Taiwan’s public media outlets could soon be incorporated into one organisation.

A new law being drafted by Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture could see the Public Television Service (PTS), Central News Agency (CNA), Radio Taiwan International (RTI) and Chinese Television System (CTS) being amalgamated into one independent organisation.

The decision, according to Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun, would allow the individual broadcasters to better serve the public and develop Taiwan’s media landscape. Key to Cheng’s ambition is to develop a public media organisation with a global view and to improve the provision of translated Taiwanese content to the international market.

Public Media Alliance (PMA) members PTS have responded favourably to the proposal. Jessie Shih, Director of PTS’s International Department, told PMA that the merger would allow the broadcasters to save money by pooling resources, such as sharing editorial, production and technical equipment, personnel and facilities. This could result in the development of an integrated digital newsroom, media centre and digital archive.

However, Shih also highlighted that any amalgamation would need to be coordinated with great care so to ensure accountability, stating that the organisation would have to “emphasize the importance of the re-orientation and continuous training for all the personnel from different organizations, to make sure everyone is working under the same mission and value system to serve the best interest for the public.”

The new organisation will also require substantial and sustainable funding. Talking to Focus Taiwan, the Minister for Culture suggested that a “public media development fund” could be created to remove public media’s reliance on government funding, with the potential for private-sector contributions. Both Jessie Shih and PTS President Wen Chieh Tsao see this future funding as being a mix of public, self-raised and private investment.

The draft legislation is currently under review, with a decision likely by the end of the year.

Header Image: Entrance to Public Television Service. Credit: PTS