Known as the host for the online TV program “The Truth about Journalism,” the special correspondent of Taiwan’s Public Television Service (PTS) Jun-Zhu Fang uncovered the bewilderingly varied faces of media on June 3rd, 2020 at Soochow’s Downtown Campus. The seminar entitled “Picture the Future of Media in Taiwan” drew an audience of scores of Soochow students and helped cultivate their media literacy.
Fang, with an academic background in business, analyzed from the angle of economics why Taiwan’s media are less competitive in today’s increasingly challenging environment. Among the three major types of media – private media, public media, and public service mass media – the most common one is private media, which produce commercially-based news. As running a television news station is bound to burn up a lot of money, such media are usually operated by wealthy financial groups, Fang explained. If viewers conduct a background check on the owners of the private news media and their sources of funds, the stances of these news media on many issues can be manifest.
In contrast, public service mass media is a channel that expresses people’s voices and the culture of a country. For instance, the popularity of those Korean dramas or K-pop stars can be partly attributed to the promotion by Korea’s public television service, and similarly, BBC News, the public service broadcaster in the UK, has supported multiple-language programs with the purpose of spreading English culture and values, Fang mentioned. In the cutthroat world of media, the funds allocated to Taiwan’s public television are merely 0.5 percent as much as those of many other countries, posing a barrier to making Taiwan better known or heard by the world.
Toward the end of his speech, Fang expressed his ideal and hope to make Taiwan’s public service mass media stronger by producing news reports with superior qualities. In his mind, all news has its stances and its subjectivity. “Do not fear reporting news with certain stances, but be afraid of doing it without fact-check,” he said.
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