Taiwan News - Where does the madness end

Beijing winning the Olympics may only happen once during our lives and the newspapers in Taiwan, in their typical herd-like pattern, put the story on the front page. Not so The Taiwan News. Bucking the trend, they put it on page three, saving the coveted first page for a lengthy report on… head transplants (unlikely to happen before 2008, at least).

For ages, readers who wanted to experience a full warping of reality had to turn to the KMT and its associated media. Now, the DPP and its cronies - such as The Taiwan News - are out to prove that they are capable of being completely out of step with the real world. “Beijing getting the Olympics or the future of head transplants?” Can’t you just imagine the editorial room debate?

The Taiwan News has lost it. The DPP appears to be losing it (running that recent Hitler ad was in extremely poor taste). Incredibly, these guys will likely push people back into the KMT camp.

PS. The pathetic thing is that if Paris or Toronto or anyone else had won the Olympics, it likely would have made the front page.

PPS. There was a struggle over who in our office got to keep The Taiwan News “head transplant” edition. It was so out there that everyone wanted it as a souvenir.

PPPS. A lot of people thought that maybe a few disgruntled employees had put the story on the front page as a joke. Not so. I met one of the editors and was told that “head transplants are a serious story.”

Every time I think the Taiwan News can’t get any worse, it does. Just wait until they’ve moved into the I-mei(headed by a DPP/presidential advisor)offices and lose any objectivity they once had. It used to be that this ridiculous ‘coverage’ was limited to the editorial page, but now the entire paper has turned into a DPP pamphlet worthy of comparison with the PRC’s People’s Daily. Same refusal to report real events, same censorship, same philosophy, same tactics.
It’s sad, since the China News used to be a half-decent paper.
The good thing about all this is that the horrible things happening at the News are so blatant no self-respecting foreigner would be seen with the rag. While the Taipei Times looks much better than the News, with a much nicer looking layout, the actual content suffers from strikingly similar problems originating from the dictation of content and political stance from the Liberty Times group. But since it isn’t as blatant as the at the News, less people notice and thus give the Times more credibility than it really deserves.

Let’s not forget the oldest, and most entrenched medium of English propanda : the China Post. Read the editorials and you feel that you’ve picked up a KMT newsletter, and moreover, picked up something left over from the Chiang Kai Shek era that today’s KMT might find repugnant and embarassing.

I will concede, though, that the China Post, unlike Taiwan News these days, does have it’s redeeming qualities. I always pick up the Friday edition. The editorials, though, are too much to stomach.

I can’t stomach any of the papers’ editorials. I actually find the editorials of the China Post a bit tamer than the blatant atocities I see in the Taipei Times and the Taiwan News, but none of them are much good.
You’re right about the China Post’s entertainment thing, though; it seems more useful than those of the other papers. The China News/Taiwan News’ Weekend section used to be quite good, but has really gone downhill, and I hear that they are going to get rid of it so they can fit more DPP propaganda in their pages. I also heard that they are going to change the color of their masthead at some point in order to ‘disassociate’ themselves from the “Blue team”. Sheesh.

I heard from a source within the Taiwan News that several foreign copy editors quit at once and the management has hired a slew of local Chinese to copy edit the text written by local Chinese.
The thing that is amazing is that the management there does not seem to recognize that they are a laughing stock. Perhaps it is we readers who don’t get the joke…

You are partially correct. The Taiwan News actually fired several of their foreign copyeditors in favor of Taiwanese copyeditors. Another very senior copyeditor was fired for saying that he thought that this was a bad idea, and “Comrade Political Officer” gave as his reasoning the fact that the paper is called the Taiwan News, meaning that everyone who works there should be Taiwanese. As far as I know there are only a handful of foreign copyeditors left at the News, and none of them are particularly experienced. Not that it would matter if they were, since the paper’s content, layout and design are dictated by the DPP in a surprisingly “People’s Daily”-like fashion. Ironic, ain’t it?

has this been a gradual change at the Taiwan News, or was there some pivotal moment when everything made a turn for the worse?

Are the people that used to run things on the business side (publisher, the people getting ads) still there, or did they leave when the name change occured?

