Little by little, with subtle changes and amendments, the media environment in Taiwan is being boiled to death like the proverbial frog
The media environment in Taiwan is in a state of crisis, one that did not fully capture the public’s imagination until someone from deep inside said he’d had enough and resigned.
US-based Freedom House may have called it “one of the freest in Asia,” but Taiwanese media are under severe pressure and many indicators are pointing in the wrong direction. The signs were there, but it took reporter Huang Je-bing’s (黃哲斌) resignation from the China Times on Dec. 12, after 16 years of service, to draw attention to the severity of the problem and prompt fellow journalists into action.
The source of Huang’s discontent was the growing practice of government product placement in the media to promote its policies, which in effect constitutes the masquerading of propaganda as news.
The potential for abuse is self-evident, especially when we put it in the context of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration’s friendly attitude toward one of Asia’s worst offenders in terms of media freedom: China.
My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.