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September 21, 2017

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Government should provide equal respect for all media

Following the heat of recent urban renewal issues, an article about a side-line story, "The Pride and Prejudice of News Reporters" (記者的傲慢與偏見), written by Taiwan Public Television Service News Network (PNN, 公視新聞議題中心) reporter Chung Sheng-hsiung (鍾勝雄), was widely circulated on the Internet.

In the article, Chung outlined what happened in the press conference held by the Taiwan Alliance for Victims of Urban Renewal for the Wang family on April 3, when the alliance accused the Taipei City Government of not following its standard procedure to issue a demolition permit before the destruction of the Wang family homes.

Chung stated that after the press conference held by the victims' alliance, when reporters asked Taipei City Government spokesman Chang Chi-chiang (張其強) for their reply, he was unwilling to respond. Indeed, after the press conference held by the victims' alliance, reporters went to the room next door to make a phone call to the Taipei City Government. With microphones placed beside the telephone machine, Chang, who received the phone call, hung up the phone in front of every news camera.

Later, a press conference was held by the Taipei City Construction Management Office. Chang only showed up for less than 10 minutes, answered about three questions from a China Television Co. (中視) reporter and then left.

When reporters from PNN, Lihpao daily (立報), Coolloud (苦勞網), and a reporter from The China Post tried to ask further questions, the unified response the Post received from Chang was that "the press conference is over!" When the China Television reporter and Chinese Television System (華視) reporter asked their questions, Chang was at least willing to provide an official statement.

Only when the news of the victims' alliance's press conference was published in The China Post on the following day did The China Post receive a clarification statement from the Taipei City Government.

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