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Culture minister vows to approve public TV board

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai recently expressed his determination that the Public Television Service Taiwan (PTST, 台灣公共電視), which has been running without a board of directors for two years, will confirm a new board later this month.

The Ministry of Culture (MOC) will convene a committee meeting on Jan. 18 to vet applicants for the PTST board with Lung saying”this time the proposal must go through.”

This is the second attempt to form a PTST board following a failure last August in which only three nominees were approved. Commentators considered the failure the result of a lack of communication between Lung and the committee.

Lung said based on the previous experience, the MOC has intends to maintain clear lines of communication with the Executive Yuan and the opposition parties throughout the process. Lung said initial candidates were nominated by 28 nonprofits organizations. Through consultation with experts, the MOC short-listed 15 people, who were ratified by the Executive Yuan. Lung said the 15 nominees come from various backgrounds like finance, the entertainment industry, media and the legal sector.

Lung said the candidates are set to bring different talents to the PTST based on their different expertise, providing as an example Chi Cheng (紀政), a world renowned athlete, who Lung said would bring her personal networks to PTST. Lung also discussed Nigel Li (李念祖), another candidate, who would provide his legal expertise.

Chang Chin-hwa (張錦華), a professor at National Taiwan University's Graduate Institute of Journalism, complimented the short-list. Chang said another failure to confirm a board will damage the PTST's long-term development.

Kuang Chung-hsiang, an associate professor at National Chung Cheng University, said the vetting process should be transparent and open to the public. He suggested all censors should offer publicly registered votes.

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