Approval of Directors and Channel Launch
The National Communications and Communications Commission (NCC) utilized the Legislative Yuan’s adjournment to review the case of Mirror TV. The commission approved the change of directors and supervisors of Mirror TV, as well as the launch of the fourth channel, by a vote of 4-0. Mirror TV expects to be launched on Channel 86 in July, potentially reaching around 2.63 million viewers in Taiwan.
Opposition Parties Express Dissatisfaction
The three opposition parties expressed their dissatisfaction with the NCC’s decision. Zeng Mingzong, the chief of the Kuomintang Legislative Yuan, criticized the NCC for recklessly carrying out the wishes of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and further eroding the commission’s credibility.
Shi Li accused NCC members of lacking moral conscience, while the People’s Party claimed that the forced trial during the congressional recess confirmed allegations of bias in favor of the ruling party.
Criticism of NCC’s Actions
KMT presidential candidate Hou Youyi criticized the NCC for overstepping its boundaries under the strong influence of the DPP, neglecting procedural justice and undermining press freedom. The notion of “party, government, and army quitting the media” was seen as a lie and a joke.
On the other hand, Liu Shifang, secretary-general of the DPP’s Legislative Yuan, defended the party’s reasonable and strict approach to the review process, emphasizing the need for independent and unbiased decision-making by the NCC.
Controversy Surrounding Mirror TV
Mirror TV, the only newly-established news station in Taiwan to obtain a license in the past decade, has faced significant controversy during the NCC review process. The station received its license in January of the previous year, but within two months, a major earthquake struck, leading to four changes in chairmanship. Rumors of political involvement and concerns about funding sources have further fueled the external scrutiny of Mirror TV.
Protests and Additional Requirements
Opposition parties, including the Kuomintang and Times Power, protested the NCC’s decision by attending the committee meeting. Due to previous sit-in protests, the NCC took measures to control access within the building.
Legislators from the opposition parties raised questions about Mirror TV and demanded clear explanations from Chen Yaoxiang, the chairman of NCC. Concerns were also raised about the violation of clauses related to shareholder equity.
In response, the NCC added a supplementary clause requiring the original shareholders of Mirror TV to sign a deed and refrain from transferring or delegating their shares.
Abstentions and Discussion
During the review meeting, two out of six NCC members abstained from voting, causing significant discussion. The abstaining members, Lin Liyun and Wang Weijing, raised questions about the case but felt that the evidence presented by Zheng You, the chairman of Mirror TV, was insufficient to support its approval.
Capital Increase Promise
During the review process, Mirror TV pledged to complete a capital increase, raising the capital from NT$2 billion to NT$3 billion as soon as possible.
the approval of Mirror TV’s case by the NCC during the legislative recess has sparked controversy and dissatisfaction among opposition parties. Concerns over transparency, procedural justice, and potential political influence have been raised.
The NCC’s decision to approve the change of directors and supervisors, as well as the channel launch, comes with additional requirements regarding shareholder equity. The ongoing debate surrounding Mirror TV underscores the importance of media independence and the need for fair and unbiased decision-making by regulatory bodies.