcasting group into "a common asset" of the ethnic Chinese world.
The media group is a symbol of the development of Taiwan's democracy, civil society and human rights, said Lo, adding that more of the group's programs should be promoted in China.
The broadcasting group was established in 2006 with the aim of creating a media free from political, government or military influence. It incorporates Public Television System, Hakka TV, Indigenous TV, Chinese Television System.
Lo urged the government to invest more in the media group so that it can become a more influential platform to show Taiwan's cultural power in the greater Chinese community.
The forum is one of nine national cultural forums organized by the Ministry of Culture to take place between June and August to forge consensus on Taiwan's cultural policies.
(By Christie Chen, Sabine Cheng and S.C. Chang)