Wednesday, January 13, 2010

[轉載]Move to Replace Taiwan Editor Spurs Talk(中時撤換總編引發討論) (updated)

前一陣子中國C咖與台灣A咖說相關的報導,影響所及是旺旺報的總編夏珍被撤換. 本來我對這新聞沒什麼太大興趣的,不過另外兩則新聞讓(Google威脅退出中國市場,與自由之家公佈世界年度報告)我決定把WSJ這篇文章貼出來.本來台灣一個小報(以市佔率來看)換總編沒什麼大不了的,但因為和中國這個強權國家關聯下,這種新聞還引起WSJ專文報導.

更進一步講,姑且不論真相為何,Google因為厭倦於中國政府審查或其他要求,或其他壓力,揚言退出中國市場.這其他壓力,據悉是中國政府要求Google提供維權人士的帳號等,Google表示這與他們堅持的理念不和,表示不惜退出. 同樣是言論自由,旺旺報和Google的作法有天壤之別.

其次,前一天自由之家才剛公佈年度報告.台灣的縱和評比不變,依然是自由國家.中國也還是不自由國家. 不過一月份公佈的只是全世界的排名,接下來五月份要公佈的是媒體自由的部份,值得關注.去年的報告在此. 另一個值得觀察的是最近公視的變化. 這裡有一些最近事件演化的文章.

再則,在Richard Kagan的公開信裡也提到,台灣急於和中國和解,但卻忽略了中國這個是個最不自由的國家會帶給台灣怎樣的影響,而只是片面地引用有利數據來辯白而已. 詳見第四段.

其實旺旺報引起的關注早在去年易手之際就開始,IFJ也曾報導關切. 因此,除了五月份自由之家即將公佈的媒體自由外,七月份各國的報告也值得關切.


Move to Replace Taiwan Editor Spurs Talk, January 11, 2010

About two weeks after one of Taiwan’s leading newspapers, the China Times, published a front-page story that called China’s envoy to Taiwan a “C-list politician,” the paper’s editor-in-chief was replaced.

The newspaper said the replacement was a routine rotation. However, it fueled talk at the paper and at the island’s other publications that the move was spurred by anger in China over the story and that it was another sign of China’s increasing clout in Taiwan.

Hsia Chen, former editor in chief of the China Times, had been running the newspaper since early 2008. Later that year, a Hong Kong-listed rice-cracker manufacturer, Want Want China Holding Ltd., acquired it. Tsai Eng-meng, chairman of Want Want, decided to replace Ms. Hsia late last week, according to the paper’s staff.

Tsai, a Taiwanese businessman who has been running business in China for two decades, is well-known for his pro-China position. Since he took the China Times reins, he has publicly reiterated that his newspapers are not supposed to criticize Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou, his administration and the Chinese government. Last August, he further founded a tabloid, the Want Daily, in Taiwan to promote China to the island’s readers.

Since the summer of 2009, Tsai has been complaining that the paper’s news pages are not supportive enough of the governments of Taiwan and China, according to some employees at the paper. In September, the paper’s front-page coverage of the visit of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, whom China considers an enemy, specifically sparked Tsai’s anger, according to some of the paper’s reporters, who declined to be identified. The paper eventually decreased the quantity of reports about the spiritual leader’s visit and moved such coverage to inside pages.
“Our main guideline is about promoting the cross-Strait [Taiwan-China] peaceful development,” said Wang Chuo-chong, editor of the China’s Times China page.

Rumors about Hsia’s replacement had been circulating internally for months, the paper’s reporters and editors said. On Dec 26, a report on the paper’s front page quoted an anonymous official of Taiwan’s semiofficial negotiation organization, Strait Exchange Foundation, as saying that the scenario of three Taiwan political heavyweights trying to meet with China’s visiting negotiation envoy, Chen Yunlin, was like “the A-list politician versus the C-list,” with Chen representing the “C-list.” Beijing’s anger over the news story led to Tsai’s decision to replace Hsia, other local publications reported.

The newspaper denied the speculation. Hsia said in an email to staff last week, “There have been lots of speculation about this replacement. It is difficult for me to comment on why this happened.”

Hsia is exchanging her position with Wang Mei-yu, chief editor of China Times’ subsidiary weekly magazine, the China Times Weekly. After the shift , some of the daily newspaper’s reporters said they would censor themselves when they write about China.

“From now on, I believe everyone would be extra careful about China coverage,” said a staff reporter of the paper, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

–Ting-I Tsai


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