Any hope for local news media?

Is there any hope left for local news media outlets?

I’m not even talking about the incessant news (for lack of a better word) channels that are so hungry for stories that they show months-old YouTube clips or viral Facebook posts instead of anything relevant to anyone. I mean the newspapers, most of which thrive on celebrity gossip and the ever-terrible 社會新聞. I understand it’s important that a rich elderly couple was (allegedly) killed by a cafe owner for money, but when this is front-page news for more than a week and the only fresh part about it is that the alleged accomplice had 8 boyfriends in college and shoplifted once, it doesn’t quite fit the bill of the most important information people need to digest before starting their day.

This is all caused by profit-driven corporations and all that, I understand, but the problem I see is that people actually believe it is important to watch the evening news in order to stay abreast of important happenings. We have little influence as foreigners here, but do you think there is anything that can be done by anyone to bring an ounce of professionalism to local media?

(I’m not even talking about English-language papers… That’s a whole different can of worms.)

The locals don’t do much except except eat greasy gloop at market stalls and ride around pointlessly on little plastic motorcycles. Most of the “news” centers around those 2 activities.

Exactly what are the important happenings you need to stay abreast of?

The locals back in LA don’t do much except eat organic gloop at upscale markets and ride around pointlessly in pollution machines. Yet somehow even our local news stations find ways to report on relevant issues first – even if they finish up the news hour with videos of squirrels water-skiing. :loco:

News isn’t just “what happened around you today.” It can be analytic or investigative instead of breaking hard-hitting stories, and it can focus on all corners of the world. I’ve talked to a 學姊 of mine who used to work in TV news and she said that the decision to avoid international stories is a conscious one because that’s what polls show viewers want. That testimony cemented my conception that Taiwanese TV news is not news at all; it’s entertainment. And I get that there is little motivation to do anything more than arm-chair reporting when the money keeps coming in regardless, but with eight or nine 24-hour news channels, you’d expect at least one of them to commit to some level of professionalism. This is what I hope can change because I feel that an electorate which thinks it is informed will make infinitely worse decisions than one that realizes it is not informed.

Is Taiwan media any worse than the likes of Fox news?

There is no hope. News media is a hoax, just like academia.

::in news media::
::in academia::


Intelligent people get their news from the Internet, so what is left on TV is more and more what appeals to the illiterate.

There is no hope at all left for TV. I’ve moved on to complain about newspapers.

Edit: I guess I complained about TV up above, too. :discodance:

[quote=“Hokwongwei”]There is no hope at all left for TV. I’ve moved on to complain about newspapers.

Edit: I guess I complained about TV up above, too. :discodance:[/quote]

Newspapers report yesterday’s news from the internet, so they have grown irrelevant too.

Plus, they are a waste of trees.

Well, most newspapers today have e-versions. 聯合報 updates every morning and night with up-to-date info… it’s just that much of it isn’t important.

If the newspapers with e-versions actually employed reporters to go out and report on stories happening on the ground, they might maintain some relevance. If they just grab stuff from reuters, aap, youtube… fuck it, I can source better stuff myself, due to my superior searching skills and better taste.

Hvae you seen the user unfriendly format newspapers have here? I mean the ones in Chinese? Not only horrible esthetically speaking, but plain vicious in making it as hard as they can to find what you need.

the only hope is for someone with a vision of how news paper should be to come up with a new news paper, and change the public’s perception of how a news paper should be, and build a culture around it.

Say if a news paper in Taiwan that reads like the New York Times, and it becomes fashionable to read from it and discuss it, sort of like owning an iPhone, if reading such news paper would make one seems hip, then yes, eventually it could happen. But this sort of thing would require a lot of promotion (provided the product is of quality). It would be awesome to have celebrities, celebrity professors, celebrity doctors talking about it on TV, and recommending it, saying reading it would help the development of kids and that sort of things.

True. many changes were implemented when Apple Daily/Next Group magazines entered the market -for good or bad. Problem is current environment in media does not encourage change.

Personally I prefer to listen to the BBC World Service on the wireless.

This new-fangled “TV” is just full of rubbish.

I wonder how other smaller countries like Taiwan are doing. I guess if the population is too small, the number of people willing to pay for high quality media is also low. With a newspaper, I guess the production costs are relatively fix.

For example, in Germany, most of the people also only read easy or gossip papers, but there are still some people who read more qualitative papers, so that they can exist (although admittedely they have some problems). But if the number of these people are smaller, maybe it can be harder.

Also, the newspapers in Taiwan just seem to be so extremely cheap. 10 NTD? How can they pay reporters from that?

I don’t think many papers anywhere in the world rely on print copies for their revenue, especially since all of the news is available for free right on their own website. Probably if they raised the price of the print edition, they would lose readers. Taiwanese people (like everyone else) hate when prices go up.


Local news has officially jumped the shark:

[quote]A recently recorded video of a young soldier having a physical altercation with his father at Taipei Main Station and yelling in English that he does not want to return to his troop has gone viral.
In the video, filmed by passers-by, the solider lies on the ground blocking an escalator and refusing to stand up or return to the military. His father tells him in heavily accented English that if he does not go back he will have to go to jail.

The soldier, dressed in fatigues, replies: “I’d rather go to jail.”

According to local reports, the soldier, surnamed Tsai, is an overseas student who volunteered to join the R.O.C. army, but subsequently failed to get along with the other soldiers.

Tsai’s father said his son had been living in an English-speaking country for a long time and was not fluent in Mandarin, making him a target of ridicule within the troop.

The father took the son to the Presidential Office on Monday and pleaded for the president to solve the problem. The military police serving in front of the Presidential Office transferred the case to Army Command Headquarters.

The authorities promised Tsai that they will investigate the case, however Tsai is still afraid to return to the troop, according to his father.

Ministry of Defense spokesperson Luo Shou-he (羅紹和) said according to law an overseas Chinese has to serve at the military, adding that the military will provide assistance and take care of overseas Chinese who do not speak Mandarin.


And it is the same on TV, watch te news clip if you dare.

I’ve seen worse, to be honest. I think it was TVBS that had an “exclusive” report (those are always the worst ones) on how a bakery near Fujen University raised its prices. The reporter started by showing the exterior, talking about how popular it is with students, and then adding a very dramatic “BUT!” The prices had gone up… a whole NT$2 per bread.

The reporter than showed the extent of her ineptitude by announcing this is a lot of money to poor college students, and proceeded to drive the point home (or so she thought) by asking a few people. One said the price hike wasn’t so bad, one said I guess it’s unfortunate, but he can live with it, and one said it was very unfortunate. The reporter than closed the segment by completely ignoring everything she had just learned and saying something like it seems like life will only keep getting harder for these poor students.

I nearly chucked my remote at the TV.

The news is low quality, but the ‘entertainment’ is what made me cancel cable-TV and never miss it. I think the lowest point I saw was when in the middle of a Jacky Wu show, Jacky and friends positioned themselves outside an MRT exit and did a 10-minute session on ‘guess if there’s a man or woman coming out the exit next’. Then I’d rather watch squirrels waterskiing.