Unjust Deadline — Postwar Journalists
Venue: Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park
From April 3 through Dec. 15, the Jing-Mei White Terror Memorial Park will play host to the National Human Rights Museum’s special exhibition in honor of Freedom of Speech Day 2019: “Unjust Deadline—Postwar Journalists." The New Taipei City exhibition will also be accompanied by film screenings and seminars.
“Unjust Deadline" covers the political persecution of the news media from the February 28 Incident of 1947 through the White Terror period, using the experiences of the journalists who suffered to look at the measures of oppression and restraint the authorities employed during the period of authoritarian rule and reflect on the value of a truly free media as the guardian of freedom of speech and cornerstone of human rights.
The exhibition features Huang Chih-cheng’s (黃至正) “Editor’s Desk Imprisoned at Garrison Command" installation and Chen Yun-ju’s (陳韻如) “Silenced Group Portrait" interactive installation. These, combined with reconstructed interrogation room scenes; “patriotic" anti-communist radio propaganda from the authoritarian era; and anti-Communist, anti-Soviet slogans all around, visitors will get a visceral sense of the oppressive, unfree air of a time when voices were silenced and the threat of surveillance was constant.
Deputy Minister of Culture Celest Hsiao-ching Ting (丁曉菁) commented that journalism is the cornerstone of a democratic polity and that the role of the Fourth Estate is essential. The structures and challenges of journalism under authoritarian rule were very different from those of the Internet age, and the oppression they faced was far beyond anything seen today. They fought for journalistic values, and their commitment is an inspiration to us all, she added.
Chen Chun-hung (陳俊宏), director of the National Human Rights Museum, said that from the cautionary tales of how journalists once suffered political persecution, one can witness how far freedom of speech and freedom of the press have come in Taiwan, and how hard the journey has been. In this “post-truth" era of social media, where emotion and belief can be more of an influence on public opinion than objective facts, the traditional gatekeeping role of journalism is under attack, and how those in the news business are to respond to this challenge is a serious issue, he stated.
Through this exhibition, one will also see how many journalists gave their lives for their ideals. To commemorate the 30th anniversary of pro-democracy pioneer Cheng Nan-jung’s martyrdom, the museum invites everyone to reflect on what freedom of speech meant to him, in hope that more members of Taiwan society will focus on the core values of freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
展期：2019/04/07 – 2019/12/15