2008 Taiwan presidential election: First official debate with citizen journalists' participation

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Before the main vote of 2008 Taiwan Presidential Election on March 22, the Public Television Service (PTS Taiwan) held the first official TV debate in the PTS Taiwan Building in Taipei, Taiwan. To improve interactions between two candidates (Frank Hsieh and Ma Ying-jeou) and potential citizen journalists in Taiwan, PTS Taiwan exclusively invited 20 nominated citizen journalists (CJs) to join this special debate and asked for their questions on-site. The new format was supported by several news organizations in Taiwan.

Before this main debate, PTS Taiwan requested several questions with "30-seconds question challenge by citizens" and ultimately selected 20 questions from varied fields including finance, economics, agriculture, industry, environment, population, territory rehabilitation policy, gender, human rights, education, diplomacy, differences between cities and countrysides, Cross-Strait (China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) relationships, national position, culture, and racism.

After the debate, the Central News Agency asked several participating CJs about their satisfaction with the debate format. However, several CJs criticized the answers to their questions as "hollowed answers", while some CJs thought the answers were unexpected for the public.

On the other side, several academic professors were satisfied with their performances and on-site reaction, and a former legislator from Taiwan, Teh-fu Huang, commented on the debate:

(Frank) Hsieh showed his aggressive, but (Ying-jeou) Ma showed another debate style on expression, they showed their differences on this debate. I hope this positive competition can be continued before the main vote.


All the sources are in Chinese language.