RTI: For the World to Hear?

Radio Taiwan International (RTI), the foreign broadcasting service of Taiwan’s Central Broadcasting System (中央廣播電台), celebrated its 82nd birthday on Monday. Premier Wu Den-yih attended the celebration at CBS broadcasting house, and a letter from president Ma Ying-jeou was read at the ceremony in which Ma praised RTI for the service it performs by broadcasting information about Taiwan’s vibrant democracy for the world to hear.

RTI’s freedom to report about Taiwan isn’t beyond doubt. When then CBS board chairman Cheng Yu (鄭優) resigned his post in 2008, and Shao Li-chung (紹立中, then Radio Taiwan International‘s director-general), and Shao’s deputy Chang Cheng-lin (張正霖), plus four members of the board, resigned along with them or offered their resignations, there appeared to be little coverage on it by RTI itself.

The Ma government – allegedly – interfered with the media, particularly public television, the Central News Agency (CNA), and RTI, too, placing pressure on Radio Taiwan International to stop news reports critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

Back then, the Government Information Office’s (GIO) minister Vanessa Shih (史亞平) denied the allegations and said that the GIO, as a supervisor of RTI, has urged it to build a good image of the country. It has not asked them not to criticize China.

Less than three months after her statement, it was announced that Shih would also step down as the GIO minister, to become Taiwan’s representative in Singapore.

The Central Broadcasting System (CBS) was founded in Nanjing on August 1, 1928.

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Related
A Bookish Experience, April 12, 2010

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