Let's report on the reporters

Sometimes it’s amazing how incompetent media can be in Taiwan. Let’s dedicate this thread to SNAFUs in papers, TV reports, and online coverage.

For starters, let’s talk about how Taipei Times missed out on probably the most important news story yesterday: an amazing level of incompetence prevented Chen Shui-bian from being granted medical parole in time for New Year’s. Public servants decided to shut the doors and head home as the documents got stuck in traffic. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility that somebody intentionally dragged their feet to make this happen. Oh and nobody could be arsed to come back into the office to deal with, you know, the dignity of a former head of state.

Another big news story is that prosecutors in Tainan are trying to annul the election of Lee Chuan-chiao of the KMT to the Tainan city council for vote buying. He won the seat at the head of the city council despite the KMT being a minority. He’s alleged to have bought votes in the Nov. 29 election and again in the Dec. 25 speakership election.

Neither of these opportunities to curse up a storm over KMT incompetence/corruption (and with good reason) were covered in what is one of Taiwan’s greenest print media outlets. What gives?

Or why it is that the Taipei Times can only manage to update it’s site once a day. They haven’t heard of breaking news I guess.

So much to report on reporters…

It drives me crazy when local “journalists” write a 4-8 paragraph story about an upcoming event or activity, but forget to include the simple important information like dates or location, and the editor doesn’t catch or correct.

They also seem congenitally perplexed with numbers and their meaning.

Care to expand?

I guess you could say it’s a dream of mine to work with some sort of media watchdog organization to research and criticize trends in the local press to try and force it to improve, but I don’t think there’s a position for me as a relative newcomer to the industry, a foreigner, and someone whose Chinese skills are still well below native level. Maybe in a decade?

A healthy media landscape is a prerequisite for a functional democracy, and let’s just say that Taiwan’s news leaves a lot to be desired. :ponder:

A very common mistake is mixing up million and billion, and getting the currency conversions wrong.


[quote=“tango42”]So much to report on reporters…

It drives me crazy when local “journalists” write a 4-8 paragraph story about an upcoming event or activity, but forget to include the simple important information like dates or location, and the editor doesn’t catch or correct.[/quote]

Or they only report on these events the day after, not leaving you any opportunity to attend.

“The coolest bands ever played an amazing show in Taipei featuring their best songs yesterday. You missed it, but trust us, it was really awesome.”

I remember a few years back I convinced my ed at the Wall Street Journal to publish an article on the Donggang Boat Burning two weeks before the event so people could actually plan. The day of the event the TT and Tourism Bureau paid a dozen reporters to come to Taiwan and cover the event so people in their home countries can enjoy reading about something they can’t attend for another 3 years. Of course I was not even invited despite my work to promote the event properly as resident foreigners do not count in any way.

The craziest thing is that now that I live in malaysia I can actually apply for gov sponsored events and get my airfare and expenses paid if I want to write about Taiwan. :doh:

[quote]Smartphone maker HTC Corp (宏達電) yesterday posted an operating profit of NT$180 million (US$5.63 million) and net profit of NT$470 billion, marking a third straight profitable quarter last quarter.
The NT$470 billion in net profit marked a rise of 51.6 percent year-on-year, but was lower than the NT$640 million made in the previous quarter.[/quote]

Please explain?

Sounds to me like they simply typed 640 million instead of 640 billion. Just a typo mistake.

Sounds to me like complete rubbish. :roflmao:

Million, billion, profit, revenue…whatever…chabuduo la!!!

Thanks CNA. >_<

:roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:

Cha bu duo la!

Over an hour trying to verify an event. CNA says it has already happened, as in the past tense. Taipei Times says it hasn’t, but it will. Chinese info is … sketchy … and missed the international venues of same event, so… kill me, gotta finish before lunch.

According to the official website, it apparently seems to have allegedly happened already. However, the dates do not coincide… :doh: Kill me, please.

First of all: I think that, to be precise, they should use mathematic notations to talk about numbers. See, when I’m reading an american text and they speak about a billion dollars, they are talking about 10⁹$, while the first number that comes to mind (and probably to any other European) to me is 10¹²$. See, there’s a problem with that conversion. Math language doesn’t allow for those mistakes.

Going back to the first post… you might have quoted the humanitarian reasons for allowing an old man going back to his family on New Years’ Eve, or to medical reasons to go to the hospital to be treated, but, to appeal to the dignity of an ex-head of state? Well, if he had any, he flushed it down the toilet the moment he became tangled into a corruption scheme. I’d say he has no dignity left. And I don’t care about his status, my opinion is that any conscious citizen should drag his feet when dealing with a person who was trusted by the majority of his fellow citizens and chose to use that trust for personal gain. That, or completely ignore him, if they can (I understand that he’s entitled to some rights, but nothing further than that).

Current discussion: “His Handsomeness couldn’t receive all winners of these awards, if one of them was dead already, no?”

Mmm, a very philosophical question.

Not quite. It’s well established in English that million means 1,000,000 and billion means 1,000,000,000. It may be confusing for romance language speakers, but that’s just the convention in both British and American English. Asking them to make a note about it would be like me asking a Spanish-language publication to note that billón does not mean 1,000,000,000. There’s no need because people familiar with the word billón already know this.

Another frequent complaint is the American (ha) use of the word American. This is because Hispanohablantes consider América a continent, hence everyone from Canada to Peru is americano. But the Anglosphere considers North America and South America to be two different continents. For us, calling someone from Brazil (or even from Canada) “American” is like calling someone from Baja California “a Californian” – it just doesn’t square with our understanding of the world. I’m sure there’s a term for this phenomenon other than “false friends…” Linguicultural difference, maybe?