Taiwan: RSF urges presidential candidates to commit to the strengthening of journalism

As Taiwan is concerned about possible disinformation attacks aimed at influencing the upcoming presidential elections, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges candidates to pledge to take strong measures to strengthen journalism.

Amid concerns in Taiwan about possible disinformation attacks aimed at influencing the presidential elections of January 11, 2020, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in an open letter asks candidates and political parties to pledge to support journalism by strengthening editorial independence, creating a due process against disinformation, significantly increasing public media’s resources, supporting ethical journalism, and strengthening media literacy.

"The structural weakness of the Taiwanese media makes them particularly vulnerable to disinformation attacks, which represents a real threat to democracy, especially during election periods" observes Cédric Alviani, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia bureau head, who insists on the urgency “to take the necessary measures to restore confidence in the media and to protect the proper functioning of the island's institutions."

Taiwan, a liberal democracy that is the world’s 21st largest economy, is the victim of growing interference in its media from the People's Republic of China, who aggressively claims its sovereignty on the island. In 2017, RSF opened its first Asian office in Taipei, which covers China including Hong Kong and Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, North Korea and Mongolia. 

Taiwan is currently ranked 42nd out of 180 in the 2019 RSF World Press Freedom Index, while China remains near the bottom of the ranking at 177th.

The letter was published in the following media:

Read the full letter (English and Chinese):

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Updated on 17.12.2019