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Taiwanese media reporting panned as too narrow

TAIPEI -- Taiwanese media was criticized at a forum yesterday as focusing too much on trivial issues and ignoring the wider global picture, thus denying local audiences information relevant to the public's welfare. Associated Press journalist Peter Enav said he was deeply worried about the type of coverage in Taiwan and he cited the example of the recent media blitz focused on the Rubber Duck, a giant inflatable art installation that was on display in Taiwan.

“This is not funny,” he said at the forum that is examining press freedom and media trends in Asia.

The local media has been ignoring the world situation and choosing instead to report on trivial and irrelevant issues to vie for higher ratings, Enav said, adding that this approach only serves to leave Taiwanese more confused about their future.

Expressing a similar view, New York Times journalist Austin Ramzy said Taiwanese should pay more serious attention to China's actions in all fields rather than concentrating only on issues related to cross-Taiwan Strait interaction.

“It is important for readers to better understand China, not just on cross-strait topics,” said Ramzy, who was recently forced to leave China because his journalist work visa was denied.

Erich Shih, an anchor at Taipei-based CTI-News, agreed with the views expressed by the foreign journalists but said that it takes continuous efforts by media practitioners to break out of the cycle of commercial competition and produce high-quality content.

March 21, 2014    clh0728@
We need to get real. The media culture in Taiwan is unique. The bottom line for any media organization is to make money and for Taiwanese, gossip sells. Taiwanese are more interested in which actress is sleeping with who and which socialite gets impregnated by who. Taiwanese are not interested in what gets the economy moving or world affairs. To them these are boring news and do not boost their ratings. And when the Taiwanese media report on other countries, they only highlight how backward and regressive these countries are and laugh at their 'stupidity', nothing good about that country. Any media organization in Taiwan knows if they report on world affairs, they will have to close shop in a few months time because Taiwanese are simply not going to watch their channels. For a different media culture, Taiwanese must move away from gossips and sensationlisation. Mark my words, it will not happen in Taiwan.
March 21, 2014    cjz0323@
The whole country is sick because of the biased and unbalanced news from media. Taiwanese become very picky and they criticize every things instead of finding solutions or alternatives. Some news were reported even incorrect and unconfirmed.
No profession, no truth, no global view only gossips and politics.
So sad about Taiwanese media.
March 24, 2014    edann77@
It also creates a populace that is more susceptible to political manipulation, xenophobia, and groundless fears.

The government agency that monitors and issues licenses for media channels has the ability to affect change. Unfortunately, when government officials and politicians themselves lack the intelligence and global perspective, nothing is done.
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