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Ming-Yeh T. Rawnsley - Democratisation of the Media in Taiwan:

Anti-Media Monopoly Movement and Policies

The student-led Anti-Media Monopoly Movement in Taiwan garnered tremendous support on the island and overseas in mid-2012. The movement began at the grassroots and constantly evolved and responded to unfolding events of media ownership. Campaigners championed five issues: (1) anti-media monopoly, (2) anti-Chinese interference (the “China factor,” which refers to Taiwanese businesspeople with economic interests in China), (3) safeguarding press freedom, (4) strengthening labour rights and labour unions within the media industry, and (5) strengthening public service broadcasting. In response, the National Communications Commission (NCC) drafted the “Prevention of Broadcasting and Television Monopoly and the Maintenance of Diversity Act” in early 2013 which was approved by the Executive Yuan in April 2013 and is now waiting to be debated in the Legislative Yuan.

This lecture explores the development of media issues in Taiwan in the twenty-first century by focusing on the Anti-Media Monopoly Movement and especially on the discussion stimulated by the campaign. Firstly, I will discuss the five issues championed by the activists, some of which stemmed from the first wave of media liberalisation of the 1980s and the 1990s. Secondly, I will highlight the most contentious points of the “Anti-Media Monopoly Act”. The debate over this bill among different sections of the society reflects the changes and continuity in culture and the media industry in Taiwan. Finally in the conclusion, I consider the Anti-Media Monopoly Movement as the second wave of democratisation. This has coincided with a swell of activity by a range of civil society movements, the most vocal of which has questioned the KMT government’s handling of the economy since it regained power in 2008. Nevertheless, it requires further observation to determine whether or not the second wave of media democratisation ignited by the Anti-Media Monopoly Movement will facilitate a more balanced and diversified media environment with higher standards of professionalism that will better serve Taiwan’s citizens in a long run.

MING-YEH T. RAWNSLEY received her PhD (on the topic “Public Service Television in Taiwan”) from the Institute of Communications Studies (ICS), University of Leeds in 1998. Since then, she worked as a researcher at the University of Nottingham (1999–2005) and became Head of Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC, 2005–2007). Before she joined SOAS as Research Associate, Rawnsley researched and taught East Asian fi lm industries at the ICS, University of Leeds (2007–2013).


Vienna Center for Taiwan Studies

Department of East Asian Studies
University of Vienna
AAKH-Campus, Hof 2, Entrance 2.3
Spitalgasse 2
1090 Vienna Austria

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Lastupdate: 21.03.2015 - 00:36