January 30, 2018

Taiwan: RSF urges Taipei mayor to respect journalists

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges Taipei mayor Ko Wen-Je not to disparage journalists, whose reporting is essential for Taiwan’s democracy.

After the Storm Media online newspaper yesterday accused the mayor of blacklisting one of its journalists for reporting details of preparations for a public event that were supposed to be confidential, the mayor reacted by accusing the Taiwan media of publishing news that was “30% false,” the state-owned Central News Agency said.

“An elected official, especially the mayor of a major city, should not be so quick to disparage the media, whose work is essential for democracies to function well,” said Cédric Alviani, the head of RSF’s Taipei-based East Asia bureau.“Journalists are just doing their job when they research and publish information in the public interest.”

The Chinese-speaking world’s only democracy, Taiwan is ranked 45th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index, Asia’s best ranking. But its politicians are not immune to excesses. During an appearance before parliamentarians last November, the defence minister insulted a reporter and boasted of having blacklisted her.