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Taipei Times 的醜聞

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Taipei Times 的醜聞
文/黃孫權
出處/破報復刊298期 編輯室手記

因為選舉,台灣無限的社會力得以展露,我們也得以親賭醜陋面目的反覆快照,張張真實醜陋的不可思議。有人跟著泛綠起哄,大口咬著陳文茜身兼政治人與媒體人的雙重身份,輕輕啣著的一些男性媒體政治人,如李鴻禧、謝志偉等,然後無恥地「忘記」台視華視這種由政府主掌的媒體,各種置入性行銷,每場動輒上千萬的造勢活動轉播費,上億元的電子媒體廣告,以及媒體將政治人物口水亂飛不經查證就翔實報導懶惰習性。

儘管如此,這個行業最後神話就是起碼要保持客觀中立,所以罵人也要說是追求「獨立媒體」的精神。獨立媒體大概是台灣最大的笑話,台灣媒體早就政治化了的,缺的只是黑紙白字的編輯政策。

二月二十日,亞洲最長歷史的英文報,香港的South China Morning Post刊出一則令人驚奇的消息「Newspaper orders its staff to support Chen」,報導中指出台灣的Taipei Times的總編輯(Rick Chu 朱立熙),對報社內的主管及若干工作同仁發了封電子郵件,信中明白表示:「本報支持「泛綠」的立場絕不容質疑與挑戰,任何人若不同意,此一立場,請不要勉強自己,繼續在這裡過不快樂的日子。我歡迎不認同本報立場的人請盡快在選前離職,我會尊重各位的選擇並成全想走的人。」 Taipei Times本來就是自由時報系的報紙,支持泛綠不是新聞,有新聞價值的是,媒體的自主與獨立性在台灣選舉的文化中被黑紙白字的寫了出來,破了新聞教科書言之復復的客觀中立。在接受South China Morning Post的訪問中,Taipei Times的總編輯說到這只是個內部的備註,沒什麼好評論的。而有位Taipei Times的記者表示,「I was told that if I write anything against the DPP or too `Blue' that I would be fired」(我被告知如果寫了什麼反對民進黨或過於偏藍的東西,我可能被革職)。

此則報導在台灣最大的英文討論區引起軒然大波,同時也在知名的搜尋引擎Google名列前茅,美國UCLA大學的AsiaMedia裡也轉載了此一報導)。在許多國際人士眼裡,這簡直是台灣民主發展幾十年來不可思議的事情,也是台灣選舉除了公投引發的爭議外,另一起揚名國際的創舉。

在新聞編輯作業裡,避免黑紙白字式的統治有許多伎倆,編輯可以不採用記者的稿子,久而久之記者就會餵給編輯他們想要的稿子,編輯也可以改稿,藍的說成綠的一點也不是問題,加薪或記點更是控制記者的尋常手段。要的這樣明確的下命令,要嗎就是習以為常,要嘛就是覺得媒體本來就是政治宣傳的工具。Rick Chu在內部的信件中明確的表示,「同時,我也要呼籲支持「泛藍」與「大中國」的同仁,千萬不要搞小動作或意圖煽動同仁,這是非常不道德的作為。媒體市場的不平衡與不公正報導,已經預告了這場選戰的「不公平性」。本報支持「泛綠」,也只能達到極小的平衡力量而已,當惡質的統媒連基本專業的平衡報導都做不到的情況下,不必來要求本報要做平衡報導。對不起,我不吃這一套!這封信也許措辭較重,請大家包涵。我的用意很簡單:做為一個「主流中的主流媒體」,請知道「慎思與明辨」,並且要具備「有所不為」的道德勇氣!謝謝大家!」

在這麼理直氣壯的信件裡,朱立熙暴露了新聞媒體的真相,打垮了虛假的獨立客觀等新聞夾槓詞彙,還為了大家上了一課新聞為何而生。前任的Taipei Times的總編輯江春男現在是國安會的副秘書長,日後若阿扁當選後,我很好奇,不知朱總編輯這樣的「極小的平衡力量」可以得到個什麼官位?這種「有所不為」的勇氣,可以換得什麼主流的位置?
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The Taipei Times sends a memo
The paper’s editor-in-chief internally called for “unbalanced” reporting, but was it really necessary?

