ICRT claims its primary mandate is to serve the foreign community. Do you feel served?
According to ICRT’s website, “Our primary mandate is to serve the expatriate community in Taiwan, which constitutes about 5% of our audience…”
So, do you feel served? I don’t. I’ve been here since the late 80s and while ICRT has had its ups and downs, this is the worst its ever been. The amount of news coverage is at an all-time low, and the number of teeny-bopper mando-pop songs is increasing at an alarming rate. English talk is also increasingly being replaced by Mandarin. I understand that the radio station is condemned to a kind of mediocrity due to the diverse number of listeners, and the inability to please everyone they are mandated to serve. However, I think that they are currently pleasing no one in that demographic.
I know I’m not the only one unhappy with the current arrangement. I am seriously considering organizing a petition to get ICRT re-focused on its primary mandate, NOT catering to local teenagers or people wishing to study English.
No! Maoman, is it as bad as I think it is, or are we getting old? The stuff that really gets me is the hip hop shit:
“Yo, my Chinab@y homies!!!”
Since when did ABC black-wannabe broken English become cool?
“Like…you know, man… kinda like, just hangin’ you know, dude, cool, so, like, …”
:bravo: :bravo: :bravo: :bravo: It’s always been sh*t and it’s just getting worse. I remember my mate coming over from the UK. Got a taxi to a pub the evening he arrived and the taxi driver (as they do - doh!) put ICRT on the radio. After about 5 minutes my mate turned to me and said “So this is where they send old, washed-up crappy DJ’s to die!”
That should have been worked into a new slogan ten years ago, but now I think they are producing their own crappy DJ’s instead of paying for expensive imports.
Which foreign community are they supposed to be serving, the SE Asian maids and factory workers? I don’t know any westerners who listen to this excuse for a radio station. Market #1, Taiwanese kids learning English. Market #2, migrant workers. Market #3 (tiny proportion) anyone else bored or unlucky enough to turn the dial there.
I wish you luck Maoman, but I don’t think anyone there has given a damn about what we think since they moved off Yangminshan.
On one of the few occasions I listened to ICRT I heard the DJ explaining that they rely on advertising income, which is proportional to the number of listeners.
The number of listeners is determined by a market research organisation which apparently does not recognise foreigners as existing! They target their audience and we are not recognised as part of that audience by the people who matter. ICRT does not exist to serve anyone except the people who invested in it anyway. It’s a commercial organisation and it makes a profit by catering to the preferences of people who matter - people who actually exist in the eyes of their sponsors.
All that guff about serving the ex-pat community is just marketing-speak for “if you want to be a cool international dude then listen to us like all the laoweis do.” And you fell for it? I thought you were mostly smarter than that.
There are not enough of us to form a target market that is worth providing a ‘service’ for. They wouldn’t make their money back in a million years. So who’s going to take any notice of us? Talk to Richard Branson about starting Radio Virgin Forumosa on the internet and maybe you’d achieve more. I’ve lost his phone number, otherwise I’d do it.
I agree with Stragbasher. I remember listening to the Forumosa moderators on Rick Monday’s ICRT morning show a while back. (There is an archived copy that’s still available on this website). In the show, Rick clearly explained to the moderators that only Taiwanese are counted in ratings calculations.
I thought that fact would have made it painfully clear that ICRT does not even cater to English speaking foreigners at all.
Maoman, weren’t you one of the people on that morning show? If so, you should know this situation better than anyone. Why the sudden change of heart? I thought you would accept this fact and let it be. Why fight for something as pathetic as ICRT? I’m just curious.
So it isn’t so much a “change of heart” but a challenge to ICRT’s ownership (TICCF) to be consistent. Regulars on Forumosa certainly represent a part of their “Primary Mandate”. Wouldn’t it make sense for them to be liked, or at least ‘respected’, by their objective?
It’s not just that they think foreigners don’t count! It’s that they think any old English-sounding crap is good enough for the locals. Do Taiwanese listeners seriously think that tuning in to ICRT will improve their English? Some of them seem to!
They give us Rapier and Thissen(?) the jazz guy on a Sunday and for that I thank them. For the rest, well, they broadcast through a medium that has an “off” button, and for that I thank them as well.
As for the “IC” of ICRT, I’m reminded of Kennedy’s scathing piece in POTS about the laughably woeful so-called judical reforms in which he points out the Taiwanese love of buzzwords and how they gleefully adopt the latest buzzword – but that’s all, just the word, not the concept behind the word.
Of COURSE it’s “international” – they play American music, don’t they?
The managed to become the no 3 ratiostation in Taiwan by the means of the programming they ditched recently. IE it worked, and I would suspect that ICRT is profitable as a result.
However, a new CEO came in and blew that apart in an attempt to make a mark.
What will happen next is the same as always… ICRT went local in the late 1990’s, and cut down on the English, and up on the cheesy mandopop tunes. However, they had to make a quick reverse, when their audience abandoned them in droves, and they spent 3 years getting back to the no 3 spot, a feat they achieved late last year or early this year.
My money are on that they localize, lose their unique appeal to the locals wanting to keep their English up to shape, and then - when they have slipped enough in the rankings - revert to the old formula.
When I jumped in the car today the radio was still on ICRT (I listen to BBC news from 6 to 7). At the time there was an ad announcing the “rebirth” of ICRT. This was soon followed by one of the new ABC DJs butchering the English language. You really can’t blame her, though, when the output by the “native English speakers” is full of mis-pronunciations and awkward phrasing.
Funny you say that cause every time i hear ICRT, it’s always playing shit that you would hear on easy rock fm 100 which to me is the ultimate of moronic garbage…Anyway, maoman if you start a petition, count me in for help…
As Stagbasher said this website is not for you guys, contrary to what is published on the ICRT website. It is for the locals. You should feel lucky there is even one English station on this island of Chinese speakers. A bunch a ingrates you are. You don’t have to listen to it. Damn laowais always complaining about something!
With that said, I think it is crap too. I miss the news in the mornings and the long gone evening news hour.
But again, news is money losing, foreigners are not what the sponsors care about.
Guys, if it is really that important to you, start some pirate station run by laowais, I don’t have much money, but I will sponsor you.
I think some of the complainers (self included) remember the days when it was for the international community, having morphed out of Armed Forces Radio. I don’t listen to it, never did listen to it except for maybe the morning news.
That’s an interesting idea. One that would got you taken away in leg irons just a few short years ago.
I think the meat of the complaint here is not the ‘going local’, since it’s not the end of anything wonderful or some irreplaceable part of resident’s lives. It’s the claim to serve an audience that is for the most part politely ignoring it.
Hey hsiadogah, first off, you know I was joking with the ingrates and complaining comments right? I totally agree with Maoman and others that the BS on the ICRT website about the site being for foreigners is flase and misleading. With that said however, I have learned about quite a few events from listening to ICRT in the shower. In a way, they do service the foreign community here, except that their DJs overall stink and the choice of music is usually not my taste, the news is disappearing etc. Really misleading and they should edit that statement on their website.
I only ever listen to ICRT in my car. I have a 1998 Ford with a CD changer in a place so remote it takes an expedition to find it, so the radio gets used.
Now the first thing I will admit is that ICRT – which I have known on and off since '87 – has never been very good. It has however had its ups and downs, and I seem to remember the graveyard shifts back in the late 80s with affection as providing company for the mindlessly boring task of practicing writing Chinese characters. Even back then, though, I recall Wolfie writing a coruscating criticism of ICRT; little did we know it was almost a Golden Age.
In recent years we have seen some very dark days