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基金會源起與使命

卓越新聞獎基金會於2002年元月正式立案,成立宗旨在透過頒發年度新聞獎,為新聞倫理及新聞專業建立標竿。

由官方頒發媒體新聞獎,過去在台灣社會被視為常態,但新聞媒體的重要工作之一就是監督政府,由政府頒獎鼓勵新聞媒體,實非恰當。前新聞局長蘇正平任內遂決定廢除官方所頒發金鐘獎、金鼎獎中之新聞獎項,並奔走號召企業界共同捐助成立卓越新聞獎基金會。並由創會董事們共推台灣傳播教育界大老政大退休教授徐佳士先生擔任創會董事長。期待能以符合第四權邏輯的民間新聞獎新風貌,取代過去難免威權政治殘餘的官方新聞獎舊格局。

2009年開始,國內最早創立的新聞獎(1974年創立)「曾虛白先生新聞獎」在曾虛白先生基金會董事長陳申青先生及卓越新聞獎基金會董事長陳世敏先生的促成下,開始併入卓越新聞獎頒發,除了原有各類新聞專業獎項,將公共服務與新聞學術研究也納入獎勵範圍,讓卓越新聞獎在新聞專業上的關照面向更趨完整。

解嚴以來,台灣社會民主化工程進展迅速,但報禁解除、總統直選,甚至政黨輪替這些大事件,若缺乏結構性的社會深化過程,在脆弱根基上,民主化進程將荊棘滿佈,甚至可能面臨倒退的危險。卓越新聞獎基金會努力以強化媒體專業倫理來鞏固民主社會不可或缺的第四權,應可視為台灣社會推動民主化之整體努力的一個重要部分。

自由蓬勃的新聞媒體,是民主社會中不可或缺的要素,新聞媒體是否能稱職地扮演其監督政府、針砭時弊、反映社會多元意見、服務公眾的角色,反映公民社會的發展程度及民主品質。台灣的社會雖然已經歷巨大的政治變革,但甫從政治力束縛中鬆脫的新聞事業,卻正面臨與新聞專業倫理、公共責任常有悖離的新聞商品化處境。

當今新聞媒體常自許為是獨立於政府之外的第四權,但是新聞工作者若無法堅守新聞倫理與專業,也未能對社會透過善盡責任,以樹立新聞工作的主體性,其所提供的新聞內容且常被經營者視為增加收視率及爭取廣告的工具,則新聞的商業主義,勢必隨著政治力撤退的真空,趁虛而入,進而主宰新聞媒體運作。

為了扭轉日益惡化的新聞商品化趨勢,並減低政治力對新聞獨立的干擾,卓越新聞獎基金會除了透過年度頒獎活動建立新聞倫理及專業標竿,並將積極喚起國人對媒體改革的意識,期以具體行動實踐,投入台灣媒體改革大業。

Foundation for Excellent Journalism Award: An Introduction

The Foundation for Excellent Journalism Award was established in January 2002, and its main task is to present annual journalism awards to establish a standard of excellence in journalism ethics and professionalism, encourage senior journalists to publish books, and provide journalists with resources for self-advancement and lifelong learning.

For a long period in the past, journalism awards in Taiwan were presented by the government. Since one of the major tasks of the media is government oversight, it is inappropriate for the government to present awards as encouragement to the news media. After the change in government administration, there were demands that government media awards be abolished. The Foundation for Excellent Journalism Award was thus established through contributions from the business sector in the hope that a journalism award presented by the private sector would be more in line with the concept of the Fourth Estate, and would replace previous journalism awards that were inevitably influenced by the authoritarian government.

Taiwan society has undergone rapid democratization after martial law was lifted. Without comprehensive and sustained democratization efforts of the society, however, major events such as the deregulation of the newspaper industry, direct presidential election, and change in government administration would only bring about feeble results, and the democratization process would be full of obstacles and be at risk. The establishment of the Excellent Journalism Award can be perceived as part of the democratization efforts.

Although a free and lively news media is essential to a democratic society, can the news media fulfill its duty of government oversight, exposing anomalies, echoing diverse opinions in the society, serving the public, and reflecting the developments and quality of democracy in a civil society? The Taiwan society has experienced major political changes. The media industry, which had just broken free from political control, is now faced with news commercialization that has often times undermined professional ethics in journalism and its sense of public responsibility.

To reverse the trend toward increased commercialization of the media and minimize political intervention of independent journalism, the Foundation for Excellent Journalism Award not only presents annual journalism awards to establish a standard of excellence in journalism ethics and professionalism, but also encourages journalists to publish books to increase their professional achievements. The Foundation likewise hopes to act as a catalyst for the self-advancement of journalists and a platform for the integration of media resources.