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September 25, 2017

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Foreign Policy highlights the sensationalism of local media

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The U.S.-based Foreign Policy magazine published a story criticizing Taiwan's media for its sensationalism and lack of interests in global affairs.

In the article, "Why Taiwanese are getting fed up with the island's salacious, in your-face media," the author, Chris Fuchs, noted that Taiwan boasts free print and electronic media, but it has fails to put it to good use.

He said in the last few months, Taiwan was "transfixed" on two stories — the Yellow Rubber Duck and the return of a Taiwan Brazilian teenager — while ignoring many other major domestic and international issues, such as the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA).

"Over the last decade, Taiwanese media have come to be known for in-your-face, no-holds-barred reporting that manages to be simultaneously sensationalist and mundane," Fuchs wrote.

He noted that Taiwan's print media has waned over the last two decades, and there were almost five million cable TV subscribers as of March 2013, with news programs ranking the second most popular after movies.

The Taiwanese media and its readership are not interested in foreign affairs because of the fact the nation has been isolated from the international community, according to the article.

Compared to China's CCTV, which is keen to cover global news, Taiwan's electronic media should feel ashamed of themselves, Fuchs cited the publisher of the Taiwan-based China Times newspaper as saying.

But the article noted that there are still good investigative reports coming out of Taiwan's media, a sign that its personnel are still capable.

The article cited the Taiwan-based Business Weekly as suggesting people could determine the direction of the local media by boycotting its sensational reports.

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