The International Press Institute (IPI) expressed sadness today at news of the death of former IPI Executive Board member Peter Pi Cheng Wang on Nov. 7.
Wang was an active IPI Executive Board member from 1983 to 1991, and a long-time member of IPI and participant at IPI World Congresses. He was named an IPI Fellow at the IPI General Assembly in Seoul in May 1995 and also served as the Chairman of IPI’s Taiwan National Committee in the 1990s. As director of the 1999 IPI World Congress Host Committee, he opened that year’s Congress in Taipei by introducing President Lee Teng-hui, reminding the audience of the importance of taking an active role in advocating for press freedom.
“I have to report to you that freedom of the press, like any other kind of civil liberty, is acquired rather than bestowed,” Wang told the audience. “Over the past half century, journalists in Taiwan, with the support of IPI, have never relaxed their effort to pursue press freedom, which we believe is the pillar of democracy.”
IPI Press Freedom Manager Barbara Trionfi remembered Wang for his contributions to the fight for media freedom in Taiwan and around the globe.
“IPI wishes to express its sincere condolences to Ms. Paula Wang – also a long-time IPI supporter and World Congress participant for more than 20 years – and to their two daughters, Ann Chia and Ann Jiun Wang, as well as to all of the colleagues, friends and loved ones that Mr. Wang leaves behind,” Trionfi said.
Wang was born on Feb. 22, 1939 and received his Bachelor of Science from Tunghai University in Taiwan before completing a Masters degree at the University of Tennessee in the United States. He was a chemical engineer at General Motor Company in Dayton, Ohio, from 1967 to 1970 and held the title of vice president at Cheng Tai Cement Company from 1970 to 1972.
Wang entered the media sphere as assistant to the publisher of United Daily News in Taiwan, a position he held from 1972 to 1974. He advanced to become vice president in 1974 and then publisher in 1977. Wang became vice chairman of the United Daily News Group in 1990 and three years later became chairman, a post in which he served until 2011.
He remained honorary chair of the United Daily News Group until his death. Under Wang’s stewardship, the United Daily News had a higher daily circulation than any other daily newspaper in Taiwan and any privately owned Chinese-language newspaper in the world. Since 2004, United Daily News has been the sole newspaper in Taiwan chosen to publish The New York Times International Weekly as a supplement.