GIO propaganda versus journalism

This afternoon I was bored so I went to the bookstore to look at books and magazines. Picked up a copy of Taiwan Review, which on first impression looks like a decent magazine with interesting topics and such but it’s essentially a Taiwanese news magazine published and distributed in the USA for Americans to read about how great Taiwan is. It’s published by the GIO and reads more like travel brochure than a “news” magazine.

Anyways, so that got me thinking about where I might find some good magazine journalism on Taiwan. Actually it seems like the only magazines that cover Taiwan or even Asia for that matter are just business magazines like the Far Eastern Economic Review or others of that ilk. What I’m looking for is more of a magazine that is about real stories of people. For example, what are the real effects of the WTO on real people here two years later. What about a farmer here? or a factory worker? I’m so tired reading the same tired stories in the Taipei Times about the beligerent pan-soandsoes squaking at the other beligerent pan-soandsoes. The politics here is mindnumbing (and I really like politics). Anyways I looking for some interesting stories about real people here. Am I out-to-lunch to expect more from journalists? Ok, actually that was a rhetorical question. Anyways, are there any decent current events type magazines about real life that you like to read?


It is indeed a government publication put out by the GIO.

So sorry. Realizing my stupidity i went and found the answer out so I revised my post into my rant about what I found. Sorry.


But at least the GIO stuff is usually well-written, well-translated and well-edited. Not to mention that things are spelled correctly most of the time. :laughing:

Yeah it is a nice looking magazine with readable writing but as I read it the question of it how accurate and candid it is nags at me. Not that I think that independent journalism doesn’t suffer from some inaccuracies either from time to time; it’s just that at least there isn’t a motive behind it. Maybe I’m being too harsh on the GIO but their magazine reads more like propaganda than standard journalism.


p.s. Ironlady do you translate for them? :wink:

I don’t do that magazine, but I do the daily Web site, Taiwan Headlines. Good fun, really. :smiley:

Thanks Ironlady. I rely on Taiwan Headlines often.

I write articles on legal news in Taiwan and I like how one can go to “Advanced Search” at the above site, plug in various key words and find whether any news has been reported on various subjects.

BUT, I’ve discovered that Taiwan news and government statistics in general are extremely unreliable. Sometimes it’s just stupid mistakes such as the Taipei Times reporter who recently wrote that MOJ Cheng Ding-Nan had submitted a spam law to the Legislative Yuan “for final approval” when that was completely wrong, the law hadn’t been submitted at all, it hasn’t even been completely drafted and passage of such a law is far off in the future. The TT’s erroneous story was then picked up and reported on government websites.

Other times I think the word “propaganda” is apt. In order to impress outsiders about how tough the government is getting on IP infringers, the government is constantly publishing statistics about how many IP raids they made, how many arrests and confiscations resulted, and how long the prison sentences were. When I compare the various statistics and try to make sense of them I inevitably find huge discrepancies that make no sense whatsoever. I know that people everywhere use statistics for propaganda purposes, but here I find them particularly unreliable.

Try these" … ml#general

But independent, un-biased, published Journals in English in Taiwan. Good luck. let me know what you find.


And here’s a few more possibilities, though many of them are pretty incestuous and report the same erroneous news that the others reported.

To be fair, that kind of ‘government propoganda’ journal is hardly unique to Taiwan. I used to index and abstract periodicals back in NZ, and we had our fair share of government or departmental magazines full of superficial stories painting lovely rosy pictures of NZ.



to be sure. One need look no further than Voice of America and other such broadcasts to understand the concept.


Propaganda in Journalism seems to be so wide spread in the world that you can alway find so called free journalism. I think the problem might be capitalism. The people finansing the journals are ultimately in control of what is the message their Journal delivers. Free Journalism remains small because the Big Boy do not like the message these journals are delivering.