Taiwan restricting the press?

Reports suggest Taiwan is restricting the press and Freedom House has downgraded the island nation in its annual global free press report. According to The Christian Science Monitor,

“Freedom of speech and press are among the most lauded achievements of Taiwan’s democratic transition since martial law was lifted more than two decades ago. Yet many observers say that the glitter of the island republic’s free press has been overrated, especially in a highly commercialized news culture that is both deeply partisan and prey to political favors. For the past two years Freedom House has downgraded Taiwan’s rating in its annual report on global press freedom.”

Blogger Shu Flies, Taiwanese American expatriate living in Taipei, says that press freedom is being curtailed in the country through various laws. She writes about The Children and Youth Welfare Act and the loopholes that could land a well meaning journalist in trouble.

Writer He Qinglian, in an opinion piece at The Epoch Times, blames “Red Infiltration” for growing curtails in the Taiwanese media,

“Unfortunately, under the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) “red” infiltration, some of Taiwan’s mainstream media have not only failed to support Taiwan’s political independence, but have become cheerleaders for Beijing.

One prominent example is Taiwan’s media giant China Times Group. In 2008 it was taken over by Tsai Eng Meng, chairman of Want Want Group, who previously invested billions of dollars in China. Now China Times only covers positive news about China and almost never cover negative news, such as the CCP’s human rights violations.”

Whether Beijing is involved in regulating media scene in Taiwan is up for debate and may never be completely answered, but the role of Taiwan's government cannot be ignored-although it does seem convenient to dump all the blame to China.

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