The first big change was when I-mei took over the paper in early 1999. Then, I guess a point was reached when the DPP decided it would be more involved in deciding the paper’s content, and I think a conscious decision was made to do away with objectivity. “We’ve got this paper; let’s use it!” or something like that.
And I wonder if there was a third point, when they decided that they would ‘phase it out’, i.e. run it into the ground as soon as they realized that they’d lost whatever readers as well as credibility they ever had.

I agree Taiwan News is toilet paper, and China Post can be useful, but I still think Taipei Times is better than the Post.

We should all know that nopaper is unbiased - such a thing is an impossible fiction. Its just about knowing the bias. I think the Times is closest to my own politics, so I like it.

Besides that Times has the following advantages over the Post. It’s much better designed, which I think is important. It seems to have better proof-reading - less English mistakes. It has a lot of really good features from the New York Times and stuff (with cool illustrations). Finally, really importantly for me - although it doesn’t have good standard romanisation of Chinese it usually includes Chinese characters in brackets for proper names (people, places and organisations). China News doesn’t have this really useful thing and I think it’s a big shortcoming.


I was looking at an old China News from 1998 when I was production editor there. I was shocked to see that it was far better than I remembered in terms of layout (limited by the moronic six-column grid) and content – interesting features.
The Taiwan News should consider a head transplant since the body has been dead and rotting for a long time. I am a little curious about the alleged DPP slant professed by some. My question is: How can you read enough of the text to even make such an assessment? I read the first line or two of any story and toss the paper away in disgust. It’s pure Chinglish gibberish.
Anyway, one wonders what sort of mentality is running the paper now. It’s frightening to think that these people are running loose on the streets…

The reason I would prefer the Post over the Times, if I were forced to choose one, is that I can deal with bad copyediting and layout if I have to, but the Times’ copyediting, while better than the Post’s, is still not that good. The Times often ‘forgets’ attribution in headlines, and their political slant is, in my opinion, even stronger than that of the Post. No amount of eye-catching layout and perfect spelling can make up for bad reporting and biased content.
Granted, it’s not a black-and-white thing, as neither is a very good paper. These are just my personal feelings about comparing the two.

In the past two weeks, I’ve talked to three people who work at the Taiwan News and the most positive thing they could say was, “It could get better.”

As for the China Post and Taipei Times, the Times seems more political but I think that is because the Post’s only loyalty seems to be to advertisers (they’ll write a positive story about a company the way Taiwan News does about the DPP). If they appear slanted to the KMT, it’s probably a result of them being around a long time, like the KMT, and having developed links to lots of companies and politicians from the party. I think that the Times was much better than the Post at one point, but is getting very sloppy (a lot of mistakes on their business page).

Anyway, we’ve got Asian Wall Street Journal, and lots of other publications to supplement our English dailies…

Hey, I thought the China Post was basically owned by the KMT. Anyone know?


You’d think that if the KMT owned the China Post, they’d have a bigger budget. Whereas the other two papers have a lot nicer offices and large printing presses, the Post has just that awful old building off of Chungshan(Zhongshan) N. Road, and I believe their printing presses are located in their basement. They have zero room to expand and pretty backward tools with which to put their paper together. Wouldn’t the KMT at least give them decent equipment to work with? I don’t think their salaries are that competitive compared with the other papers, but I could be wrong.

I can’t stand the KMT so I refuse to read the China Post even if it is given to me free. I refer to it as the KMT Baozhi.

I prefer the Taipei Times which I happily support and subscribe too.

I think it is quite hilarious that the Taiwan News buried the Beijing Olympics article, especially considering the fact that some KMT/PFP/NP Pro-China Mainlanders are welcoming the Chinese Communist Party’s offer to have the torch pass through Taiwan and also to have some events hosted in Taiwan, as if Taiwan is actually a part of the Communist PRC.

Read the editorials of the China Post and see for yourself how it is KMT propaganda. I am happy to read Taiwanese editorials in the Taipei Times promoting the reality that Taiwan is not part of a the PRC or calling for Taiwan membership in the UN. This One China fallacy that is part of the China Post/KMT is an anchronism.

Originally posted by Hobart: I prefer the Taipei Times which I happily supprt and subscribe too. I am happy to read Taiwanese editorials in the Taipei Times.

I really don’t think there’s much I can add to that.