BY DAVID FRAZIER
Orignal POTS Extra 298

LAST FRIDAY (Feb 20), Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (SCMP) broke a story about an email from the editor-in-chief of the Taipei Times to the paper’s entire staff, stating in the run-up to the presidential election, any reporters not wishing to support the “pan-greens” – namely the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) – could go ahead and resign. For the playa haters on Taiwan’s largest expat web forum (www.forumosa.com), where threads such as “The Taipei Times Sucks” have garnered so much traffic that they’ve been restarted several times, this was just another nail in the coffin, proof that the Taipei Times is unquestionably biased and worthy of their scorn. But what no one, not even current TT staffers, understands, is why the memo was sent in the first place.

The man who sent the email, TT editor-in-chief Rick Chu (朱立熙), was not in the office on Wednesday (Feb 25), our press day, and could not be reached for comment. He did however verify sending the memo, according to the SCMP report.

The 469 Chinese character memo – we now have a copy as well – states: “no matter what your individual political stance, this newspaper’s stance of supporting ‘pan-green’ will not tolerate questions or challenges.” The next sentence continues: “I invite those who disagree with this paper’s stance to resign quickly before the election.” It then warns against supporting the “pan-blues” in any way, and further on explains the logic behind these admonitions: “This newspaper’s support of “pan-green” can only amount to an extremely small balancing force. While the mean-spirited pro-unification media does not even observe the most basic professionalism in writing balanced reports, it’s not necessary to ask this newspaper to write balanced reports. I’m sorry, I don’t buy it!”

The evening that the email was sent, one Taipei Times reporter said that “there was a lot of whispering in the office. Of course nobody was happy about it. And nobody could figure out why they would need to send an email like that.”

“Even some very obviously pan-green media like Formosa Television and the Liberty Times (自由時報) wouldn’t do that. They have systematic control. Editors can cut stories or change stories, and as a reporter, if you always have your stories killed, you pretty much know what the deal is and you leave.”

And finally: “The weird thing is that almost all the reporters here are ardent DPP supporters, so why would that be necessary?”

The TT has more than 50 staffers, and once the email was sent to them, it was also forwarded on to several outside the paper, including some in the international press. One of the recipients was Tim Culpan, a former editor at TT who still lives in Taipei freelancing for the SCMP, the Washington Post, and other publications. “The reason I thought it was a story was because it’s unusual for an editor-in-chief to put his bias in writing,” he said.

Interestingly, Chu also seems to share some of this interest in exposing the widespread bias in Taiwan’s media, which – we can infer from his email – does not just appear on editorial pages, but in the way stories are reported as well. However, using bias to combat bias is obviously the wrong approach, and more than that, a serious stain on the TT’s DPP idealism.

That said, there’s not much point in trashing the TT further over this, at least locally and in English. If you want to do that you can log onto Forumosa and blast away, or else just read the colorful backlog there, much of it by former TT staffers. In the interest of fairness I should probably also add that I was fired from the TT by Chu last July, via email, with no reason given, but even before that I was becoming disillusioned by the falling quality standards there.

As a postscript I’ll add that on Tuesday (Feb 24), Chu sent another email to the staff. I haven’t seen it yet, but a reporter there told me it neither contained anything too controversial nor commented on the SCMP story, “it was just encouraging us to stand firm and support pan-green”. So for the time being, life at the Taipei Times goes on.


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黨政軍退出媒體的大笑話
2004-08-30 inertia(黃孫權)

看這兩則新聞:「朱立熙接任華視新任副總經理 第一步要先改革新聞部」、「華視副總朱立熙上任 強調自己絕非來「沾醬油」!」。在選前我曾寫過一則預言,就說過朱立熙會高昇,果不其然。那時候還引起許多人的批評;呵呵,我倒想聽聽,那時候批評的人現在作何感想。
在台灣,「黨政軍退出媒體」不是笑話是什麼?江霞可以從台視到華視,開汪笨湖的節目,然後再請朱立熙這個選前就表態的來當副總經理,果然是論功行賞;華視就是標準的政/黨/軍營企業,管理階層人選隨政治風向來去。執政黨原來在說假的,「黨政軍退出媒體」不是笑話是什麼?
2011-05-30 14:44:48
是 (若未登入"個人新聞台帳號"則看不到回覆唷!)
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