Taiwanese News Station Mistakenly Broadcasts ‘Breaking News’ About Chinese Invasion | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Messages broadcast by the China Television System (CTS) news channel about the erupting war between Taiwan and China alarmed the public on Wednesday morning (April 20) and were later confirmed to have been published “in error”.


A user on a popular online forum PTT shared screenshots of a CTS news broadcast at 7:11 a.m., asking “Have we started war with China?” In the screenshots, the news at the bottom displayed messages such as “New Taipei City hit by Chinese missile, Taipei port warship explodes, facilities, ships damaged”, “war is about to erupt”, “China moves frequently to prepare for war, president issues emergency decree” and “special agent suspected of burning down Banqiao station and laying explosives”.


Netizens took note of other erroneous posts, including “magnitude 7 earthquake in Taishan district” and “incident at the second nuclear power plant”. Some messages were reportedly broadcast for nearly 10 minutes.


Despite the initial confusion, commenters quickly realized that the posts were either released due to a “ridiculous mistake”, “malicious prank”, or written by “a drugged staff member”. Others angrily called the CTS a “source of social disorder” and a “spreader of rumours” that should be fined by the National Communications Commission.


CTS issued a correction notice and made public excuses on his message board and social media page. “During the 7 a.m. news broadcast on April 20, due to an error on the part of the personnel involved, the text of the disaster drill messages provided by the fire department of New Taipei City was mistakenly displayed as information exploration content. CTS was commissioned by the New Taipei City Fire Department to record the disaster prevention video,” reads the apologies.


“CTS solemnly apologizes for the serious omission which caused public panic and unnecessary trouble for the relevant authorities. Immediately, in addition to the presenter’s urgent clarifications and apologies, CTS also clarified and apologized on each of its channels via news crawls. Meanwhile, CTS has opened an internal surveillance investigation and will hold an urgent meeting of the self-discipline committee to review the major surveillance and impose severe sanctions on the staff members involved.


CTS added, “As a member of the Taiwan Broadcasting System, CTS does not take this type of error lightly and once again apologizes to the public.”


The Ministry of Culture has also published a excuses, indicating that he will immediately ask CTS for a report on the incident. Meanwhile, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) mentioned if the ministry received controversial information, it would react immediately and investigate to confirm its accuracy. Chiu added that the incident is a good lesson for the media and urged the public to verify information before commenting.