Democrats push for TDM reform

Friday, October 22, 2010
Issue 1146, Page 4
Word count: 303
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The pro-democracy New Macau Association is pressing the SAR Government to replace the board of directors of public broadcaster Teledifusão de Macau (TDM), stating that it is the only way to safeguard press freedom in the territory.

Chairman of the association Jason Chao Teng Hei, and lawmakers Au Kam San and Ng Kuok Cheong delivered yesterday a petition to the Government Headquarters urging for action.

In the petition the association said that although the SAR Government has taken over all the equity of TDM since 2005, the board of directors was never reformed to make TDM a “proper public broadcaster”, adding the “irregular and unprofessional behaviours of its leaders have gradually been revealed to the public”.

The recent scandal concerning a TDM Chinese reporter who has been accused by the news director and editor-in-chief of having taped a phone interview without the interviewee’s consent has also worried the association.

In the response to lawmaker Chan Wai Chi’s previous interpellation, the TDM chief executive officer, Chinese news director and editor-in-chief claimed that the accusation was made after the interviewee complained to TDM, the association said.

However, the interviewee – the secretary-general of a Taoist association, later denied publicly that he had never formally complained to TDM.

The democrats are calling the Government to suspend the three executives’ duties immediately due to their false statement and infringement of basic press freedom, in order to have a “fair and impartial investigation into the incident”.

In addition, the association deemed that the Government has to implement a consultation on the formulation of a public service broadcasting charter, as well as to dismiss the current board of directors and replace them with professionals with mass communication qualifications and representatives from media associations.

The post of CEO should also be hired through an open recruitment process, the democrats added.

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