A public forum, "Concentration of media ownership and the threat to democracy in Taiwan", co-hosted by Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS and UK for Taiwan Media Freedom will be held in English to look into how a possible media monopoly might soon happen in Taiwan and the impact it would have on Taiwan's media and democracy. Distinguished scholars and professionals have been invited to address relevant issues, and the floor will be open to audience questions. FREE ADMISSION AND WELCOME.

Date: Wednesday 30th January 2013
Time: 19.00-21.00
Venue: Room B104, Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Information about the upcoming forum on the website of Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS
http://www.soas.ac.uk/taiwanstudies/events/30jan2013-concentration-of-media-ownership-and-the-threat-to-democracy-in-taiwan.html

‎1月30日星期三晚間七至九時,反媒體壟斷英倫陣線(UK for Taiwan Media Freedom)將於倫敦亞非學院(SOAS)附設汶萊美術館(Brunei Gallery)的B104教室以英語舉行公共論壇,主題是「Concentration of media ownership and the threat to democracy in Taiwan」,將探討台灣的媒體所有權集中問題,及其對台灣民主所造成的威脅。來自英國與台灣的學者及專業人士,將帶領在場聽眾探討事件的來龍去脈、問題的嚴重程度,以及未來的可能發展,內容精彩可期。活動免費,歡迎參加!
 
Moderator: Mr Victor CHAN (Producer, BBC Chinese)

Speakers:
Dr Ming-Yeh RAWNSLEY (Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds)
Prof Gary RAWNSLEY (Centre for International Communications Research, University of Leeds)
Dr Ming-chin Monique CHU (Centre of Taiwan Studies, SOAS)

Special Guest:
Prof Yun FAN (Department of Sociology, National Taiwan University)

Topics of discussion (tentative):

"What has happened"
- Is a media monopoly in Taiwan looming?
- A short history of monopolies in Taiwan's media market
- Revelations of UK's Leveson Report and China's Southern Weekly controversies

"Why it matters"
- Media monopoly and the public interest
- Why a monopoly in the traditional media in an Internet Age would still matter
- Why the media industry is special in the market economy

"What lies ahead"
- Media pluralism
- Public media
- Other possible solutions

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[Action Art: Lament for dying media freedom]

In order to express the vicious character of media monopoly and the possible dying of media freedom in Taiwan, every single participant lied down on the ground, covering their bodies with black veil on the snowing 18th January 2013, at SOAS, to symbolise the dying of media freedom, and to convey our silent indignation.

Here's a short clip we will display in the forum:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCbkTdYJv4Y

Also, some media coverages:
BBC
http://www.bbc.co.uk/zhongwen/trad/uk/2013/01/130118_taiwan_soas_protest.shtml
Sing Tao Daily
http://news.singtao.ca/toronto/2013-01-19/taiwan1358582178d4304687.html
NewTalk
http://newtalk.tw/news/2013/01/19/33006.html http://newtalk.tw/news/2013/01/19/33017.html
Epoch times
http://www.epochtimes.com/b5/13/1/19/n3780375.htm

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Dort wo man Bucher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.
Them that begin by burning books, end by burning men.
~Heinrich Heine (1856)

We are a group of Taiwanese students studying in different cities in the United Kingdom. Today we are here, to express our will to fight against media monopoly, and our determinations to fight for editorial independence. Today we are here, forming a student organisation “UK for Taiwan Media Freedom” to preserve the freedom of Press. 

The decision of the Hong Kong-based Next Media Group to sell its Taiwanese newspaper, magazine and television businesses to several buyers has stoked fears that the editorial independence enjoyed by the various media are now in an impending doom. 

Media monopoly is so abominable and vicious that the value of democracy can easily be crippled and social norms can be highly undermined. Media monopoly can easily block the public criticisms and purposely introduce bias to the news stories and imprint partial beliefs to people and also, crucially undermine the intrinsic value of Taiwanese democracy. 

In Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) serves the needs and interests of citizens. In Australia, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) oversees and controls media ownership. In the United Kingdom, they have Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to safeguard the media freedom and against media monopoly, which forbids one company from owning both a newspaper and a television station in one community. In Taiwan, we have National Communications Commission (NCC)—a commission, regrettably, that fail to serve the needs of Taiwanese citizens, a commission that allow media oligopoly, a commission that ignore media independence and the freedom of speech. 

Taiwan's democracy is at stake and therefore today, we appeal to international community for support. Freedom of the press is now endangered in Taiwan. We may be about to lose our rights to know the truth, our entitlements to the truth and our conception of the truth. A corrupt system will eventually lead to the corruption of mind. If we do not speak up in defense of our freedom of speech, our rights to truths and our concern of media independence, Taiwan, a country without a clear identity in the world, will in the end drown in the pool of silence. 

UK for Taiwan Media Freedom
Chief Coordinator: 廖乙臻 Yi-chen LIAO ( 07761731756/ yichen1122@hotmail.com )
Vice Chief Coordinator: 邱秉瑜 Bing-yu CHIU ( 07598730819/ ianbychiu@gmail.com )