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Taiwan journalists feel pressure as elections approach

Excerpt from a 31 October 2014 CPJ blog post by Joanna Chiu, a Hong Kong-based journalist.

Political tensions are rising in Taiwan ahead of local and municipal elections due at the end of November. The vote is expected to test the popularity of the ruling Kuomintang Party (KMT), which advocates greater integration with China and which earlier this year sparked protests when it tried to pass a new economic cooperation deal with the mainland. The vote also comes as the Taiwanese are closely watching how Beijing responds to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

The run-up to the election may be a barometer for whether pressure on the island's media--traditionally among the freest in Asia--will continue to build. On a visit to Taipei in April, journalists told CPJ that some in their ranks were attacked while covering the protests, known as the "sunflower movement," and that they feel pushed by their news outlets to take sides in the dispute. These challenges come on top of the fact that many media owners in Taiwan have businesses on the mainland, resulting in pressure on journalists not to anger Beijing with critical news reports, CPJ research shows.

Read the full blog post on CPJ's site.

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