Central News Agency (CNA)

The Central News Agency (CNA) is the state-owned news agency of Taiwan. The agency was founded in 1924 in Guangzhou, mainland China, but moved to Taipei after the Chinese Civil War that followed WWII.

Media assets

News agency: CNA

News portal: Focus on Taiwan

State Media Matrix Typology: Independent State Managed (ISM)

Ownership and governance

CNA under the current name was established through the Central News Agency Establishment Act of 1999. The agency was created as a non-profit corporation with a TWD 10m initial grant from the government.

CNA is governed by a board consisting of nine to 15 directors all appointed by the Prime Minister and a Supervisory Board with three to five members also appointed by the Prime Minister. The Supervisory Board is mainly in charge of supervising the financial management of the agency.

Source of funding and budget

CNA used to be majority funded by the government. However, in recent years, the company reduced its reliance on state funds. Data for the planned 2024 budget, an overall TWD 1.12bn (US$ 34.8m), indicates that business revenue is going to represent the largest part of the budget whereas the government budget allocation is expected to hover around 26%. The forecast for 2023 shows that state funds are to account for some 43% of a total budget of TWD 708m (US$ 22m).

CNA used to rely on state funds just a few years ago. In 2019, the agency operated with a total budget of TWD 547m (US$ 18.9m), according to company financial reports. The government subsidy accounted for some 57% of the budget.

Editorial independence

Although CNA was created as an agency to ensure primarily that the points of view of the Taiwanese government are promoted and heard, no incident or evidence proving that the agency is editorially controlled by the government or that the government intervenes in the agency’s editorial affairs has been identified.

CNA does not have a domestic statute nor an independent assessment mechanism to validate the editorial independence.

October 2023