A Taiwan journalist, Huang Je-bing resigned in protest in mid December of 2010 because the Taiwanese government has been using its media to advertise its political views. Even after martial law was lifted two decades ago, the political propaganda continues.
“As a result, reporters have become advertising salesman, public relations companies and advertisers have become news writers, and the hand of government and big business intervenes directly into editing content. This is an immoral masquerade.” Huang wrote.
Many colleagues of Huang and journalism professors have rallied in his support. A petition was signed by more than 130 journalism and communication teachers. The petition is signed in hopes of ending governments from “buying news” and advertising disguised as news reports.
On December 29, Wu Dun-yi, Taiwan’s premier, said that he would be “deeply reflecting” about this ongoing practice. He and other leaders acknowledge their public relations have been wrong. Legislators are considering statutory prohibition as an answer.
Currently the number one newspaper, The Apple Daily, in Taiwan has waited over a year to get licensed for a cable network. They even expressed their feelings about the government in the Wall Street Journal.
Can statutory prohibition solve the ethical and moral problems going on in Taiwan?
Does the act of government propaganda in the media remind you of any former governments in the world?