Foreign media covering Universiade visit CNA

2017/08/21 19:44:43
Jay Chen (陳正杰, front row, sixth from right)

Jay Chen (陳正杰, front row, sixth from right)

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) A group of foreign media representatives who are covering the ongoing Taipei Universiade visited CNA on Monday to gain a better understanding of Taiwan's media industry and its relations with China.

Led by Chris Fuchs of NBC News of the United States and accompanied by Taiwanese foreign affairs officials, the visitors were warmly welcomed by CNA editor-in-chief Jay Chen (陳正杰) and other CNA staff members.

The visiting journalists were given a brief introduction of CNA's history and operations and before engaging in a discussion focusing mainly on press independence, CNA's funding and recruitment policy, and its correspondent exchanges with China.

Questions on those issues were raised by Mahamadi Tiegna from Burkina Faso, Saumo Jyoti Choudhury from India, Bae Ji-yeoul from South Korea, and Mark Kenny from Australia, as well as Fuchs.

Chen said CNA does not produce editorials or opinion columns as part of its content, reflecting its effort to maintain its objectivity as a wire service partly funded by taxpayers.

To the question of CNA's recruitment policy, Chen said the company usually holds tests and interviews to fill vacant posts, but when necessary, it also recruits talented people from other media outlets.

As to the exchange of reporters across the Taiwan Strait, Kenny, who works for Australia's Fairfax Media, wondered if CNA managers have any idea if Chinese reporters based in Taiwan on three-month rotations are engaged in work other than journalism.

S.C. Chang, director of CNA's Foreign Language News Center who has also headed the agency's cross-strait news department, cited a senior Chinese reporter who was about to leave Taiwan after his final stint as saying that he had visited nearly all 219 townships across Taiwan during his many rotations here.

"From that, I would surmise he was systemically gathering information about Taiwan," Chang said, noting that CNA reporters based in Beijing and Shanghai, on the other hand, are "pure journalists" who would not be allowed to do anything other than journalism.

As media workers covering the 2017 university games, both the visiting journalists and their CNA counterparts agreed that young people's performances and aspirations should be their focus at this moment.

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