The GIO is an anachronism

A friend pointed out that the controversy surrounding the lampoon VCDs has highlighted the GIO, and, more important, what relevance it has in today’s Taiwan society.
Do we really need a Government Information Office to tell us what can and cannot be seen or read?

Don’t know about the pseudo-censorship function, but the GIO puts out a fairly good amonunt of high-quality (linguistically) material about Taiwan, including a Web site, Taiwan Headlines, which actually provides grammatically-correct coverage of current events in Taiwan. (Yes, you thought it couldn’t be done!) Of course, they are adopting a very, very strange policy to achieve this goal: they hire good, native-English-speaking translators, pay them a living wage, and have a native-English-speaking editor. Hmmm…maybe the Typo Times and China Past might consider adopting such a wild policy?

I’m curious to know why the difference in English and Chinese names for the GIO. And what exactly does the GIO do? It seems like its priorities could be rethought, and the organization could be streamlined.

I’d have to agree that the materials are pretty good… maybe they should be in charge of ALL foreign language materials produced by all levels of the government.

Link for the above:
Looks like a useful resource.

A Govenment Information Office is a good thing. When I first found out about this body, I thought that it was there to put out information about the Government etc. I only later found out that its original purpose was to control information and propaganda. If the GIO is moving towards being an agency to coordinate the information coming fromt he various arms of the Government (especially online), that’s a good thing.


Looks like a useful resource.[/quote]
Because the layout for that site is particularly bad, I should probably point out that the daily news portion is hidden on the left side in links labeled Politics, Business, Society, and Features. The Features section is updated only once a week, on Tuesdays.

The GIO is planning to operate a Web site (in English) to do something very like what you described. But it’s not going to be the focus of the GIO itself, just a few people.

Note that the gummit is talking about getting rid of the GIO (which I think is a bad idea, and not just because I work there), not getting rid of censorship. Vetting movies, etc., belongs to a fairly small part of the GIO, one that is expected to be transferred to a new ministry made up of parts of the GIO and MOTC.

Even if the GIO is abolished, the whole notion of “government downsizing” is misplaced, because the GIO building will not be razed and, basically, it will still hold exactly the same people doing exactly the same jobs – just under nominally different agencies. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

I think the GIO performs many worthwhile functions, but it really needs to improve its website. Having a good website should be right at the top of its list of priorities, as it’s obviously by far the most effective way to put out the messages that it wants to world to tune into. Unfortunately, the website is currently a mess. It contains only a tiny fraction of what should be there, and far too many of its links lead to a maddening “page cannot be found” deadend. What’s on the site is often very good and helpful, but there’s enormous room and need for improvement.