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September 20, 2017

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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.

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