Can someone explain what a “tiny island” is? So often, the international media, such as the wire services or CNN or BBC or whatever, describe Taiwan as a “tiny island off the coast of China.”
Example in the Associated Press a few days ago, written by a reporter who lives in Taipei: “…The tiny leaf-shaped island off China’s southern coast …”
(sixth paragraph down, second sentence)
I know that this is what editors in New York and London and Sydney want to hear, it fits their stereotyped images of Island Taiwan, as this itsy bitsy teeny tiny speck of an island off the coast of huge gigantic 1.6 billion people China…
… but in reality, Taiwan is NOT a tiny island. It’s actually quite a large island, if you ever tried to bicycle around it, or ride a motorcycle around it or through it, or even fly over it…or trying walking from Taipei to Kenting, Mr Associated Press!
I always though a ‘‘tiny island’’ means something like a small island in the Okinawa chain or Green Island or Orchid Island off Taiwan or Martha’s Vineyard in the USA or Prince Edward Island in Canada or Catalina Island off California’s coast.
So why does a respected world-class news organization like the AP, which delivers images about Taiwan to the world from its offices in downtown Taipei, send out such stereotyped terms as “tiny island” …when that is just not the case?
Do all writers have to write to make their editors in far away capitals happy? Do any reporters ever try to tell the truth?
Even Hawaii’s “Big Island” is smaller than Taiwan. But does the AP ever report a story from ‘‘tiny Big Island’’? No.
When did Taiwan become a tiny island?